The business program at JU was established as a small division within the College of Arts and Sciences in 1967. The business programs were given the status of a College of Business in 1979 and the first MBA classes were offered in 1980 and first Executive MBA program in 1986.
The EMBA program is small by many business school comparisons, capped at no more than 20 students. Nonetheless, it has produced nearly 600 graduates since inception, and many of these individuals are now key business leaders within Jacksonville. It is viewed very positively by major firms such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CSX, Haskell Corp., Adecco Group, Sea Star Lines, Mayo Clinic, etc. Indeed, participation in the Davis EMBA is seen as part of the succession planning programs in many of those companies.
The Davis family has represented hard work, success in business, and outstanding philanthropy on the First Coast and throughout Florida for more than 75 years. J.E. Davis and his brothers worked tirelessly to build the Winn-Dixie grocery chain into one of the nation's industry leaders. Along the way, the Winn-Dixie company and the Davis family have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the community. In the 1950's, J.E. Davis began the family's association with Jacksonville University and launched a dedicated and fruitful partnership that continues to this day.
In 1984, the Davis family gave the University $3 million to build a new home for business programs. They had a vision for students to learn the fundamentals of business while focusing on practical approaches. And they had the foresight to know that a strong foundation in business skills would create generations of graduates who were ready to lead the enterprises of the future.
More than 20 years after the first gift that transformed the business program, the Davis family has again made state-of-the-art business education a hallmark of Jacksonville University. Their $20 million challenge grant in 1998 inspired the University to reach for the highest goals, while at the same time providing $10 million for the new Davis College of Business building. Now, students have the opportunity to learn from distinguished faculty and utilize the latest in business technology in a new facility made possible by the Davis family's never-ending vision of excellence for Jacksonville University.