Jones’ remarks at the luncheon centered around his faith and how “everything good I have done in my life begins with the religious training I received growing up…most of my religious training came from my time spent at Presbyterian Day School.”
He also shared some his favorite Proverbs from Mrs. Hodgson’s 5th Grade binder where he and his classmates were required to write their favorite scriptures.
Jones made his fortune in 1987 after taking large short positions before the market crashed. “I had the biggest financial score of my life that day and the first thing I thought of is what can I do for the least of my brothers and sisters?” To that end, Jones founded the Robin Hood Foundation, which seeks to alleviate poverty in New York City, “"one of the most innovative and influential philanthropic organizations of our time,” according to Fortune. He is also active in several other philanthropic and environmental efforts. He founded Excellence Charter School, is a former chairman of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and currently chairs the Everglades Foundation.
Next to faith, the topic that received the most focus was school discipline, particularly how it has changed to the boys’ advantage. Jones shared a light-hearted story recalling a particularly strong paddling after a spitball incident on a field trip, noting that boys now instead receive early school, admonishment from Coach Fruitt, and the assignment of an essay incorporating verses from the Bible. “The next time you have to sit down with Coach Fruitt in early room, just be thankful that you can actually sit down!”
Also during the luncheon, Jones’ daughter Caroline, a singer-songwriter, performed a stirring rendition of “How Great Thou Art,” along with a traditional folk song.