New Rainbow Room dedicated
On Sunday, Aug. 9, Pacific dedicated the new Rainbow Resource and Study Room on the second floor of the William Knox Holt Memorial Library. The Rainbow Room was donated by Bill Jones ‘51, a Pacific alumnus and prominent gay rights activist.
Jones graduated from Pacific with a degree in art and education. He made history in 1969, when he became the first single man in California to adopt a child.
In addition, Jones owned and operated a social club in San Francisco that catered to gay, lesbian and straight patrons in the mid-1970s. In 2004, a month-long period was established where same-sex marriage was legal in San Francisco. During that time, Jones performed 457 weddings as a volunteer marriage commissioner. That averages out to 14-15 weddings performed a day.
Jones chose to dedicate the room because his professors at Pacific gave him “an embedded sense of morality and justice,” a trait he no doubt brought to his activism. Unfortunately, Jones also felt isolated during his time at Pacific. He wishes that no one would feel the “shame and alienation [he] felt as a student.”
Many plaques grace the Rainbow Room’s walls. Some honor Jones’ son Aaron, who passed away in 1996, while others are inspiring in nature.
One such plaque summarizes the future Bill Jones hopes the Pacific community will help create: “After the storm’s thunder, lightning and icy rain of ignorance, misinformation, misconception and prejudice comes to an end, the brilliant sun of insight and understanding comes out and we are awestruck by the beauty of the glowing rainbow — a rainbow of sexual preferences and identities.”