Philanthropists John and Mary Ellen Imlay have made a $1 million estate gift to the Robert T. Jones, Jr. Program in Ethics at Emory University’s James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies. Additionally, the Imlay Foundation has made a $50,000 gift to the same program.

The Jones Program in Ethics is a required course for graduate students at the Laney Graduate School. According to Dean of the Laney Graduate School Lisa A. Tedesco, it provides students with a foundational, cross-disciplinary introduction to the question of ethics for research, training, teaching and careers for students to integrate and carry forward to their lives.

The Jones Program in Ethics was created when the national Council of Graduate Schools asked for proposals in spring 2008 that sought to “develop educational models for promoting responsible conduct of research and integrity in professional scholarship, education and research,” according to the Laney Graduate School website. The Jones Program was one of five proposals selected for funding, and it focuses on research ethics, reflections on scholarship ethics and researching standards and best practices for ethics and integrity, according to its website.

In an email to the Wheel, Tedesco said the estate gift will provide ongoing support for the Jones Program, allowing it to grow or change to meet student needs. In addition, the $50,000 gift from the Imlay Foundation, whose mission is to make a positive impact on the community, can be invested in the program now, or when needed in the future.

The newly endowed Jones Program will also have implications for undergraduates at Emory.

“Not only do [graduate students] instruct undergraduates, but they often serve as mentors,” Tedesco said. “The endowed Jones Program in Ethics will influence undergraduates in immeasurable ways.”

John and Mary Ellen Imlay have had a close relationship with Emory for many years. John Imlay is a founding chair member of the Bobby Jones Advisory Committee. Mary Ellen Imlay is the president and executive director of The Imlay Foundation, which was founded in 1990.

Robert T. Jones Jr., for which the Jones Program was named, was an Atlanta native and world-renowned golfer. The most successful amateur golfer ever to complete on a national and international level, Jones was known not only for being the first winner of the first Grand Slam but also for attending the Emory University School of Law in 1926.

Jones was known for his character, sportsmanship and integrity, according to Tedesco.

“It is that legacy of integrity and ethical leadership that we celebrate and honor Emory through the Jones Program in Ethics,” she said.

John Imlay knew Jones personally and of his integrity both on and off the golf course; he is therefore passionate about honoring the memory of Jones.

“The Jones Program in Ethics is a generous and lasting way for the Imlays – and Emory University – to support and ensure that the ethical legacy of Bobby Jones will be carried forward to new generations of scholars,” Tedesco said.

— By Emily Lim, Staff Writer