Alice Jones Torbett
2004 Honorary Alumni
In Johnson City and the surrounding areas, the Jones name is synonymous with its former newspaper enterprise, which included the Johnson City Press, the Jonesborough Herald and Tribune, the Erwin Record, and the Mountain City Tomahawk. Alice Jones Torbett has spent a lifetime as an integral part of the family’s newspaper businesses. She follows in the footsteps of her grandfather Carl A. Jones, Sr., who purchased the Johnson City paper in 1934, and her father Carl A. Jones, Jr., who was its longtime publisher. As a part of the third generation of the newspaper enterprise, Torbett has certainly continued the prestigious family legacy by being a devoted businesswoman, citizen, wife, and mother.
Alice Jones received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Sweet Briar College in 1960. She married David Torbett, who enjoyed a career as a federal administrative law judge. They have three children, Robert Carleton, David James, and Lea Paxton Torbett Schwab.
Torbett joined the family business and began work alongside her three brothers, John, Timothy, and Carleton Jones. She ended her career as a newspaper executive for the Carl A. Jones Newspaper Group, working specifically with the Herald & Tribune and the Johnson City Press. Torbett performed administrative and corporate tasks in addition to being a feature writer for the newspapers.
Torbett has carried forward the Jones family tradition for community involvement as an activist in various arts, historic site and civic organizations in Knoxville and Johnson City. She currently serves on the board for the Tipton-Haynes Foundation in Johnson City and the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville.
Torbett has been an avid supporter of East Tennessee State University. In addition to her service as a member of the ETSU Foundation, she has supported the ETSU Women’s Athletics program and the college radio station, WETS-FM. She chaired the Carl A. Jones Symposia on health care in 1992, and has recently been vital in establishing the Kathryn P. Jones Endowment, in honor of her late mother.
Torbett says she has always been extremely proud of and grateful for her connections with ETSU. In business, civic, and creative endeavors those connections have opened doors for her, expanded her horizons, increased her knowledge and added tremendously to her enjoyment of life!