I’m all for second chances — so much so I even started a foundation to encourage others to find theirs. So when I read that Marilee Jones had started a new life as an admissions consultant, I really wanted to cheer her on — especially given all she’s had to overcome, even if as a result of her own poor choices.
A little over two years ago, Jones resigned as dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after it was discovered she lied about her academic credentials nearly 30 years before. Still, everyone deserves a second chance — right? — and, today, Jones has reemerged as an admissions consultant who delivers this message to parents: Academic glory isn’t the be all-end all; it’s your relationship with your child that matters most.
So far, so good. But here’s something that raised my eyebrow: Jones hired a public-relations consultant, Rose Marie Terenzio, to help with her comeback. Terenzio’s first order of business was getting Jones to volunteer at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where she could help teenage cancer survivors move on to college. However well-intentioned, these steps seem just a little too manufactured.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong. The fact is, facing the truth and operating with honesty, integrity and ethics will serve Jones well — she doesn’t need a PR firm for that. Based upon her own choices, she can now be true to herself and use her experience as a positive framework for helping others. Through that she will receive her SECOND CHANCE!
What do you think of Marilee Jones’ comeback? Too soon? Or just in time? Share your comments here.