Mile News


John Paul Jones: All-Round College Man

September 01, 1913

The Cornell idol and Mile star was trained under a man who believes in the fighting spirit which wins races, but who teaches his pupils to win modestly, and to lose, if lose they must, like gentlemen.

By Samuel A. Munford, Medical Examiner, Cornell University for Outing

The proper place of athletics in college is the topic of unending discussion. Both sides are argued usually with more heat than light. In the last analysis the matter can be settled only by reference to the men concerned. Hence this article on John Paul Jones, holder of the Intercollegiate records for the half mile and the Mile (also a world record), probably the most remarkable college runner who has yet appeared. His case is valuable both as evidence and as a standard. The more we can have of men like Jones the better for our colleges and for college athletics.

The athletic training of the university student seems to have become recognized generally as a very important part to the making of an all-round college man. Scholarship and physique have combined. Consider this statement made by Professor B. A. Sargent of Harvard University, after a series of exhaustive investigations: "If there is any truth in statistics, the world's work and greatest achievements are to be attained by the men as a class who have the best brains in the best bodies."

If for no other reason than to prove Professor Sargent's significant conclusion, it is interesting to take as an example the idol of Cornell University, John Paul Jones, whom President Schurman has declared is the best type, embodying all the conditions that are required to make an all-round college man.

It is safe to say that few, outside of his college friends, know the whole story of this young athlete's life. Only they alone can explain the extraordinary sentiment which is held for him by his fellows. During his senior year (he was graduated in June), Jones held the position of freshman advisor, captain of the cross country team, captain of the track team and class president. But, in addition to all this, when the blanks sent to each senior had been tabulated, it was found that in a class of approximately one thousand he had been voted:

► First—the most popular college man
► Second—the most respected
► Third—the best all-round man
► Fourth—the man who had done the most for his college

These were honors which had never before been accorded to a Cornell man since the university has reached its present size. And in spite of the many activities with which his college life was occupied, in spite of the honors which were literally heaped upon him, Jones has at no time failed to realize the principal object of his college course.

John Paul Jones was born in Washington, DC in 1890. He prepared for college at Phillips Exeter and entered Cornell in the fall of 1909, registering in the college of Mechanical Engineering. From an athletic point of view, he showed no exceptional promise when he first joined the university. At Exeter, he was unable even to make a place for himself on the track team till the last year. In his senior year there he ran well but without great promise until the last race of the season, when he broke the record for the school.

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Tags: world record (59) , john paul jones (1) , cornell university (3)

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