Bob Jones III (search) said Thursday he will retire as president of the fundamentalist Christian university that bears his name following the school's May graduation ceremonies.

Jones, whose grandfather founded the school 78 years ago, has been president for 34 years. He will be replaced by his son the Rev. Stephen Jones (search), who has served as vice president for administration.

"The opportunity to step into the role occupied by my father, grandfather and great-grandfather is overwhelming," Stephen Jones said. "I am eager for the days that lie ahead for Bob Jones University and believe that the Lord has wonderful things in store for us as we remain faithful to his word."

In February 2000, then presidential candidate George W. Bush spoke at Bob Jones University (search) during his campaign. He was criticized for the visit because at the time, the school banned interracial dating.

The policy has since been dropped.