Div School Accepts $10 Million Grant

Nevada Man's Gift Will Be Unrestricted

A Nevada economist has given $10 million to the Harvard Divinity School, the largest gift in the school's history, officials said yesterday.

The unrestricted gift by Robert A. Jones of Incline Village, Nev., was announced at the school's 175th anniversary celebration yesterday.

Dean of the Divinity School Ronald Thiemann said in a prepared statement that Jones's gift confirmed the relevance of the graduate school's mission.

"[The gift] will have a significant impact in advancing the goals of theological education at the University," Thiemann said. "Mr. Jones's interests converge well with our mission at the Divinity School, and we are very grateful to him not only for his magnificent gift, but also for his advice and counsel."

Jones, a members of the dean's council since last year, was a leader in the development of on-line financial information services. He founded MMS International in 1974 with his own savings and built it into a global financial information service and foreign exchange. He sold the company in 1989.


"Religious texts can help us un- derstand some of the most important lessons inlife," Jones said in a statement. "When I wascreating my company, I found myself establishingcertain business practices that were derivative ofmy understanding of the Bible."

"With this gift, I wanted to help HarvardDivinity School share the information that itsscholars develop so that it can be useful topeople in all facets of their lives," Jones said.

Jones now serves as chair of JonesInternational, a financial management firm forcompanies including the financial news serviceMoney Market News, and Market Broadcasting Corp.

Jones said his interest in religious studiesgrew out of a Bible class he attended whileworking in San Francisco.

"Every week we would have so many questions forwhich we wouldn't have solid answers," Jones said.

"That strengthened my curiosity anddetermination to study the literature," Jonesadded.

"I began buying and reading books in the fieldand that led me to recognize that some of the bestwork in the field was being done at [the DivinitySchool].