BIG RAPIDS - From the farm to the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee to the University of Michigan to Hollywood, celebrated actor James Earl Jones has been many places and done many things throughout the years.
Growing up on a small family farm near Dublin in Manistee County, Jones is once again returning to Michigan, this time as a featured special guest at the Ferris Foundation's eighth annual benefit Nov. 3 at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, along with WZZM's Juliet Dragos.
Jones' distinctive voice is probably most famous for portraying Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy, but Jones has a varied career. Among his recent roles, Jones can be seen in Cry the Beloved Country a story of Apartheid in South Africa. Other roles include TNT's Percy and Thunder, as well as the title role in The Vernon Jones Story, the true story of the late civil rights leader. He also appeared with Dana Carvey in the comedy Clean Slate and starred with Harrison Ford in Clear and Present Danger, based on the best-selling book by Tom Clancy. He also is the "voice" behind CNN.
Dragos will take patrons of the benefit dinner on a journey of the accomplishments of Jones, his life in Michigan and his love of the arts with a special interview during the evening.
Also during the evening, a feature video will give supporters of the University who have provided significant contributions to enhance campus facilities and establish student scholarships an opportunity to discuss the benefits of a Ferris education.
Tickets for the event are available through Oct. 20 by contacting Kim Erickson at (231) 591-2365. Individual tickets may be purchased, or guests may choose from a range of sponsorship levels. Funds raised support the Foundation for Excellence Scholarship Endowment for Ferris students, the Exceptional Merit Grant Award program for faculty and staff projects that advance the University's mission, and other University endowments.