Jones retiring as university head

Published: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Bob Jones III said Thursday he will retire as president of the fundamentalist Christian university that bears his name, and his son will take his place.
The 65-year-old Jones, whose grandfather founded Bob Jones University 78 years ago, said it was time for someone younger and "closer to the present generation" to assume authority.
"I've seen too many institutions - churches, Christian ministries - suffer when somebody stays too long," he said. "And I've never wanted that to happen here."
His son, the Rev. Stephen Jones, 35, a vice president for administration, will assume control after May graduationceremonies in May.
Under Jones' 34-year reign, the school grabbed headlines because of its racial policies and Jones' views.
In 2000, George W. Bush was criticized for speaking at the university while campaigning because the school banned interracial dating. That policy has since been dropped.
More recently, Jones drew attention for a congratulatory letter he wrote to Bush after his re-election. In the letter, he wrote, "You have been given a mandate. ... Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
Jones also referred to Catholicism and Mormonism as cults in a campus magazine in 2000. Jones has not backed away from his opposition to those religions.
"It is a surprise to me that anybody would think that there was something untoward about Christian institution being opposed to a false religious system," Jones said Thursday.

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