It all started with one man: William J. Porter. Porter had a dream of bringing an esteemed place of higher education to Jacksonville. The task was not easy, as Jacksonville Junior College struggled during its first years to survive with dwindling cash reserves, no permanent home, the threat of a rival university and little community support.
However, with perseverance, and a dedicated team of faculty and administration, Jacksonville University prospered from an original 60 students in its first year, to today boasting a growing enrollment of more than 3,400 from 47 states and 27 countries.
As we look back at a few highlights and significant events of our first 75 years, including the long but ultimately triumphant struggle for a permanent home, accreditation, integration and reputation, the University pays tribute to the many who dedicated their time to its success.
Join us in celebrating JU’s incredible journey to become one of the premier universities in the South.