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Celebration of local hero

The life and legacy of one of St Andrews’ and Atlanta’s local heroes is to be celebrated at a week-long University reunion this summer.

The Robert T Jones Jnr Trust Scholarship Reunion, which will run from 18 until 22 June 2002, will mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the R T Jones Jnr Scholarship, established in 1976/77 “to perpetuate his memory in the hearts and minds of young people by creating a permanent memorial to his sense of values and character”.

Since its inception, the scholarship has sent 100 Emory University graduates to St Andrews and hosted the same number of students in return, forging a permanent bond between two world- renowned Universities – Emory, of which Jones was an alumnus, and the University of St Andrews, the town where he achieved his most significant golfing victory.

Around 100 former Jones scholars from both the UK and the US with partners will attend the reunion, together with trustees from both countries and the Principals of both Universities.

The story of local dignitary and golf legend Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jnr is a landmark in sport history. Born in Atlanta in 1902, Jones was a golfing prodigy, playing to the third round of the National Amateur at just 14 years of age. In 1921, at 19 years of age, Jones first arrived at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to compete in the British Open. As an amateur, he went on to win 13 of the world’s toughest championships and, in 1930, won the British and United States Open and Amateur championships – the first Grand Slam.

Jones then retired from competitive golf, qualifiying as a lawyer from Emory and later drawing upon his earlier training as a mechanical engineer in the design of the majestic Masters course in Augusta.

At the age of 46, he was diagnosed with a rare disease which resulted in progressive paralysis. Jones died in 1971 at the age of 69.

The town of St Andrews honored Jones by making him a Freeman of the Burgh in 1958, the first since Benjamin Franklin nearly 200 years before. Towards the end of his acceptance speech, Jones said, “I could take out of my life everything except my experiences at St Andrews and I would still have had a rich and full life.”

As well as being a consummate athlete, Jones was known for his wit, grace, self-discipline, generosity and commitment.

Director of Admissions Stephen Magee said, “This is quite simply the most prestigious scholarship the two universities have to offer; in fact, it is difficult to imagine a better scholarship as these are aimed solely at the development of the student and not necessarily at the award of a degree.”

Jones Scholars are selected on the basis of their academic ability and personal attributes – golf skills are not a criteria. There are eight Jones Scholars each year, four at each University.

Jones Scholarships are awarded for one year and students winning their respective institutions’ strong competition for these coveted awards spend that year living and studying in the States/St Andrews, further developing the transatlantic ties which were so important to Bobby Jones.

The week’s celebrations will be based on a packed programme of events including talks/discussions on Jones himself and the impact of the Scholarship on scholars’ lives, various lectures, social events and visits to neighbouring areas including Crail, Elie and Pittenweem. The R T Jones Trust will provide accommodation for all former Jones scholars and their partners.

The event follows the University of St Andrews’ sponsorship of a table at the Bobby Jones Centennial Dinner in Atlanta on 17 March 2002.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS – YOU ARE INVITED TO SEND A REPORTER/PHOTOGRAPHER TO THE FORMAL RECEPTION AT THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB AT 6.30PM ON THURSDAY 20 JUNE 2002 WHEN THE SCHOLARS, TRUSTEES AND PRINCIPALS OF BOTH INSTITUTIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR A GROUP PHOTOGRAPH.

PHOTOGRAPHS OF R T JONES AVAILABLE IN EMAILABLE FORM FROM CLAIRE GRAINGER – CONTACT DETAILS BELOW.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: bobby jones reuniuon/standrews/chg/27may2002

 

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