Paul Jones Arena
Jones, University Alumnus And Benefactor, Honors His Father With
May 30, 2003 --
For Paul Tudor Jones II, the decision to name the
University of Virginia’s arena in honor of his father, John
Paul Jones, was a simple act of love.
payback time for his being a great father,” said Jones, 48,
a 1976 graduate of the University who has committed $35 million
to the building project. He also believes that the naming is a fitting
tribute for a man whose life has been dedicated primarily to four
things: his faith, his family, the University of Virginia, and basketball.
senior, who goes by Jack, is a 1948 graduate of the University’s
School of Law and a devoted student of Thomas Jefferson who refers
to Jefferson as “one of the most interesting icons who ever
lived.” When young Paul was considering colleges, his father
told him he could “go anywhere as long as it was in Albemarle
his son predicted his father would be “on the moon”
when he heard news of the naming, John Paul Jones, 83, likened it
more to “walking on air.” Today, at a meeting of the
University’s Board of Visitors, it became official. The 15,000-seat
special-events center now under construction will be called the
John Paul Jones Arena.
Jones, a life-long resident of Memphis, has been a stalwart U.Va.
alumnus, serving three years as president of his alumni chapter.
He continues to participate in alumni functions, but says he gets
the most pleasure from meeting with prospective U.Va. students and
helping them through the admission process.
is clear that Jones is grateful for the honor, but not quite sure
what to make of the fact that one day he’ll get to see his
name emblazoned across the building’s entrance while he’s
in his favorite chair watching a U.Va. game on TV. Rather than dwell
on the honor, Jones prefers to talk about the accomplishments of
his children and grandchildren, and, of course, basketball.
has front-row seats for the Memphis Grizzlies games, rarely misses
a University of Memphis home game and tunes in to the Cavaliers
whenever he can.
is a passion he shares with son Paul, who coaches his daughters’
youth basketball team. Several years ago, Jones the younger was
the first alumnus to strongly voice his concern that the University
needed to replace the aging University Hall.
became the driving force behind plans for a new arena, first providing
funds for an initial design phase. In November 2001, he made a 10-year
$20 million pledge that put the project on a fast track. This spring,
he pledged an additional $15 million, pushing the $129.8 million
project past the halfway mark needed to begin construction.
graduating in 1976 with a degree in economics, Jones, the founder
of a money management group in Greenwich, Conn., has continued to
lend his support to the University that he said helped him “develop
a sense of personal honor.” And like his father, he says he
loves the University and “everything about the way of life
2001, Jones’ history of giving to the University had been
on the academic side. His most recent gift was a $10 million challenge
grant to help fund the recently completed 45,000-square-foot research
addition to environmental sciences’ Clark Hall. With an earlier
gift, he endowed a research professorship shared by the Darden Graduate
School of Business Administration and the McIntire School of Commerce.
the University and business communities, Jones is probably best
known as the founder of the Robin Hood Foundation, a 16-year-old
organization dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City. While
the majority of his philanthropic efforts are directed to education
and people in need, Jones also is an ardent conservationist.
many years, Paul Tudor Jones has helped to move the University’s
academic division forward, and now he is doing the same for athletics,”
said University President John T. Casteen III. “All of us
at the University of Virginia are grateful to Paul – for both
his generosity and his unfailingly energetic support. We are especially
grateful today to his father, John Paul Jones, for having sent him
said Paul Jones, chairman of the volunteer committee that guided
the arena project, set the tone for this fund-raising effort. “His
dedication reaches all corners of the University. From his early
backing of the Jefferson Scholars program to his support in business,
finance and environmental sciences, Paul always has been a leader,”
arena and its new name will become part of the Jones family legacy,
and perhaps its family lore. While no relation to the famous Revolutionary
sailor John Paul Jones, both father and son admire his fortitude
as much as his famous saying: “I have not yet begun to fight.”
They believe it suits a sports arena.
Jones talks about the impact of the new arena, clearly beginning
to warm to the idea that the building will indeed carry his name
“With the heroics of basketball, this arena will enhance the
University’s academic purposes while developing students with
strong values of leadership, sportsmanship, citizenship, physical
fitness, teamwork, and Mr. Jefferson’s margin of excellence,”
he said. “The student body will get to enjoy the drama and
satisfaction of hoops as it should be played.”
Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189