Few people could boast even a handful of Bobby Jones’ extensive, varied accomplishments, both on and off the green.

Of course, boasting was probably the last thing you’d find Bobby Jones doing. Perhaps more than his great feats, the qualities that left an unforgettable impression on those who knew him were his loyalty, his compassion, and his modesty.

The first chapter: friendship

Jones’ uniqueness was one reason the Bobby Jones Advisory Committee chose to honor him in a nontraditional way. Rather than construct a static building or monument, they created an exchange program that would live in perpetuity and tell the story of his intellectual strengths, his athletic achievements, and his special bond with the people of St Andrews.

The Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship and Fellowship programs continue to be a vibrant testament to a man whose capacity and regard for friendship were boundless. On his last visit to St Andrews, Jones was named an honorary Freeman of the Burgh of St Andrews, and the importance of friendship figured prominently into his remarks that day. He noted that “friendship should be the keynote of this world golf meeting because not only people but nations need friends.”

“The words ‘friend’ and ‘friendship’ are among the most important in our language. Friends are a man’s priceless treasures, and a life rich in friendship is very rich indeed.” —Bobby Jones

This year we celebrate 40 years of friendships, experiences, and opportunities that would not have happened without this great man and the donors whose generosity has helped preserve his legacy.

Two new chapters: integrity & leadership

The success of the scholarship and fellowship programs led the Bobby Jones Advisory Committee to seek new ways to tell Jones’ story and make meaningful contributions in his name. Honoring a Renaissance man like Jones would require creativity and expansion through new avenues.

At Emory’s James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, the committee found two unique programs that would propel the Jones legacy into fields that reflected his diverse accomplishments, strong ethics, and perseverance in the face of immense challenge.

Jones Program in Ethics

Jones’ integrity was a hallmark of his career on the golf course and in the courtroom. A well-known anecdote tells of Jones calling a penalty on himself during a tournament. No one else witnessed the error, and many people insisted that he let it slide. Jones would not be persuaded, however, even if that meant losing the entire tournament by a single stroke (which he did). When lauded for his action, Jones quipped, “You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”

The Jones Program in Ethics has taken this commitment to integrity and infused it into the core curriculum of the Laney Graduate School. Through seminars, workshops, and lectures, the program provides a foundational introduction to ethics for research, teaching, and professional life for students in more than 40 degree programs. A fitting tribute to a man whose multi-disciplinary talents could only be matched by his unshakable integrity, the Jones Program in Ethics ensures that every doctoral student of the Laney Graduate School is challenged to pursue new knowledge and share discoveries in ways that are principled and socially aware.

Ethics Program | At a Glance

  • Unique to Emory
  • Required for all doctoral students
  • Moves beyond the traditional STEM disciplines by including the ethics of scholarship and research in the humanities and social sciences
  • Distributes ethics education across a student’s training career
  • Requires participation in a minimum of four lectures and workshops beyond a six-hour course in scholarly integrity
  • Retains flexibility to allow new courses that address emerging topics in ethics and graduate education
  • Transcends traditional disciplinary lines, resulting in a more robust training in ethics and students who are better prepared for an evolving job market

Jones Biomedical Engineering Fellows

The third program named after Jones is probably one that rivals the personal connection to Jones’ life that the scholarship and fellowship programs hold, though in a very different way.

For the last 20-plus years of his life, Jones suffered from a rare, debilitating neurological condition called syringomyelia. It was a devastating and heartbreaking diagnosis that caused immense pain and eventual paralysis for Jones. It robbed him of many freedoms but, remarkably, never diminished his spirit, humor, or care for others.

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots—but you have to play the ball where it lies.” —Bobby Jones

Jones’ family has long supported medical research, especially the kind that tackles diseases like syringomyelia. Today, that commitment to medical discovery is being carried out by the Jones Biomedical Engineering Fellows of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). By turning an engineering lens on medical research, the Jones Fellows are changing the game in our collective fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

BME Program | At a Glance

Doctoral program ranked second in the nation by US News & World Report, 2017

An innovative collaboration between Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, with an additional PhD program that partners with Peking University in Beijing

Advances accuracy in diagnosis, improvements in patient care, and the discovery of cures

Covers six therapeutic focus areas:

  • Cancer Technologies
  • Cardiovascular Engineering
  • Immunoengineering
  • Neuroengineering
  • Pediatric Bioengineering
  • Regenerative Medicine

Keeping the story alive

As the caretakers of these three amazing and inspiring programs, we at the Laney Graduate School take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that the Jones legacy of friendship, integrity, and leadership lives on forever.

This year, in celebration of the 40th reunion and the incredible journeys taken because of Jones, we’re asking all alumni of the Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship and Fellowship programs to make a gift of $40 to strengthen the newest chapters in the Jones story at Emory. We hope you will join us in recognizing the loyalty, compassion, and generosity of Bobby Jones and perpetuating a legacy that changes lives.

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