Captain Connors attended Jacksonville University from 1957 to 1959, and graduated from the University of Florida (BA), the University of Rhode Island (MA), and Capella University (Ph.D. with Distinction in Human Services Management).
In December 2013, Dr. Connors delivered the Commencement Address for JU’s Fall graduation (See "Help yourself by helping others..."). At that time, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost conferred an Honorary Ph.D. in Leadership Excellence on Dr. Connors to recognize his “unsurpassed publication record” in the field of charitable-philanthropic organization management, and his “distinguished U.S. Navy service.” In addition, President Cost conferred the University’s first Honorary Associate of Arts Degree to recognize Dr. Connors’ tenure as a JU Student from 1957-1959, during which he was a member of JU’s first Soccer Team and President of the JU Chorus.
In its Resolution honoring Dr. Connors, the Board of Directors noted that he has more than four decades of successful executive leadership experience with public, private and charitable organizations. Dr. Connors has served as an executive or board member with numerous charitable organizations whose public purposes focused on quality-of-life improvements in such areas as arts and cultural enhancement, emergency services advances, youth development, and civic and community improvements. He is one of America’s foremost authorities on nonprofit organization management, and published the groundbreaking Non-Profit Organization Handbook (1980) and The Volunteer Management Handbook (1995), the first works of their kind in the field of charitable-philanthropic management.
The resolution cited his publication of "numerous books, particularly in nonprofit organization management, compiling an unsurpassed publication record in that field." Since publishing "the first nonprofit management handbook in 1980," he "continued to advance the field of charitable-philanthropic organization management through seven subsequent handbooks, including the first handbook in volunteer resource management."
Dr. Connors has published eight major handbooks for nonprofit organization management since the first such handbook in 1980, and the first volunteer resource management handbook in 1995. The Second Edition of the Volunteer Management Handbook was published in 2011. He has also published two major military history works: Baited Trap, the Ambush of Mission 1890 (2008,) and Truckbusters from Dogpatch, the Combat Diary of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in the Korean War (2006).
Captain Connors' distinguished U.S. Navy service (Airman Recruit to Captain), included 32 years of duty on ships (Surface Warfare Officer qualifications), units, flag staffs, and senior officer responsibilities in public affairs and project management on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. His military honors include the Legion of Merit and 10 other personal awards.