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New era of student housing to begin with waterfront residence hall north of campus

New development is slated for completion by fall 2015

Jacksonville University is ushering in a new era of student housing with construction of a 274-person riverfront residence hall north of its 200-acre campus, to be completed by fall 2015.
 
The University completed lease agreements with Rimrock Devlin LLC, which will develop the housing as part of its 59.5-acre Dolphin Reef property at 3812 University Blvd. N.JU_RiverfrontSMALL

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance our students’ experience at Jacksonville University,” said JU President Tim Cost. “This is part of a larger push to create additional attractive amenities for today's outstanding students. Engaging, modern living spaces are an absolute priority for any college looking to expand and improve.”

The new housing is the latest addition to upgrades at the University, including the recent acquisition of 40 acres of riverfront property immediately south of its campus, new campus dining options, a new football/lacrosse stadium, improving academic spaces and research laboratories, and a $1.5 million expansion of the River House student center.
“All of these improvements are creating quite a buzz among our current students and those across the country looking at us as their future home away from home,” said JU Chief Student Affairs Officer Kristie Gover. “The entire campus is being remade with spaces in mind that align with current educational trends and invite social interaction. These areas help create opportunities to form bonds and memories that will last a lifetime for our future alumni.”

 

For information on Jacksonville University and its programs, please visit www.ju.edu. 
Forty-acre land purchase expands campus footprint southward

​Jacksonville University is pleased to announce the purchase of approximately 40 acres of riverfront property located directly south of its Arlington campus. According to University administration, the acquisition is JU’s largest in more than half a century.

“The purchase of this valuable parcel of land for future development is significant. It allows Jacksonville University to continue to expand its borders both physically and programmatically,” said JU President Tim Cost. “It also allows the University to expand on our mission to create enhanced spaces for learning and growth for our current and future students.”

 

Cost said the land – often known as the “Boys Home property” – is currently a top priority for the administration, and announcements regarding specific projects and timelines there are forthcoming.

 

“I also want to personally thank the Boys Home leadership for being great neighbors to the University for more than 50 years,” said Cost. “We believe our plans for the property will honor both organizations’ commitments to the neighborhood of Arlington and, more broadly, the entire region.”

 

JU announces national leader Dr. Christine Sapienza as new Dean of College of Health Sciences

Jacksonville University has turned to a nationally renowned health care expert to lead its College of Health Sciences.

Chris-SapienzaSMALLHEAD1.jpgDr. Christine Sapienza, highly regarded throughout the country for her innovative work in speech-language pathology, has been named Dean of the fast-growing college, and began her new role May 28.

“Dr. Sapienza is a world-class educator and leader, and we are excited to have her drive our efforts in such a critical field for our University and for this region,” said JU President Tim Cost. “One of our crucial goals at JU is to provide the finest cross-disciplinary training that ensures attracting the highest-caliber students, who then stay in and enrich our community. Dr. Sapienza is a passionate and engaging administrator, perfectly suited to this opportunity.”

Prior to becoming Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences last year, Dr. Sapienza was chair for eight years of the University of Florida’s highly ranked department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, helping it become a top 10 department within the UF Health Science Center. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Service, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the non-profit CurePSP.

With her sights set on maximizing a new Health Sciences building opening in August, deploying contemporary classrooms and state-of-the-art instrumentation, rolling out a new master’s program in speech-language pathology this fall, offering advanced health care training and collaborating with health care partners, Sapienza said she is excited to take the helm.

“The opportunity to lead the finest and most dedicated faculty in the College of Health Sciences, to spearhead the new speech-language pathology program and charge academic program development within a highly positive, flexible atmosphere is an exceptional opportunity, particularly when faced with a changing health care landscape of health care policy reform and demand for cost-efficient patient care,” she said.

“The new Nursing simulation lab in the CHS will be a primary example of how advanced interprofessional, health care level training, research and community enrichment occurs in a present-day environment. CHS academics along with the interests of our health care industry partners and community organizations will create a connection between theory and practice.”

Dr. Sapienza said her goal is to ensure the finest student education experience and most rigorous curriculum in the region, in a field in which changing demographics, industry trends and insurance changes have created rising student enrollment and exploding demand at all levels for health care professionals.

“Our new building and classrooms and our creative and informed faculty are some of the reasons I said yes to this new challenge. Having a future-oriented strategy, beyond the traditional practices of training, is what really is exciting.”

Under her leadership, the college has already brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs; received accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology for its new master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, the first in the region; and established partnerships with esteemed healthcare providers such as Brooks Rehabilitation.

Dr. Sapienza has also made it a priority to expand the college’s community outreach, including holding a free “Identify the Signs of Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders” event for residents; supporting the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center; and speaking to local groups such as the Jacksonville Rotary, Civitan Club and National Association of Teachers of Singing North Florida Chapter. She also is a regular invitee to national health care conferences, carrying out more than a dozen since arriving at JU.Dr. Sapienza succeeds Dr. Judith Erickson, who was named Dean of the School of Nursing at Long Island University in New York.

Media contact: Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, pmilano@ju.edu, (904) 256-7042.

For more about JU’s College of Health Sciences and its School of Nursing, visit http://ju.edu/COHS.

About Christine Sapienza

Dr. Sapienza is a leader in the field of speech-language pathology. She served as chair of the University of Florida’s department of speech language and hearing department, helping it become a top 10 department within the UF Health Science Center, where she recruited scholars and high-achieving students as well as collaborated on innovative distance learning programs and initiated multiple interdisciplinary research collaborations.

She also holds a research career scientist title with the Malcom Randall VA Brain Rehabilitation Research Center in Gainesville, where she leads a current clinical trial on Parkinson’s disease. She has made significant scientific contributions in the area of voice and respiratory function for people with diseases, and has mentored more than 15 doctoral students now working successfully around the country and the world.

Dr. Sapienza’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Service, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the non-profit CurePSP. She is also author of the graduate textbook “Voice Disorders” (Plural Publishing) and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, as well as numerous book chapters and texts.

JU announces Dr. Wenying Xu as new Provost/Chief Academic Officer

Jacksonville University announces Dr. Wenying Xu as its new Provost/Chief Academic Officer, welcoming a consensus builder renowned for her innovation and inclusion to lead its academic efforts as it takes advantage of unprecedented opportunities for growth and improvement.
wenying xuSMALL.jpgDr. Xu comes to JU after serving as vice president for academic affairs at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, a leading institution in health sciences, sustainability, women’s issues and global awareness that offers baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral programs.
“Without question we have selected one of the finest, most engaged and dedicated professionals in all of academia nationwide to help lead our great University,” said JU President Tim Cost. “She is known and admired not only for her extensive professional skills but for her passion, creative problem-solving, dedication to faculty development and commitment to shared governance.”
Cost said the rigorous national search for a Provost/Chief Academic Officer resulted in more than 100 nominations and applications received, with three finalists clearly emerging and Dr. Xu “proving herself to be the unanimous top choice, with her more than three decades’ experience in higher education and deep involvement in all aspects of academia.”
In her new role, which begins July 7, Dr. Xu will oversee curriculum and all academic programs at JU, which is moving forward at a fast pace toward greater academic excellence, an enhanced student learning experience, upgraded facilities and programs and expanded regional impact. Dr. Bill Crosby, who has overseen Jacksonville University’s academics during the past year as interim Chief Academic Officer, will actively transition with Dr. Xu in the coming weeks and months.
“I am humbled and excited to have been selected,” Dr. Xu said. “It is a great honor to join President Tim Cost and the JU community in their aspiration to make JU one of the best private universities in the South. Located in the beautiful city of Jacksonville and partnering with its thriving business community, JU promises to be a destination for students from all over the nation and world. I'm thrilled by the fantastic opportunity to contribute to JU's advancement in academic excellence, community engagement and globalization.”
Chatham University has experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region in the past decade, and is consistently ranked among the top master’s-level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.
At Chatham, which has about 2,300 students and more than 100 full-time faculty across three campuses, Dr. Xu oversaw the Chatham College for Women, the College for Graduate Studies, the College for Continuing and Professional Studies and the Falk School of Sustainability, which houses the Rachel Carson Institute. She had direct responsibility over 41 undergraduate, 21 masters, and four doctoral programs.
Prior to her role at Chatham, Dr. Xu was chair of English and interim associate dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Over her more than 30-year career, she has become widely admired by students, faculty and alumni for her cohesive approach, having developed talents in enrollment management, tenure and faculty review, merit pay, graduate programs, research productivity and accountability, fundraising, interdisciplinary curriculum development, international partnerships, student recruitment and community engagement.
Her many responsibilities and accomplishments at FAU and Chatham also include overseeing:
• Accreditation and budget management;
• Navigation of the complex terrain of equitable faculty salaries;
• Faculty development and mentoring programs;
• Creation of a promotion system for non-tenure track instructors;
• Increased flexibility regarding teaching and research loads;
• Boosting online and hybrid courses while maintaining quality;
• Launch of new programs in sustainability, green chemistry, special education and healthcare informatics;
• Improvement in governance structure;
• Procurement of grants and endowments from government and foundations; and
• Building of international partnerships to international student enrollment. 

Dr. Xu also served as president of the Society for the Study of Multiethnic Literature of the United States for three years, and program chair and vice president of the society for four years prior. Its stated goal is “to expand the definition of new, more broadly conceived U.S. literature through the study and teaching of Latino, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American, and ethnically specific Euro-American literary works, their authors, and their cultural contexts.”
Dr. Anthony Ouellette, co-chair of the JU Department of Biology and Marine Science and member of the JU Provost/Chief Academic Officer search committee, said Dr. Xu’s professional skills mesh seamlessly with her leadership talent. 
“Those who have worked with her say she is an inclusive leader, a mentor to many, brings cohesion to faculty, is a consensus builder and is deeply humane, brilliant and productive. She is an intellectual with a gift for leading,” he said. “Wenying impressed the search committee with her cultural awareness, passion, insight, ability to focus in on problems and visionary capabilities. She holds the ideals and values of academics in the highest regard, and sees that what we do here is very much a human endeavor.”
Dr. Xu was born and raised in China and received her B.A. in English from Hebei University, where she taught English for three years after receiving her degree. She received an M.A. in English from West Virginia University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh.
Previously, she was associate professor of English at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and was a visiting professor at the American Studies Center at Sichuan University in China. In 2002, she became a Fulbright Lecturer at Xiamen University in China.
She has authored “Historical Dictionary of Asian American Literature and Theater” (Scarecrow Press, 2012); “Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature” (University of Hawaii Press, 2008) and “Ethics and Aesthetics of Freedom in American and Chinese Realism” (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2003), in addition to many articles in international and national journals and several chapters in publications.
Dr. Xu is married to Henry Ruf, Ph.D., a retired professor of philosophy; they have one adult son, Alan.
For more information, contact Phillip J. Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, at pmilano@ju.edu, (904) 256-7042.
​Ask the big questions, Commencement speaker Armen Keteyian tells JU graduates

Enjoy this day – but then take some time to ask the big questions of yourself as you plunge forward in life.
That was some of the spirited advice 11-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Armen Keteyian gave graduates Saturday, May 3, as Jacksonville University awarded more than 900 degrees at its 2014 spring commencement ceremony at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.
JUSP14COMMENCEMENT20.jpg“Remember …  the importance of balance as you find answers to ‘Who am I?’, ‘What do I want to be?’ and ‘How do I get there?,’” said the keynote speaker, who was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by JU. “Hopefully, when you do get there, wherever there is for you, you will … when asked, give back to the place that helped you grow up.”
The event was held at First Baptist rather than JU’s traditional outdoor commencement setting on campus because of the likelihood of inclement weather and an expected historically high attendance.
JUSP14COMMENCEMENT14.jpgThe celebration featured the awarding of the first doctoral degrees in JU’s 80-year history: seven students received their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. Also taking part in robes was Mary Blade, who graduates in December with her DNP but who shared the day with her seven colleagues and with her daughter, Taylor Blade, who received her bachelor’s degree in nursing on Saturday.
Of the total 887 JU spring 2014 graduates, who earned 913 degrees, 359 received bachelor of nursing degrees; 88 received masters of nursing degrees; 31 received master of business administration degrees; and 99 graduated with Latin honors, which are earned by students with a minimum GPA of 3.50 with 60 graded credits at JU. In addition, 16 students graduated with their bachelor’s degree and earned University Honors -- the largest group in years.
JU President Tim Cost praised the graduates, who gained their educations during an unprecedented era of growth and improvement in the campus’ grounds, facilities, faculty and programs. Highlights of the past academic year alone include:
• Educating the largest student body in University history -- more than 4,200;
• A successful 10-year re-accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS);
• A Charter Day celebration of JU’s 80th anniversary, with dedication of the newly renovated River House campus gathering spot and a “Global Toast” shared by hundreds of alumni worldwide;
• Earning a top 1% rank among all Florida colleges for “Return on Investment” for graduates;
• Near-completion of the new College of Health Sciences building, on-schedule for August 2014;
• A No. 14 global ranking for JU’s MBA program, achieving a Tier One spot in CEO Magazine’s prestigious listing of “value”; and
• More than $1.2 million in research grants awarded to the JU College of Health Sciences, with much of it to help veterans in JU’s Nursing program.
JUSP14COMMENCEMENT16.jpg“You have excelled and made us proud,” Cost told the students. “You have made your university better than you found it -- a high compliment. Congratulations on reaching excellence on your journey. Today is about you and your accomplishments.”
Keteyian, lead correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports,” a reporter for “60 Minutes” and one of the preeminent journalists of his generation, has covered in-depth news and sports issues for media outlets such as CBS News, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, ABC News, HBO Sports and Showtime.
He urged the students to focus on who they are, not where they come from.
“I’ve spent my entire professional life doing what you are about to do: competing against graduates of big public universities like Alabama, Georgia or Michigan, or the most selective private schools, like Stanford, or the Ivys, for jobs and raises,” he said. “I wear my degree from San Diego State as a badge of honor, just as you should from JU. Because folks, trust me, you’ve got more than enough personal and intellectual firepower to compete against anybody. To be as good – or great – as you want to be.”
Reaching and exceeding goals has much to do with the company you keep, he reminded them, explaining how his close friendship with JU Trustee and alum Frank Pace jump-started his early career in New York.
JUSP14COMMENCEMENT21.jpg“His best friend just happened to be a guy he met at JU named Jay Thomas, the actor, who was the top DJ in New York at the time, a precursor to Howard Stern,” Keteyian said. “Because of Frank, I was able to stay with Jay, sleep on his couch for a couple of weeks while I found an apartment and got settled. The moral of that story: remember the friends you made at this university. Frank’s best friendship with Jay, formed right here, sustained to this day, helped change my life.”
Keteyian spent time talking about hard work, discipline, taking risks and the benefits of viewing rewards only as a by-product of following your heart.
“From the time I was 23 working on a weekly newspaper in La Mesa, Calif., I’ve never felt like I had a job,” he said. “I love what I do. Even at 61, I have passion for my profession – journalism. So if you want to pursue photography or physics or politics, my advice is: Do it. And you won’t regret it.”
Cost bestowed the degrees and presented three student awards at the ceremony: the Fred B. Noble Medal to graduating student Eric Lam of Evans, Ga., for having the highest grade point average in JU’s 2014 class (4.0); the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership to Jairid Pacileo of Albion, Penn.; and the University Award for Outstanding Service and Co-curricular Involvement to Amanda Suter of Winlock, Wash.
JU’s college and school Students of the Year are Clayton Levins, College of Arts & Sciences; Alexandra Hoffman, Davis College of Business; Ali Pordeli, College of Fine Arts; and Robert Bigley, the College of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing.
Also Saturday, Brian Palmer, associate professor of dance in the JU College of Fine Arts, was recognized as JU’s professor of the year.
The spring 2014 JU graduates hail from throughout the United States and from 17 other countries. The University’s nearly 25,000 alums come from all 50 states and 92 countries.

About Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,200 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its nearly 200-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. It has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 10 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 190 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing, orthodontics and speech-language pathology. JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville hosts JU President Tim Cost, UNF President John Delaney

Presidents Tim Cost and John Delaney will offer their observations and opinions about the impact of secondary education on Northeast Florida's economy at the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the JU Davis College of Business.

The two presidents will also discuss how they view the roles of their respective institutions toward equipping a local workforce to satisfy and fortify its resurging growth.
 
The event is sponsored by EverBank.
 
Biographies of the two speakers are below:
 
costsmall.jpgAbout Tim Cost
Tim Cost became the 12th President of Jacksonville University on Feb. 1, 2013. Prior to his election, he was Executive Vice President for food and beverage world leader, PepsiCo, with revenues of $60 billion and 300,000 employees. 
He has 32 years of senior executive experience at many of the world’s top companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kodak, ARAMARK, Wyeth/Pfizer and Pharmacia. He has also been Chairman of Global Health Care for Washington-based consulting firm, APCO Worldwide. His background and experience center on mergers and acquisitions, strategy, marketing, public policy, investor relations, crisis/issues management, government relations, communications, and capital markets.
JU has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 10 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. Its $120 million ASPIRE campaign is reshaping the face and future of the University, including a reimagined cafeteria, new Chick-fil-A and major River House entertainment/meeting complex. In other growth, the new state-of-the-art College of Health Sciences building is set to be completed this summer, part of a $20 million phased plan to expand the College of Health Science’s facilities, programs, equipment and faculty to meet growing demand. The Marine Science Research Institute’s new floating classroom and dock, valued at more than $500,000, will offer students a unique chance for engaging and immediate research and study. The JU Davis Aviation Center’s new $500,000 Level 5 CRJ700 flight simulator is the only such device to train pilots at a university in the region.
Meanwhile, the University recently received accreditation approval for its new Doctorate in Business Administration degree, which will emphasize cutting-edge analytics and hands-on work with “Big Data” and is one of only a handful offered in the Southeast.  A new Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will offer the region’s first master’s degree in the key area of Speech-Language Pathology by fall 2014, and the Davis College of Business’s new Sport Business degree program gives students access to one of the few comprehensive, accredited such programs in the country.
A 1981 Magna Cum Laude Jacksonville University graduate who also holds an MBA from the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, Cost was given the Jacksonville University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and was also selected a Distinguished Dolphin to help celebrate Jacksonville University’s 75th Anniversary. He has served on the JU Board of Trustees since 2009 and as chairman of committees on enrollment and retention, and development. As a JU athlete and four-year letterman on its baseball team, he is one of the top 10 winningest pitchers in JU Baseball history, and as a freshman, pitched the only 9-inning no-hitter in Jacksonville University history. 
Cost and his wife of 30 years, Stephanie, are the parents of two children, Melanie, and Drew.
 

spt_JohnDelaney2006.jpg.JPGAbout John Delaney 

John A. Delaney became UNF’s fifth president in 2003. In that capacity, he oversees a campus of more than 16,000 students, 600 faculty and more than 1,000 staff. The 1,381 acre campus in Northeast Florida is considered a driver in the region, with an annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion. Each year, 4,000 students graduate from UNF’s five colleges. 
Under Delaney’s direction, UNF reaffirmed its commitment to students, by offering individualized attention and offering transformational learning opportunities. The University of North Florida is also known for its flagship programs, areas where UNF leads the nation. Flagships include Community Nursing, International Business, Transportation & Logistics, Coastal Biology, Music and Nutrition. 
UNF is currently undergoing the biggest construction spree in its history. Within the last few years, the University recently the Osprey Fountains residence hall, the Student Union, the College of Education and Human Services building, the Biological Science Building, the Student Wellness Complex and Osprey Commons, with a new cafeteria. All new construction on campus reflects UNF’s commitment to the environment and many new buildings are LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified. 
Delaney is considered UNF’s chief fundraiser, nearly doubling the University’s privately-funded endowment. The Power of Transformation campaign is currently underway, with a goal of raising $110 million. 
Delaney’s presidency continues a distinguished career as a public servant. He served two terms as mayor of Jacksonville, the country’s 13th largest city, spearheading major initiatives including The Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.2 billion improvement plan that gave the city new public facilities and other amenities. He also created the Preservation Project, a massive land conservation program giving Jacksonville the distinction of having the largest urban park system in the United States. Prior to that, he served as the chief assistant state attorney, the number two prosecutor for Northeast Florida and as the general counsel for the City of Jacksonville. He has served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards. 
He and his wife Gena have four children.  
“Vision come true”: JU dedicates “Defenders' Den” student veterans center

​What started out with a simple request at a meeting in the President’s office last year is now a “vision come true” for student veterans, as Jacksonville University dedicated its Defenders' Den Student Veterans of America study center on Tuesday, March 25.SVA center2.JPG
“This speaks a lot of JU and how much it is putting into its veterans,” said JU SVA Chapter President Danielle D’Amato, herself a Navy veteran and graduate student. “JU is setting up its veterans to succeed in school and then in the working world. We are becoming a pillar example for other colleges.”
The new 1,000-square-foot space, centrally located on campus in the Founders Building, is designed especially for student veterans, who at about 400 make up 10 percent of JU’s student body and are the University’s second-largest affinity group behind athletes. Part of the space is a computer lab and study area, and part is a gathering spot and lounge in which to relax, complete with flat-screen TV, refrigerator, microwave and comfortable chairs.
SVA center1.JPGFormer JU Trustee and area Taco Bell franchise Chief Operating Officer Thaddeus Foster was instrumental in funding the center, which represents an investment of tens of thousands of dollars. He plays a prominent role on the board of the Armed Forces Families Foundation, a major donor toward the facility.
“At JU we are trying to innovate, and find more creative ways to enrich all of our students’ lives, including our veterans,” JU President Tim Cost told about 200 people gathered at the dedication ceremony. “We are signing agreements, creating scholarships and creating physical spaces for them.”
In the case of the Defenders' Den, D’Amato and other JU student veterans met with Cost in his office last year and responded to his overtures for ideas by suggesting a special gathering spot be found for them.
“They wished they had their own place,” Cost said. “They have their own challenges, many have kids, many are older, and some were looking for a place to study and relax.”
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, a two-time JU graduate, said the new center is a testament to the way Cost and JU are embracing student veterans.
“It’s a reaffirmation and confirmation that with President Cost’s leadership, veterans will continue to be successful not only at JU, but when they leave JU,” Brown said. “He is investing in our leaders.”
SVA center5.JPG
Dr. Donnie Horner, JU’s chief government and community affairs officer, ticked off some of the ways in which JU is working toward becoming the “most military-friendly campus in the United States”:
• In February, it became the first higher education institution in the U.S. to partner with the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation in awarding scholarships to students whose veteran parents died in the line of duty. JU is providing a 40 percent undergraduate tuition reduction per academic year for children of deceased veterans who meet JU’s admissions requirements and have been accepted for enrollment. Horner noted that UCLA and the University of Washington have both contacted JU for information on possibly duplicating the program on their campuses.
• JU offers a 100 percent Yellow Ribbon tuition match for most degree programs.
• The JU NROTC program is one of the largest in America, with more than 1,500 sailors and Marines having gone through the program.
• JU’s College of Health Sciences recently became one of only nine programs nationwide awarded funding – $870,000 – to implement a veterans’ bachelors of science in nursing program, helping wounded and returning veterans excel as they pursue careers in health care.
• The JU chapter of Student Veterans of America recently received two awards: it was recognized by SVA headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a “model chapter” with a $1,500 cash award. In addition, VFW District 6 cited JU’s SVA for “outstanding efforts for student veterans, including advocacy, outreach, and volunteerism.”
SVA center4.JPGRear Admiral Victor G. “Vic” Guillory (U.S. Navy Ret), Director of Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services for the City of Jacksonville, applauded JU’s “huge step” in its efforts at being student veteran-friendly, and he urged all the veterans on campus to take advantage of their new center.
“Breathe life into the Defender’s Den, make it a pertinent place on campus, and leave it even better than when you found it,” he said.
First Sergeant Doug Buck (U.S. Air Force Ret), now a graduate student in the JU School of Education, told audience members that veterans want nothing more than to be stimulated and challenged, especially in the workforce. 

“JU has been very welcoming to me, despite my age, and it has addressed both of those needs: it has provided a stimulating educational environment – and, it has hired me for the challenging job of supervisor at the soon-to-be opened River House,” he said. “I am very proud to be here today.”SVA center3.JPG

More information: Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, (904) 256-7042, pmilano@ju.edu.
About Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,000 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its nearly 200-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. It has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 10 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 190 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing and orthodontics. JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

 

JU’s MBA program ranks No. 14 globally, makes Tier One in prestigious CEO Magazine listing

​Jacksonville University’s Master of Business Administration program ranks No. 14 globally, making it a Tier One program in a newly released prestigious international list that closely analyzes “student value” as one of its main criteria.

2014_CEO-Global-MBA-Ranking-Logo_Rank-14_JPG-600.jpgThe 2013 Winter MBA Rankings, released by the International Graduate Forum (IGF) and published in the January 2014 CEO Magazine, examine the worth and effectiveness of MBA programs to potential students by evaluating factors including faculty quality, student-to-faculty ratio, diversity, student work experience, cost, accreditation and class size.
JU’s Executive MBA degree program is also rated as a Tier One program worldwide.
 
“Year on year, Jacksonville University scores consistently high in both our MBA and EMBA rankings,” said Alexandra Skinner, CEO Magazine Group Editor-in-Chief. “They have become known for not only their highly qualified faculty (85 percent hold Ph.D.s and 78 percent have ‘real-world’ business experience), but also for offering a wide range of flexible programs designed to meet the varying demands of the executive education market. Their dedication to quality has truly paid off, and this year they entered our Global Top 20 Table at No. 14 -- an amazing achievement highlighting their commitment to providing high-quality programs, delivered by exceptional faculty at affordable prices.”
 
The IGF rankings examine business schools accredited by the international Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. JU’s Davis College of Business (DCOB) received AACSB accreditation in 2010, an honor earned by less than five percent of the world's business schools.DCOB1 SMALL.jpg

 “What is most powerful about being ranked 14th in the world is that one of the main criteria for the CEO Magazine survey is value for the tuition dollar,” said JU Business Dean Dr. Don Capener. “With tuition of $660 per credit hour, JU’s value made it stand out among the finest business schools. The vast majority of our business students graduate with less than $10,000 of debt, and the entire JU MBA program, including fees and books, is less than $26,000. That compares to up to $60,000 for our major competitors, and more than $100,000 for most AACSB-level institutions.”
JU achieved distinction with its competitive tuition rate, student diversity (65 percent white/35 percent non-white), gender breakdown (58 percent female/42 percent male), attractive average class size (17 students) and number of faculty with terminal degrees (41).
“Our strong international ranking in this close-to-market program is another major victory that speaks to the remarkable quality of our students, faculty and programs,” said JU President Tim Cost. “This is recognition that our standards dramatically increase the chances of a JU student landing an excellent job and enjoying outstanding career success.”
 
Another big win for JU graduate business students: More than 60 percent are supported by their sponsoring companies.
 
“They recognize what a great value and career enhancer the JU MBA program is for their employees,” Capener said. “We emphasis the whole student, balancing people and management skills with business-specific skills such as the rising use of Big Data and analytics in making effective decisions.”
In recent coverage of JU’s MBA program, CEO Magazine quotes several JU MBA graduates, including Bob Brigham, chief administrative officer of Mayo Clinic in Florida.
“The business tools I learned to use in the MBA program served me well,” he told the magazine. “The skills I received at JU were relevant to the operational challenges I face in healthcare. The leadership coaching and analytical skills I gained in the MBA program helped me to make better business decisions and improve my ability to lead by example.”
For more about the Davis College of Business, visit www.ju.edu/dcob.
 
Media contact: Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, pmilano@ju.edu, (904) 256-7042.
 
About the JU Davis College of Business
The JU Davis College of Business’ accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) represents the world’s highest standard of achievement for business schools. No other private business school in North Florida or South Georgia has the AACSB accreditation. Fewer than 5 percent of MBA graduates come from this top tier. Its MBA program is rated a Tier One program and ranked No. 14 globally by the prestigious International Graduate Forum. JU offers an Accelerated MBA, FLEX MBA, Executive MBA and joint JD/MBA and MSN/MBA degrees. Nearly 100 percent of Davis graduate students complete their degrees, and 80 percent continue on with their Florida-based employers after graduation. More than 50 percent are sponsored and financially supported by their employer in their graduate studies. Jacksonville University will begin a Doctorate in Business Administration in fall 2014. JU has one of the largest MBA programs in the region, and has graduated more than 2,000 students. Its MBA graduates have an overall Mean Base Salary of $62,600, a Financial Services Sector Mean Base Salary of $85,250 and a Southern Region Mean Base Salary of $70,856. JU is a 100 percent-match Yellow Ribbon school. Between JU and the VA, the full cost of tuition is covered for all JU degree programs except Aviation and Orthodontics.
 
Jacksonville University gains 10-year re-accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Jacksonville University has been re-accredited in good standing for the next decade by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, further solidifying its top-tier status among private Southeast universities.

The rigorous assessment involved extensive work by administrative officers, faculty, students, Trustees and staff, and included comprehensive reaffirmation research and reporting, off-site reviews, on-site visits and a final review and acceptance by the Commission on Colleges of SACS.
ju-seal-logo color.jpg“This is a demanding exercise that brings important validation of our mission and values, and I’m very proud of the vast increase in quality of the University determined by the experts at SACS during this multi-year process,” said JU President Tim Cost.
The decision means the Southeast’s most prominent quality-assurance body has sanctioned JU to continue awarding bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, after JU again proved the worth of its educational mission, integrity of its academic programs and effectiveness, strength of faculty, depth of student support and health of its finances.
Under President Cost’s leadership, there has been a sharp focus on students and their outcomes, as well as a priority on high-performing faculty and programs at JU, whose student body now exceeds 4,000, its largest in many years.
Among important developments in recent months, JU gained a top 1% rank among all Florida colleges for “Return on Investment” for its graduates, made a 10th straight appearance as one of “America’s Best Colleges,” won more than $1.2 million in Nursing and other research grants and broke ground on its new College of Health Sciences building. In addition, the JU Public Policy Institute hosted the region’s premier Healthcare Policy Conference, the first undergraduate classes in Speech-Language Pathology began, and a new floating dock was installed at the JU Marine Science Research Institute for its innovative, state-of-the-art floating classroom.
“These positive steps are all about improving the social, cultural and learning experience for our students and faculty, and much more is to come. We are becoming a better University,” Cost said.

JU Math Prof. Pam Crawford directed the Reaffirmation Report efforts, with assistance from Dr. Bill Crosby, JU Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Karen Jackson, Chair of JU’s Quality Enhancement Plan; and many other faculty, students and staff.
“I’m very pleased that all of the hard work has paid off,” Crawford said. “This is a helpful self-evaluation, and at the end of it we come out a better institution.”
Crosby also praised the efforts of those involved in the reaffirmation process.
 
“This indicates that JU continues to have excellent programs and remains in compliance,” he said. “It’s a strong measure of our quality.”
 
Media contact: Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, pmilano@ju.edu, (904) 256-7042.
About Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,000 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its nearly 200-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. It has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 10 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 190 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing and orthodontics. JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

 

Help yourself by helping others, Dr. Tracy Connors tells JU graduates at Fall 2013 Commencement

​​You can help contribute to your own success by making sure you find a way to help others reach their dreams.

That was some of the main advice keynote speaker Dr. Tracy Connors offered Saturday, Dec. 14, as Jacksonville University bestowed degrees on nearly 400 graduates, one of its largest Fall Commencement classes ever. (See a Facebook photo gallery at http://ow.ly/rLL3Q)JUF13CommenceSMALL06.JPG

“One of your challenges – and I dare say responsibilities, as you transition to JU Alumni – is to help sustain the JU legacy, and to find your own personal way to help ensure that those who come after you can also fulfill their dreams,” said Connors, a retired Navy captain who accepted two honorary degrees Saturday.
 
JUF13CommenceSMALL20.JPGHis fresh approach to the lively address used a healthy dose of advice the graduates themselves offered in a recent online survey about their most memorable JU experiences.
 
The University awarded 80 master’s degrees, including 41 MBAs and 32 MSNs on Saturday. The most degrees among the 308 bachelors offered were in Nursing, at 182, followed by Bachelors of Science, 68, and Business Administration, 33. Graduates hailed from 35 states and six foreign countries. The most popular majors were Nursing, followed by Graduate Business (MBA) and Social Science.
 
Thirty-eight bachelor students graduated with Latin honors, which are awarded to students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 with 60 graded credits at JU.
 
The Fred B. Noble Award for outstanding scholarship was given to Sarah Mecklenburg, originally from Germany; Matthew D. Smith of Warren, Ohio; and Zachary Taylor Greenwald of Palm Coast. The award, given to the graduating seniors with the highest grade point average, is named for the late Fred B. Noble, who earned a JU bachelor’s degree at age 91 and was a founder of the University. All three of this year’s winners maintained 4.0 grade point averages.
 
Saturday’s event on the JU Science Green marked the first Fall Commencement presided over by JU President Tim Cost, who began his tenure in February of this year. He welcomed the graduates into the JU alumni family.
 
Cost’s tenure has been marked by rapid improvements in facilities and programs. In just the last semester, JU welcomed its largest student body in many years (more than 4,000); continued work on its new College of Health Sciences building; opened a completely overhauled Riverview Café, received more than $1.2 million in research grants for its College of Health Sciences; made a 10th straight appearance as one of “America’s Best Colleges”; ranked in the top one percent among all Florida colleges for “Return on Investment” for graduates; completed a Student Veterans study center; and began work on a $1 million re-imagining of its River House as a campus gathering spot.JUF13CommenceSMALL1.JPG

“To our graduates, I offer my warmest congratulations and all the respect due you,” he said. “You have excelled, made us proud, and we will gladly be linked together … forever.”
 
Dr. Connors, who attended JU from 1957 to 1959 and now has a Ph.D. in Human Services Management from Capella University, is one of JU’s most decorated military alumni, an award-winning author and a thought leader in philanthropy.
 
JUF13CommenceSMALL13.JPGThough he completed the requirements for an associate’s degree from JU, he did not apply for it after leaving, and did not receive it. The degree is no longer offered at JU. On Saturday, he was awarded an honorary degree of Associate of Arts, along with an Honorary Doctorate in Leadership Excellence.
 
In his keynote, Dr. Connors drew from many of the online survey comments offered by Saturday’s JU graduates themselves.
 
“Your responses were impressively thoughtful, and in many cases, profound,” he said. “I was hoping to learn what you considered to be of major importance as you completed your studies, become proud Alumni and move forward with your lives and careers. It may be the first time in our school’s distinguished history that the members of a graduating class contributed to their own Commencement Address.”
 
Some of the Fall 2013 JU graduate comments Dr. Connors presented included:
 
• “Always believe that you are capable of meeting your chosen goal. Surround yourself with positive people who will offer encouragement and support during the times that seem overwhelming,” said Mary LePiere, RN BSN.
• “Just because the source has all the credentials to be telling you the truth, doesn't mean it is the truth,” said Benjamin Hayes, Finance and Accounting, who added that his “A-ha” moment at JU was when he concluded “integrity will get you so much farther with a B than when you sacrifice it for an A.”
• “It is never too late to chase after your dreams. Go do it now -- or you’ll be working for someone one day -- who did,” said ,” Abi Paraon , BSN (Nursing).
• “Getting to know and befriending many of the faculty and staff, who surprisingly reciprocated” was the most valuable takeaway for Joshua Lambert, Sports Management. “I gained insight on various subjects from different perspectives, outside of the classroom setting – along with the occasional arguments about sports.”JUF13CommenceSMALL07.JPG

• “You must remain committed to your goals to be successful, regardless of what happens. The process of obtaining my MBA has not been easy, but I remembered my long-term goal,” said MBA graduate Jenna Aihie.
 
Dr. Connors concluded by marveling at how the campus of his younger days, with its open fields and dusty parking lots, had grown so vast, with so many new facilities and academic programs.
 
“As for your home at JU, when you return, what will it look like in the future?” he asked the graduates. “While many of the buildings on this most beautiful of campuses will look the same, its core values of excellence in learning will in fact be deeper. Its programs and resources will be even more relevant and customer-focused.
 
“You see, JU is going where you go. It will be there when and where you need something or someone from ‘home’ to help you advance your plans and make your dreams come true.” 
Top names discuss exchanges, Medicaid expansion and ‘Florida Solution’ at JU PPI Healthcare conference

​​By Phillip Milano

Healthcare exchanges, spiraling costs and covering 3.8 million uninsured in Florida were key topics as top names in healthcare, business and government discussed the Affordable Care Act and proposed Medicaid expansion at the JU Public Policy Institute’s Healthcare Policy Conference Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The timely daylong event, one of the premier forums on healthcare in Florida this year, brought together the Speaker of the Florida House; President of the Florida Senate; nationally renowned healthcare policy experts from Washington, D.C.; and CEOs of hospitals, the insurance industry and business.

JU PPI HC Conference4.jpgThe group presented varying viewpoints, pored over data, summarized studies and debated policy differences before an audience of more than 200  at Jacksonville University’s Terry Concert Hall.
 
“This is an extraordinary program, and I’m proud of this Institute,” said Steven T. Halverson, CEO of The Haskell Co., who wrapped up the conference with a bold challenge for Florida to find a way to use $51 billion in federal aid to help cover the uninsured in Florida. “We have the ideas and the imagination to solve this crisis. Do we have the resolve? What we’ve seen today is that JU is as good a place as any to start the conversation.”
 
The conference was organized and moderated by JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney, whose goal for the event was to help “inform, educate and shape healthcare policy in Florida.”
“I hope today is an impetus for a Florida solution to expanding coverage for the uninsured in Florida and helping build consensus on healthcare policy issues,” he said.
 
JU President Tim Cost welcomed the participants and guests, noting the University’s commitment to advancing quality health care with its programs and new facilities.
 
“We are investing in the future, with our new College of Health Sciences building as an example … we know that health care in the 21st century is one of the most critically important things we can be discussing,” he said.
 
The mood during the day shifted from somber to reflective to humorous and back, as presenters offered insights and original research into the challenges that lie ahead for Florida and the nation to offer quality health care to citizens.
 
Among the highlights:
 
JU alumnus Will Weatherford, Republican Speaker of the Florida House, who played a lead role in opposing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion in Florida, repeated earlier media statements about his frustration with lack of coverage for Sunshine State residents and problems with Medicaid. It’s estimated nearly four million Floridians, or a fifth of the population, are without insurance.JU PPI HC Conference3.jpg

“I’m not proud that we have so many uninsured,” he said. “And our party hasn’t done a good job nationally of offering alternatives to the Affordable Care Act. But we need a plan … that doesn’t treat the poorest among our citizens differently. We can’t allow the ‘kinda’ poor to be able to pick their own insurance, but the ‘really’ poor to only be allowed Medicaid. That’s creating two Americas, and that’s not fair.”
 
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz agreed with Weatherford that trusting the federal government to continue for years to pay a sizable portion of the costs for expanding Medicaid in the state was a risky proposition.
 
He called Medicaid’s growth “metastatic,” rising from a cost of $14 billion a decade ago to $23 billion this year, or 31 percent of the entire state budget.
 
“Where is this money going to come from? Every three of you out there will be paying for your own costs, plus one person who is on expanded Obamacare. … I predict the ACA will falter and fail to keep its promises, and will have to be redesigned.”
 
In response to a question from Mullaney on obtaining greater federal government flexibility for Florida and a potential “block grant” or reform approach to Medicaid expansion, both Weatherford and Gaetz said they were open to a “Florida Solution” to expanding coverage for Florida’s uninsured and using the $51 billion in federal funding.
 
Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty addressed media attention over his company’s recent notices sent to 300,000 customers that their insurance plans would be cancelled in January. He stated that Florida Blue had only complied with ACA mandates regarding minimum plan coverage, and that the insurer was working to transition people to more robust plans that meet ACA rules and that may allow them to receive federal subsidies.
 
He also argued that the state should “not leave 50 billion in federal dollars for Medicaid expansion on the sidelines.”
 
“We must work to change the system, take the funds, create goals and move from a fee-for-service system to a value-based payment system,” he said.
 
JU PPI HC Conference2.jpgFord Koles, Executive Director of The Advisory Board Co., prompted laughter with his opening screenshot of the healthcare.gov website and its message, “The system is down at the moment.”
 
“This [ACA problems] has been a failure of execution,” he told the audience. “The biggest issue in Florida is the assumption of unending profitability of providers. Sustainable volume has never come back from the beginnings of the downturn in 2007. … Meanwhile, more patients are choosing high-deductible plans … so they have more skin in the game and are price-conscious.”
 
Joe Antos, a leading healthcare scholar with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., addressed the state and federal exchanges, as well as the need to reform Medicaid, with or without expansion.
 
Halverson, meanwhile, said healthcare in the U.S. was a “profoundly broken” system, consuming nearly 18 percent of U.S. GDP, with costs soaring, little accountability for outcomes, overregulated providers, physicians unprotected and no end in sight.
 
However, he said, leaving millions uninsured in Florida, who then use emergency rooms for essentially universal free care, creates a $1,000-per-family “hidden tax” when providers are uncompensated for care they deliver.
 
“We have $51 billion in accessible funds to apply to the problem,” he said. “We need a complete rewrite of health care delivery in Florida. There is opportunity in crisis. I believe this White House needs a win and will be open to intelligent, thoughtful and different ideas. We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to try. … You need a confluence of disruption to make real change. The ACA has disrupted a system that needed disruption.”
 
Other speakers and panelists at the event included Russ Armistead, CEO, UF Health; Moody Chisholm, CEO, St. Vincent’s HealthCare; Hugh Greene, CEO, Baptist Health; Jim O’Loughlin, CEO, Memorial Hospital; Dr. William Rupp, CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida; and Dawn Emerick, CEO, Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida.
 
For a comprehensive look at event speaker biographies and the material they presented at the conference, visit http://www.ju.edu/PPI/Pages/HPC-Materials.aspx. For more about the JU Public Policy Institute overall, visit http://www.ju.edu/PPI.
 
Media contacts: Rick Mullaney Director JU PPI, (904) 955-1857; Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, (904) 256-7042, pmilano@ju.edu. 
Grymes, Kampfe receive JU’s top alumni awards during 2013 Homecoming

Jacksonville University’s most prestigious 2013 alumni awards were presented to Warren Grymes and Matthew Kampfe by JU President Tim Cost on Friday, Oct. 25, at the President’s Homecoming Reception on Dolphin Green. The two were also honored during halftime of the Dolphins football game against Davidson the next day.

warrengrymes1.jpgGrymes, a 1972 JU graduate with an impressive professional, community and JU volunteer record, received JU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Among his many accomplishments, he helped bring Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida to top-tier national status as its CEO, has served on 15 non-profit boards and was a two-term President of the Jacksonville University Council.

Kampfe, a 2006 and 2008 JU graduate who co-created and chaired Connect Florida, is JU’s Scott Amos Recent Alumni of Distinction. His volunteerism includes serving as a Davis College of Business Executive Advisory Board member, as a mayor-appointed Jacksonville  Housing Authority member, and in various Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce leadership posts.

The Distinguished Alumni and Scott Amos Recent Alumni of Distinction awards are given to JU graduates demonstrating significant professional accomplishments, community and philanthropic efforts and continued support of JU.

“We are excited to honor two individuals who represent the type of excellence Jacksonville University has worked hard to nurture, both historically and today,” Cost said. “Warren Grymes’ professional, community and military records are outstanding, and Matthew Kampfe’s inspirational leadership in civic and business affairs is a testament to his commitment to giving back."judistalumni2013.jpg

Grymes, who received a bachelor’s degree in history from JU, began his career at Delta Airlines, and also worked for Avondale Travel, Akra Travel and Chef's Market, which he grew to become significantly larger enterprises. At Big Brothers Big Sisters, which he took over in 2004 when the non-profit was struggling, he grew the chapter into one of the top 30 in the nation out of a network of 350. He has quadrupled the number of children served by the agency.
 
In addition to those achievements, Grymes served for six years in the Naval Reserves.
 
He has served as president of the Rotary Club of Arlington, was actively involved in bringing an NFL franchise to Jacksonville and serves on the leadership team of Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's Mayor’s Mentors.
 
For JU, among his many volunteer activities, he has served as a two-term president of the Jacksonville University Council, on the Alumni Board of Governors and on the executive committees of the JU Athletic Boosters and JU Basketball Tipoff Club.
Warren and his wife, Cheryl, have two sons -- both serving in the Army, and he has four step-daughters and two grandsons. Son Warren Grymes III graduated from JU in 1999.
 
“Receiving this award is a pinnacle for me,” he said. “In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d gain consideration for it, let alone receive it. It’s pretty heady stuff,” he said. “JU to a large degree was a game-changer for my life. It helped create the platform for my career. In fact, the only time I ever saw my dad cry was the day I came to his house after I finished my final JU classes in December 1971 and said, ‘Pop, we did it.’
 
“Now, to go back there regularly and see the growth, it’s amazing. I love what’s happening to campus. It’s being transformed.”
 
matthewkampfe.jpgKampfe, meanwhile, said he entered college as a student-athlete with the dreamy notion of someday earning paychecks playing football or basketball for a living. While he still wonders what might have been had he concentrated on one sport at JU, Kampfe said his experiences working with other student leaders helped him develop skills as a solution-oriented problem-solver.
 
“At JU, I began to find myself,” he said.  “One of the great things about JU is that you get a tremendous number of opportunities to get involved. I took full advantage of the opportunities, and it changed my life.
“As I began to have successes, I began to develop a set of skills and attributes, and I was able to identify what I was good at and where I could improve.”
 
Kampfe, a Portland, Ore., native, received bachelor’s degrees in business administration and physical education-sports administration, and obtained a master of business administration degree while working as assistant director of admissions and athletics liaison at JU. He then served as JU’s alumni relations director from 2009 to 2011, and was Baptist Health’s development director from 2011 to 2013.
 
Kampfe returned with his wife, Whitney, and two children to Portland this year to become finance and business development director for his family’s business, Kampfe Management Services, which specializes in brain injury rehabilitation programming.
Kampfe says one of his most fulfilling, ongoing relationships is as an unofficial mentor to a teenager from his family’s Jacksonville neighborhood.
 
“I don’t believe you have to be a part of a nonprofit or a school or some other formal entity in order to do good,” he said. “Our actions and our behaviors are a direct reflection of what’s going on inside us. I believe where there’s good inside, good will come out.”
 
Kampfe said he is particularly humbled to receive the award honoring Scott Amos, a 2001 and 2002 JU alumnus who served as a student senator, student government vice president, Sigma Nu Fraternity president and commander, and was a Green Key Honorary Leadership Society member. Amos died in 2006 at age 26.
 
“This award is a tremendous honor because of what a great person Scott was,” Kampfe said.
 
More information: Phillip J. Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, (904) 256-7042, pmilano@ju.edu. 
​JU PPI plays unique role on issues crucial to Florida’s future, state Speaker Will Weatherford says

By Taylor Agnew
Jacksonville University

Florida can create a “pocket of prosperity” for its residents by addressing issues such as education and poverty, and Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute is playing a unique role in shaping dialogue on those very issues, according to Florida’s Speaker of the House.
JU PPI Weatherford SMALL3.JPG“What you are doing with this institute is a niche, and frankly it’s shocking that the State of Florida has never done this before,” JU graduate Will Weatherford told the JU PPI board on Thursday, Oct. 17. “This institute has an opportunity to talk about issues that will make us shine brighter.”
Weatherford was on campus to speak with the board and learn more about the JU PPI, which now offers the first Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree and MPP dual-degree programs in Florida. The institute’s first students, who began their coursework in the two-year program this fall, were on hand for his remarks.
JU President Tim Cost praised the PPI and its students for a commitment to public policy and bettering Florida’s future.
“This is not only exciting for the University, this is the kind of education that has to take place for the next generation of elected officials,” he said.JU PPI Weatherford SMALL5.JPG
Rick Mullaney, founding director of the institute, addressed the audience as well, updating the board on the swiftness with which the JU PPI received full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its signature degree program and all three of its dual-degree programs.
“Part of the core mission of the institute is to help prepare new leaders and equip them with the academic skills, substantive knowledge and communication skills to really be leaders in the future,” he said at a reception before the meeting.
For his part, Weatherford praised JU overall for the role it played in his career.  Weatherford, a 2002 graduate, said he opted to run for student government to become involved on campus beyond football. 
“That set off a trigger of investment of my time and efforts into public service that I never thought would lead to where it has,” he said. “Jacksonville University built an environment and culture that allowed me to do that. If it had not been for JU, I can assure you that I would not be in public service.”
JU PPI Weatherford SMALL8.JPGSince his time at JU, he’s been focused in Tallahassee on issues facing Florida. Weatherford listed some of those challenges:
• The state must “continue to invest in innovation in our education system,” he said. By nurturing talented people, the chances for a stronger school system and economy will improve.
• Jacksonville must take its pension problem seriously. It has “one of the worst [pension challenges] in America for a city this size.”
• Healthcare is also a problem because of a gap in coverage for people who are not poor enough for Medicaid but who don’t earn enough for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Weatherford noted he was “not proud of the fact the state of Florida has one the highest uninsured rates.”

 Mullaney wrapped up the meeting by discussing three new developments in community outreach for the JU PPI:
• The JU PPI Healthcare Policy Conference Nov. 13 on campus is designed to be the premier healthcare policy conference in Florida. The topic will be the ACA in Florida, with a focus on state exchanges and proposed Medicaid expansion.
• The Notre Dame Club of Greater Jacksonville-JU Public Policy Institute Hesburgh Lecture Nov. 21 will focus on the U.S. debt crisis and what it means to the future of the economy.
• “Policy Matters,” a new quarterly public policy show on WJCT-FM 89.9 radio, with Mullaney as host, informs and educates listeners on public policy matters. Local, state and federal policymakers discuss a variety of public policy matters, including healthcare, education, downtown, jobs, taxes, the port, and budget and financial policy. The next show airs at 9 a.m. Nov. 20.

For more information on the JU PPI or to apply, visit www.ju.edu/ppi.

​JU mourns loss of former president Robert Spiro; instrumental in creating Florida’s first Naval ROTC program

Web- 1. Dr. Robert Spiro, 196411.jpegDr. Robert H. “Bob” Spiro Jr., who served from 1964 to 1979 as Jacksonville University’s president, and was a U.S. Navy Reserve rear admiral and Undersecretary of the Army, died Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Charlotte, N.C. He was 92.

As the University’s longest-serving president, Dr. Spiro had an enduring impact on campus – and was a U.S. patriot, as well, said JU President Tim Cost.

“Jacksonville University has lost one of its most instrumental and patriotic leaders; under Dr. Spiro’s 15 years of leadership, JU experienced growth in stature, facilities and enhancements in all areas of campus life,” Cost said. “Admiral Spiro also served our country for nearly four decades in the U.S. Navy and as Undersecretary of the Army, and created Florida’s first Naval ROTC program here at JU.

“We are honored to have graduated more than 1,250 officers who went on to become military leaders in both our Navy and Marine Corps, and will forever be beholden to Dr. Spiro’s contributions to JU and to our country.”

Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, who succeeded Dr. Spiro as JU president and now is the University’s chancellor emeritus, says she was impressed by Dr. Spiro’s leadership, faculty support, and “how he became part of the JU community."

Dr. Spiro chaired Jacksonville's Sesquicentennial celebration in 1972 and was instrumental in selecting the campus' "Jacksonville Sesquicentennial Oak," which symbolically links the University and community.

(Dr. Spiro) will be remembered for the continuity he provided when we were a young university, and for the stability he lent to JU over the course of his entire tenure,” Dr. Kinne said.

Dr. Spiro’s daughter, Jacksonville resident Elizabeth Spiro, said her father – who was JU’s president in 1970 when Artis Gilmore led the basketball team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball championship game – was a loving man with a special place in his heart for JU.

“For many years, the only watch my father had and wore was his NCAA watch, from the Artis Gilmore era,” she said. “It reminded him of those times and of JU. It showed his love for the school …

“One of the things that I admired most about Dad was his dedication to JU and Jacksonville, to making his university the best it could be, and his city better. Also, his and my mother's deep faith was a guiding factor in my life. Dad was a remarkable man.”

Web- 1. Dr. Robert Spiro, 196412.jpegBorn on Dec. 5, 1920, in Asheville, N.C., Dr. Spiro enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December 1941 at the age of 19. He served as a supply officer and took part in eight major combat campaigns on the Pacific Ocean through the end of World War II. He then entered the Naval Reserve, retiring as a rear admiral in 1979.

As he traveled the world with the Navy, Dr. Spiro focused on academia. With bachelor degrees from Wheaton (Ill.) College and post-graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina, University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Duke University in Durham, N.C., Dr. Spiro taught history at King College in Bristol, Tenn., and at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.

He served as president of Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, N.C., in 1960, and as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of history at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., from 1960 until accepting the JU leadership post in 1964.

In speeches and interviews, Dr. Spiro said his most prideful accomplishment at JU was starting a Naval ROTC program in 1971, during an era when anti-war sentiment was prevalent. Today, the JU Naval ROTC program is the second-largest in the United States.

“We needed to grow our enrollment and Navy midshipmen were, and are, among the best students at any university …” Dr. Spiro recalled in a 2010 speech at JU. “(Then-Navy Secretary) John Warner … said to me, ‘Bob, do you mean that Jacksonville University actually wants an ROTC? Some ROTCs are under attack ... I firmly replied, ‘Aye, aye, sir.’”

Capt. Herbert M. Hadley, JU’s current Naval ROTC commander, said Dr. Spiro was abundantly supportive of the campus’ military program from the time he left JU until his death. Hadley said Dr. Spiro telephoned him a week before his death to “see how the program is going and to keep in touch, which he liked to do.”

“He was extremely proud of the unit and proud of the fact that he had an instrumental part in starting the (ROTC) unit,” Hadley said. “He talked a lot about how when other universities did not want a unit, Jacksonville University embraced the unit.”

Web- 1. Dr. Robert Spiro, 196413.jpg
In 2010, JU dedicated the Admiral Robert H. Spiro NROTC Training Center, which includes an obstacle course and gazebo.
Spiro also established an NROTC scholarship endowment for students exhibiting qualities of high character and academic ability.

“Dr. Spiro embraced the ROTC unit and the ROTC unit embraced the university,” Hadley said. “The award is presented to a student who embodies what (Dr. Spiro) was all about.”

With Dr. Spiro at the helm, JU expanded in number of faculty members, buildings, programs and library book volumes. The Howard Administration and Gooding Building were constructed; the Friends of the JU Library was established; JU’s beneficiary honor society, Order of the Dolphin, was established; and JU adopted Marineland’s Nellie the dolphin as its mascot in 1970. Today, Nellie is the oldest dolphin in human care and the oldest living college mascot in the U.S.

Dr. Quinton White, JU’s Marine Science Research Institute director, said that Spiro helped bring marine science classes to campus and has remained the program’s largest benefactor since leaving the University.

“He also helped JU weather a bit of a storm, because he was president when (the University of North Florida) started, and there was some retrenchment at JU with the new competition, and some enrollment challenges. But he helped us get through it,” White said.

White’s wife, 1978 JU biology graduate Susan (Hite) White, fondly recalls Dr. Spiro’s speech to her 1975 (Jacksonville) Lee High School graduating class.

Web- 1. Dr. Robert Spiro, 196414.jpg“I remember his topic: ‘And then some.’ He spoke at length to the graduates about meeting the main requirements in life ‘and then some’ as they went out into the world,” Susan White said. “He pointed to me and the two other valedictorians on stage and said we were examples of people who had met all requirements ‘and then some.’

Spiro served as President Jimmy Carter’s Undersecretary of the Army appointee from 1980-81, and later undertook various business, academic, governmental and charitable endeavors. Among them, he was National Security Caucus Foundation president, American Security Council chairman, Reserve Officer’s Association national executive director, and University of Edinburgh USA Development Trust president.

In addition to his daughter, Dr. Spiro is survived by his wife, Juanita T. Henderson, of Charlotte; his sons, Dr. Robert T. Spiro of Silverdale, Wash., and James M. Spiro of Sylva, N.C.; sister, Sarah Scott of Bristol, Tenn.; and his eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Suenell Spiro; and sister, Margaret Norwood.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the chapel of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service in Charlotte. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be in Dr. Spiro’s honor made to the American Security Council Foundation, 1250 24th St. N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20037; or The Admiral Robert H. Spiro NROTC Award Endowment, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32211.

Mayor Alvin Brown announces JU’s Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette as new Jacksonville Education Commissioner

Selecting an award-winning communicator and educator to provide a seamless transition in the city’s efforts to improve its schools, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown announced Tuesday, Sept. 3, that Jacksonville University Professor of Communications Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette will be his next Education Commissioner.willette educ comm.jpg

Dr. Kent-Willette will serve on-loan from JU for a term of two years, advocating for top-tier education and schools for the city. She succeeds Dr. Donnie Horner, JU management professor and now the University’s Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer.

“As a parent, accomplished professional and educator, Dr. Kent-Willette brings passion and insight into this important role to build partnerships and advocate for quality education throughout Jacksonville,” Brown said. “We’ve already made great progress with efforts to build mentorship, expose more young people to the possibility of college and promote financial literacy for all ages. We must continue to intensify our focus and work together. The Education Commissioner plays a key role.”

The Education Commissioner advocates for education in the community, with a focus on K-12. Special emphasis is placed on improving schools by engaging with all partners having a stake in education in the community, including individuals, the public and private sectors, non-profits, foundations, philanthropists and community activists.

"I welcome the chance to represent JU, work with Mayor Brown and continue the great work of Dr. Horner as I advocate for quality education in our city,” Dr. Kent-Willette said. “As an educator, I believe we all must work together so students have extraordinary opportunities for educational success. I thank President Cost for his support and commitment to the greater Jacksonville community."

willette educ comm1.jpgDr. Kent-Willette, a JU professor since 2001 who received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of North Florida, has a strong commitment to education and scholarship. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in communications from the University of South Florida. Dr. Kent-Willette, a native of Baltimore, brings senior-level, award-winning media and communications skills to her new role with the city. She has successfully developed and managed strategic communications, public image campaigns and community partnerships, and has a strong background in qualitative research.

A former television journalist, Dr. Kent-Willette teaches a variety of communications and service-learning classes domestically and internationally. She was selected as a First Coast Scholar to teach seminars to K-12 teachers and academic coaches at the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership in Duval County. Dr. Kent-Willette has been honored for outstanding service to the community, was selected as the 2008 Jacksonville University Woman of the Year, serves as the higher education representative to the board of the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, and has been an active leader in JU's shared governance.

“We at Jacksonville University are pleased to once again provide a highly skilled, passionate advocate for education to our city,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Dr. Kent-Willette will bring her high energy, leadership and vision to this very important position for our schools and residents.”
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Accomplishments as part of Mayor Brown's education initiatives during Dr. Horner's tenure include:
·         Establishing the Learn2Earn summer program through private funding to immerse well over 200 high school students in the college experience.
·         Initiating College Student Aid Workshops to help aspiring college students receive financial aid.
·         Starting the Mayor's Mentors program with nonprofits to pair more than 600 new mentors with students in Duval County Public Schools.
·         Preserving middle school football from funding cuts and organizing efforts to raise more than $200,000 in private funds to save JROTC programs in four local high schools.

The Education Commissioner reports directly to Mayor Brown and acts as his senior policy advisor for all matters pertaining to education. The Office of the Education Commissioner operates at no cost to the taxpayers of Duval County.Dr. Horner’s term began July 8, 2011, serving on-loan at the cost of a ceremonial $1 from Jacksonville University in an agreement between the city and JU.

Contact: Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, (904) 256-7042, pmilano@ju.edu, or Lauren Bankert, Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, (904) 630-3463, LBankert@coj.net.

 

 

Incoming JU students told of their ‘powerful purpose’ as they begin their college careers

By Phillip Milano

​Life is not about waiting around for what may come your way.
 
Your future won’t be better than your present, unless you use your present as a stepping stone to that future.
 
You have the power right now to change the entire direction of what will one day be your future.chunia graves.jpg

Those were just some of the nuggets of advice offered by Jacksonville University junior and athlete Chunia Graves, the keynote speaker for the Jacksonville University Class of 2017 Matriculation on Friday, Aug. 23.

“From now on, every ‘now’ is important to you,” she told the incoming freshmen before her, who make up an incoming class of nearly 900 this school year. “Every hard-working person in the present will serve a powerful purpose in the future. But you must serve as your own driving force for each and every one of your goals.”

Graves’ stirring words in Swisher Gymnasium come at a time when JU’s enrollment and quality of students are both improving, and when much is being done on campus to create the best student experience possible. That includes a remodeled Riverview Café, a new Chick-fil-A eatery, more wireless locations, new Welcome Center in Williams Hall on South Campus and expanded parking. A completely overhauled River House gathering spot is slated for completion this school year.
 
Matriculation2013-Resized68.jpgJU President Tim Cost welcomed the students and took time to point out the rich and varied makeup of the incoming class: Students come from 35 different states and as far away as Jamaica, Nigeria, China, India, Bolivia and Zimbabwe; there are five First Coast valedictorians, the most in recent history; included in their ranks are Eagle Scouts, an American Legion Scholastic Medal Winner and a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; some of the students graduated from high school this year and already have their Associates of Science degrees; one student won a national title for baton twirling; and many students have done volunteer and service work for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Houston Healthcare, Eagle Mount and Mission Flight United.
 
“We speak many languages, and are from different countries, but today, we all become one family,” Cost said. “You are all excellent, and I know you will do well here at JU.”

Cost introduced “JU living legend” Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, former president and chancellor emeritus, who came to JU in 1958. She told the students how thrilled she was at the progress occurring at the University.

“We have this great faculty here for you, and you need to become acquainted with them,” she said. “You are in a tremendous safe haven for learning, and many exciting things are going to happen for you.”Matriculation2013-Resized14.jpg

JU Chief Academic Officer Dr. Bill Crosby focused on the freedom and independence the new students now enjoy – and the personal responsibility as well.

“Be prepared. Turn in your assignments. Take part in discussions. I challenge you to maintain the highest level of ethics and integrity, because once you lose people’s trust, it is hard to regain,” he said. “I also urge you to get to know your faculty, get involved and make friends. You must take the initiative and accept invitations, or you will feel left out. Dream big dreams and set lofty goals.”

Charlot Wedge, JU Director of Academic Engagement, came armed with eye-opening data to give the students an idea of just how fortunate they are to be pursuing a higher-education degree. For example, she said, only 6.7 percent of the world’s population has a college degree; the U.S. unemployment rate for high school graduates is 8.3 percent, compared to 4.5 percent for college grads; and college-educated adults earn as much as $1 million more over their careers than non-college educated adults.

“So, don’t give up on yourselves, because we won’t give up on you,” she said.
Parents in the audience said they were grateful for the friendly reception given their students on campus.

Luis Quintero, of Miami, whose son Ryan, 19, is transferring in as a sophomore and is a JU Dolphins pitcher, said he was impressed with how faculty and staff had created a warm environment.

“You’ve got all the resources here on campus, but yet it’s not so large. It seems like a place where you can meet fellow students. I’ve told Ryan to get involved, to make sure to attend his fellow athletes’ games, like lacrosse and football.”

For her part, Graves said afterward that she was nervous to speak in front of the large crowd, but that she felt compelled to let the new students know they can do anything if they put their minds to it.
“I feel my purpose in life is to bring people together,” she said, walking toward the Kinne University Center. “In fact, if the last thing I ever did was to help bring JU together as a community, then I would have lived an amazing life. And I’d just be chillin’ in heaven.”
Jacksonville Chamber members take in the exciting view of JU progress during “#ilovejax” tour

Dozens of dignitaries, business people and residents got an eyeful and earful of the progress sweeping across Jacksonville University’s campus on Wednesday, Aug. 14, as the University hosted an #ilovejax Chamber of Commerce tour.

JU ILOVEJAX CHAMBER TOUR04.jpg“This is a town of unusual goodwill toward Jacksonville University,” JU President Tim Cost told visitors at a reception before the tour at the Davis College of Business. “We know that when we represent JU, we are representing something very special. We now have an opportunity to connect with the chamber and the business community in a strong way.”

Welcomed by Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce President Daniel Davis and JU Board of Trustees Chair Fred Pruitt, the audience was turned loose across campus on golf carts — but not before Cost asked them to “open your minds and hearts to JU.”

“The investments we are making here are all at their core aimed toward ensuring student success. We have a solid liberal arts core, with the muscle of close-to-market signature programs built around that core.”JU ILOVEJAX CHAMBER TOUR08.jpg

Cost ticked off recent accomplishments for JU, which now has about 4,000 students: Its MBA program is now in the top 100 accredited programs in North America; its Public Policy Institute offers the first Master in Public Policy Program in Florida; it has the largest Orthodontics certification program in the country and third-largest NROTC program; and students in its fast-growing Nursing program achieved a 98.65 percent state licensure exam pass rate for 2012, one of the top outcomes in the state.

Tour-goers had a chance to see and hear about the extensive dining remodeling process of the Riverview Café at the Kinne Center and the addition of Chick-fil-A to the Davis Student Commons; the $6.5 million, 32,000-square-foot “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) GOLD certified Marine Science Research Institute;  a planned $7.5 million basketball and volleyball practice facility; a $200,000, 3,000-square-foot softball facility opening in fall 2013; a $4.2 million project adding 4,500 seats to the football and lacrosse stadium; the new $8 million, 30,000-square-foot College of Health Sciences building under construction;  a new Student Veterans Center
 coming online this fall; the $150,000 W.C. and Susan Gentry Nature Preserve and Boardwalk that opened last year; the Swisher Golf Practice Facility and Larry Strom Amphitheatre on Dolphin Green; and, in a move sure to excite students, faculty, staff and alumni, a $1 million remodeling of the River House into a campus gathering spot with technology, food, craft brew pub, conference rooms, outdoor party deck, fire pit, entertainment stages and more.

 (See a photo gallery and .pdf of the tour highlights below).

JU ILOVEJAX CHAMBER TOUR05.jpg“Dolphin Green is just really knocking my socks off,” said Shelley Morgan, director of Affinity Relations for Coldwell Banker in Jacksonville. “I didn’t know all this was here. And Tim Cost is just a great shot in the arm for JU, with all his business experience.”

James Johns, a 1991 Physics and Engineering JU grad, came back to see all the developments he’s been hearing about.

“The percentage of growth at JU in recent years has just been huge,” said Johns, President of Solid Rock Engineering in Jacksonville. “You can see the investment, both in terms of money and passion, that is going on here. Just look around even at the design: the new buildings seem to blend in with the older buildings that I remember. And since Tim Cost got here, all I’m hearing from faculty is about the tremendous change going on, and the feedback has all been positive.”

 

JU mourns passing of former President Franklyn A. Johnson, architect of University’s transition to four-year institution

By Phillip Milano

Dr. Franklyn A. Johnson, who masterminded Jacksonville University’s transition to a full four-year institution as its president, while boosting enrollment, raising admission standards and strengthening faculty quality, died early Wednesday, July 24, of congestive heart failure. The Bonita Springs, Fla., resident was 91.
A World War II hero who received three Purple Hearts and was injured during the D-Day invasion, he was a Fulbright Scholar, Harvard graduate and International Affairs professor before joining JU in 1956 at age 34, as the country’s youngest university president. He also authored a dozen books, one of which, “One More Hill,” was named among the 50 best books on WWII.franklynjohnson.jpg
Among many accomplishments at JU over his 7-year tenure, he helped achieve initial 4-year accreditation in 1961, in the shortest time possible; added the school’s first dormitories and intercollegiate sports; saw enrollment rise above 2,000 for the first time; more than tripled the number of doctoral-level faculty; strengthened faculty pay, benefits and tenure; increased library holdings by tens of thousands of publications; solidified fundraising efforts; and presided during the addition of a new student center, other facilities and creation of a College of Fine Arts.
A video of Dr. Johnson discussing the Board of Trustees decision in September 1956 to move Jacksonville Junior College to a four-year university is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sXQL7RkysI.
Presidentsmall.jpg“I would not be here if not for him,” said JU Past President andChancellor Emeritus Dr. Fran Kinne, who Dr. Johnson convinced to become a professor at the University in 1958, before she was named Fine Arts dean in 1961 and then JU’s first female president in 1979. “He set a pattern for us to be a strong, small liberal arts college with professional schools. He set the standard so high, and it was all about perfection.”
Current JU President Tim Cost lauded the contributions of Dr. Johnson, who left JU in 1963 to become the fourth president of California State College at Los Angeles.
“We’ve lost a great citizen, not just here at JU, but in our country,” he said. “Dr. Johnson served with the utmost courage in the military, and then became a remarkable success story in academia, in public life and at Jacksonville University. So many here owe such a debt of gratitude to him for the standards of excellence he established that are followed to this day at our University.”
In “Our Place in the Sun: A History of Jacksonville University” by George Hallam, Dr. Johnson is described as coming aboard Jacksonville Junior College at a turbulent time, with a long, tough fight ahead toward four-year accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), enrollment lagging, admission standards wanting and a progressive-minded faculty facing community and board pressure.
Dr. Johnson addressed all of the issues with great vision and open-mindedness, those who knew him said. He also helped steer the University through integration in the early ‘60s at a time when it faced mounting pressure to do so, but also stared down internal and external pressure to keep the status quo.
His tenure was “very inspiring, but also very intensive,” Kinne added. “I loved to tease him, because he was so very bright. I’d say, ‘You know how to put a comma in a letter I’m going to write tomorrow.’ He just was that sharp. He brought a very fresh look in his demand for quality, and was also a strong supporter of faculty and academic freedom. He really saw a bigger picture. All of it moved us to something much bigger in terms of quality and our future.”
In a 2009 JU video interview to commemorate the University’s 75th anniversary, Dr. Johnson remembered the monumental Board of Trustees decision in September 1956 to move Jacksonville Junior College to a four-year university.
“We had a yard man who lived in a little house at the front gate, Tony Borracino, and I had told Tony that I thought the board was going to approve this thing … and we had had a sign painted green and white that said ‘Jacksonville University,’ ” Dr. Johnson said. “I said to Tony at about 8 or 9 p.m., when we finally broke up: ‘OK, put it in Tony, we’ll dig the holes and get a sign out on the road, so we’ll know it’s a University. We’ve got a lot to do to make it a University, but at least we’ll say what we’re doing.’ ”
Don Ames, a 1959 JU graduate who started as a student intern for Dr. Johnson and went on to become Vice President of Development during a 35-year career at the school, called Dr. Johnson a “determined leader not easily discouraged. He had a profound influence. I was shaped by Frank Johnson.”
“He was part of that great generation, and he was the chief architect of the vision and dream of what was to become Jacksonville University,” Ames said. “He laid the foundation. A true leader, a great communicator who had the ability to motivate, inspire and bring out the best in people.”
Daughter Terri Cochran said she had very fond family memories of growing up on the campus of Jacksonville University. Dr. Johnson was the first JU president to live in what is now the River House.franklynjohnsonplaque.JPG
“It was considered a mansion when we were there in the late ‘50s,” she said with a laugh. “It was a wonderful childhood, and we even had goats and mallard ducks there.”
She remembered her father as having done “amazing” things while at JU, “in every sense of the word.”
“He was highly respected and did so many great things in his time, and he never wanted a lot of credit for it. He was very humble to the end. Just a great person.”
Born Nov. 6, 1921, to Robert B. and Olyve Eckler Johnson in Honeoye Falls, near Rochester, N.Y., he volunteered for WWII, then attended Rutgers University, graduating magna cum laude, according to an official obituary released by his family. He was given a Fulbright Scholarship and went to the University of London in 1951-52. He held a Harvard Ph.D. and five honorary doctoral degrees, as well as numerous other academic honors.
According to his obituary, Dr. Johnson was a First Lt. in the 18th Regiment of the First Infantry Division.  He made three invasions, fighting in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy, France. He received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Medal. He received the Croix de Guerre from France and the Legion of Honor from the French Government.
“Ten days after landing in Normandy he was shot by a German sniper. He ordered his men back, saying, ‘I’m dying.’ His family was informed that he was killed in action. However, German doctors took out part of one lung without anesthesia at a POW camp, and the Red Cross informed his parents he had survived,” according to the obituary.
“Frank Johnson loved his division and his comrades, and until the day he died he mourned their loss,” the family said in his obituary. “Very few men gave more to their country, their family and their comrades.”
After leaving JU and California State, he became president of Southwest Florida College in Naples, Fla. He was also head of two major national foundations and head of the National Job Corps in Washington, D.C., under President Lyndon Johnson, according to his obituary. He also worked for the CIA for two years, and was a prolific author.
Dr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Elena, of Bonita Springs; daughters Terri A. Cochran and Sandra Cole Fox; three grandchildren, Elizabeth J. Stevens (and husband Billy Stevens), Kevin F. Johnson and Alexander F. Johnson; three great-grandchildren, Trevin F. Stevens, Trinitee Stevens and Tristan Johnson; and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his son, Franklyn A. “Chip” Johnson Jr. A memorial service, to be announced, will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Alumni pack Howard lobby to meet Tim Cost at JU Presidential Reception

By Phillip Milano

Dane Grey was like many of the alumni who packed the Howard Building lobby to meet JU President Tim Cost at a Presidential Reception Wednesday, June 26.

costpresidentialreception08.JPGHe’s hearing the buzz about Cost and Jacksonville University around town and wanted to soak it all in for himself.

“It’s all I hear lately,” said Grey, a 2007 Aviation graduate who owns Elite Parking Services of America in Jacksonville. “People are learning about this very prestigious place and the level of education and academics being put out by JU. From putting more money into scholarships and our endowment to all the physical upgrades, the response to student needs is phenomenal.”

More than 100 alumni jammed the lobby to rub shoulders with old friends and hear Cost, a 1981 alum, discuss JU’s future (for a full gallery of photos, visit http://waveweekly.ju.edu/?p=8761). Before he spoke, the crowd was treated to a few impromptu words from JU legend and Chancellor Emeritus Frances Bartlett Kinne, who praised Cost as a “born leader” who will make the University’s leap forward “fun and exciting.”

“Every day for me is better because of Tim leading us,” she said of Cost, who began his new role in February of this year. “You won’t find any better projects and academics than here, and we all need to support it. You all really have something to be proud of.”costpresidentialreception01.JPG


Cost took a few minutes to thank the audience for attending, and introduced his wife, Stephanie, a “powerhouse” who plans to “dive into the community,” and his daughter, Melanie, who recently moved to Jacksonville for a new position with CSX.

“I’m Tim Cost, and I work for the students,” the president said. “I can’t tell you how passionate I am about this great University.”

costpresidentialreception10.JPGCost listed some of the progress to date at JU and projects on line for the future, telling the crowd, “You will not believe what you are going to see in the coming months here.”

Enhancements on campus to be started or completed in the near future include a renovated River House for students, alumni, faculty and staff; a new football/lacrosse stadium; the new College of Health Sciences building; a completely remodeled main cafeteria; a rebuilt Nellie’s to feature Chick fil-A; a Student Veterans study center for JU’s hundreds of military-related students; and much more.

“Let me emphasize that we’re not trying to build a country club here; we’re trying to build a place you will be proud to come back to and to bring your children and nieces and nephews to,” he said. “It’s fun to get excited about these developments, and I ask you all to reach out to someone who doesn’t know about us and tell them what’s going on.”costpresidentialreception14.JPG

Cost highlighted JU’s School of Orthodontics – “the largest program in the nation” – and its Nursing program – “at the top in the region.”

“Our incoming Nursing class has a 3.7 GPA, and we just learned that this year we turned down seven excellent Nursing students for every one we accepted,” he said.

Alumni – recent and longtime – are noticing the changes.

“Tim is going to do amazing things for JU,” said Audrey Moran, a 2010 Davis College of Business graduate whose father, JU Trustee Andrew Moran, is a 1978 alum. “Just look at the momentum we’re seeing over the last few months, and so much that is in the pipeline. He’s student-friendly, and he’s using the river, which is such a huge asset here. Now you’ve got the Strom Amphitheater, Dolphin Green, the golf practice facility and the plans for the River House.”

Caroline Geoghegan, a 2010 Public Relations/Communications graduate who was on the Alumni Board of Governors, agreed the access to the river was a big step forward.

costpresidentialreception15.JPG“Before you couldn’t even get to it,” she said. “It’s exciting to tie everything to the St. Johns. I’m really looking forward to Homecoming this fall.”

Frank Pixler, a 1971 alum and former JU director of alumni relations who has worked with several of the University’s presidents, came up from Vilano Beach to show his support for Cost.

“The scholarships, the better infrastructure, and improvements to student and campus life are all so important to retaining students,” he said. “I like Tim Cost a lot; he is an unbelievably strong leader and an intelligent, positive guy. I talk with a lot of people with ties to JU, and they are noticing how good it is. And getting better.”

Janice Lee stopped by after hearing about Cost from her daughter, Ally Lee, a JU senior and women’s soccer team member.

“The athletes here love Tim. I hear them talking about the new president, how he’s the ‘students’ president’ who they see everywhere,” she said. “Ally went to see a symphony performance here and was so excited that President Cost was sitting a few rows behind her. He comes to everything.”

Perhaps most important to Janice Lee, though, is the feeling of satisfaction she has at knowing her daughter is so impressed.

“It just makes me so happy to know that she is happy with the choice she made by going to JU.”

For information on JU alumni events, visit www.ju.edu/alumni; also, visit and “like” the JU Alumni Facebook page.

​Civitan Club of Jacksonville endows $28,600 scholarship fund to Jacksonville University

Civitan2-June2013.JPGSeventy years ago, the Civitan Club of Jacksonville raised $20,000 to buy property to move Jacksonville Junior College – which later would become Jacksonville University – from downtown to Riverside. Then, the club immediately raised another $30,000 for renovations and outfitting classrooms.

"The Civitan Club has always had a special place in our heart for JU,” said George Revels, a member of the organization since 1980.

In recognition of the significant role the Civitan Club of Jacksonville had in the early development of Jacksonville University, the civic organization is creating a $28,600 endowed scholarship for JU students. Civitan Club members presented the endowment Wednesday, June 26 to JU President Tim Cost;  club member John Layton will serve on the scholarship selection committee.

Students with financial need who work to help pay for their education will be eligible for the scholarship.

“We have a long history of service in this community and are fortunate to still be able to make a difference with this endowment,” Revels said.

            CivitanResizedCroppedJune2013.jpg
The Civitan Club scholarships will be awarded based on the distributed earnings of the endowment, which will enable JU to provide about $1,400 annually for students to use toward books, housing or other education-related needs. The Civitan Club and its members may make additional gifts to the endowment – thus, increasing the amount that may be awarded annually -- in the future.

We are extremely grateful to the Civitan Club of Jacksonville and its members for their longstanding partnership with Jacksonville University,” Cost said. “Because this scholarship endowment benefits hardworking innovators, leaders and dreamers of tomorrow, it’s an investment not just in JU, but in the community as a whole. We pledge to continue to be good stewards of the Civitan Club’s kind, generous support of JU and its students.”

In addition to its numerous other community service endeavors, the Civitan Club of  Jacksonville, which became Florida’s first Civitan club and the United States’ 10th Civitan club when it formed in 1920, has been providing college scholarships to local students for decades.

For information about the Civitan Club’s JU scholarship program, call (904) 256-7716.

 

Students, families pack Terry Hall for largest JU Orientation yet

Twins Brooke and Kasey Lagow of Ponte Vedra Beach were busy getting their ID photos taken and meeting new friends Thursday, June 20, as JU held one of its largest New Student Orientations ever, with more than 160 students and 150 family members on hand.

juorientationSMALL13.JPG
“I’m just glad they’re holding this for us so we can get everything figured out. It’s a lot of information,” said Brooke Lagow, 17, who along with her sister will study Nursing at JU.

“Today we are finding our way around and it’s great they’re helping us get to know the campus,” Kasey chimed in.

JU President Tim Cost welcomed the audience at a packed opening session in Terry Concert Hall, telling the students, “We are committed to your success.”juorientationSMALL19.JPG

“I will get to know each of you, by name, where you’re from, your parents, your goals,” he said. “It’s all a part of what makes us different from a school where 500 students are in one class. Here, it’s more like 15.”

Cost told the incoming freshmen to appreciate the students who came before them and who offered suggestions to improve the student experience.

 

juorientationSMALL03.JPG“We have been busy listening to their ideas, updating our food, cafeteria, adding Chick-fil-A, boosting the number of ATMs on campus, re-doing our River House as a gathering place and much more,” he said. “I am so excited to meet you, and I want you to know that we aren’t here for the greater good of some buildings and grass here; we are here to help you succeed.”

JU Dean of Students Kristie Gover said the two-day orientation is the first of two this summer. The second is July 15-16. About 85 percent of the students on hand this week were from Florida, with the rest coming from Georgia, the Northeast and other parts of the country.juorientationSMALL14.JPG

The sessions don’t just offer details about the college process, academics, activities and living arrangements, she said. They help create energy and enthusiasm for the fall through team-building exercises and more, as students meet faculty members and fellow classmates, and begin to create bonds and see new roommates for the first time.

“They begin to acclimate socially and academically. It also gives the parents a chance to understand the expectations and track how the whole process works,” she said. “Many of them may have students going off to school for the first time.”

JU junior Jessica Desiderio, a JU Book Store employee and business administration major, busily answered questions and handed out flyers offering information about the store.

“I think orientation is great. I enjoyed mine when I came here,” she said. “It gives you the feel of the place, what the environment is like, and you get acquainted with each other. It makes you feel more comfortable, and you start to establish relationships.”

For more on JU New Student Oriention, visit http://www.ju.edu/orientation.


 

JU Sustainability students, programs to benefit from $10,000 Siemens grant

​​JU programs that teach students about sustainable dorm living and provide homeless veterans with gardening skills are getting a boost from a $10,000 grant to the university from Siemens Industry Inc.

The company's Building Technologies division made the gift through its Sustainability Education Program to enhance Jacksonville University's comprehensive Sustainability degree program.siemens grantSMALL.jpg

“This is a tremendous opportunity for JU to prioritize sustainability efforts as our students create solutions to the challenges we all face,” said JU President Tim Cost. “It’s also another way we will continue to fulfill our mission to reach out to our local community with as many relevant education programs as possible. We are extremely grateful to Siemens for having the foresight to partner with us in these efforts.”
 
Half the funds are for the university to use in monitoring and comparing a sustainable versus non-sustainable dorm.
 
Sustainability degree majors will be selected beginning in fall 2013 to live in the sustainable side of the dorm, and after acceptance must adhere to several standards focused on efficient lighting and HVAC usage, recycling and more. The other side will not have sustainability initiatives in place.
 
In their second year, the students will write a white paper comparing each of the sides of the dorm upon completion of the study.
 
JU sustainability_clarawhite08.JPGJU Sustainability Coordinator Marcel Dulay said that with changing attitudes and lifestyle behaviors, students in the sustainable dorm will consume less and recycle more by, for example, using reusable bottles for water over bottled water. They will use occupancy sensors for lighting, be conscious of electronics plugged in, and use less air conditioning, he added.
 
“Then they will enter their results and experiences into journals, conduct surveys, analyze data and perhaps even produce a documentary,” he said.
 
An additional $5,000 from Siemens will go toward a rooftop garden initiative in which JU students are working with the Clara White Mission in Jacksonville to train homeless veterans how to garden.
 
The veterans will take classes in gardening and receive certificates of completion from the Clara White Mission; they will then be able to take those skills to work for local restaurants, planting and maintaining rooftop gardens at their establishments. The produce from the gardens will be utilized in the restaurants’ daily food preparation.JU sustainability_clarawhite10.JPG

“Siemens takes pride in our companywide initiative to hire veterans,” said Tracy Bible Raulerson, a JU Sustainability advisory board member and Energy and Environmental Solutions Account Executive at Siemens Industry Inc. “Supporting partners such as Jacksonville University, and the initiatives that fall within this grant, allows our internal initiatives to move beyond the walls of Siemens Industry, both touching and changing bright minds and futures for years to come.”
 
Dulay applauded Siemens and said the grant will help move the two programs forward.
 
"Working with Clara White provides a real-world learning environment for students, as they will learn how social, environmental and economic elements come together in a local project that exemplifies global issues for the future," he said.
 
More information: Phillip Milano, Director of News and Publications, at pmilano@ju.edu or (904) 256-7042.
 
For more about Sustainability, contact JU Sustainability Coordinator Marcel Dulay at mdulay@ju.edu or (904) 256-7343.
JU Public Policy Institute takes major step forward with SACS approval of all degree programs

​Reaching another milestone as it prepares to launch the first Master in Public Policy degree program in Florida this fall, the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute has received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its signature degree program and all three of its dual degree programs.

JU PPI_logo.jpgThe Institute is offering a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree, as well as the first MPP-JD (juris doctor), MPP-MBA (master in business administration) and MPP/MA-MS/MSC (marine science) dual degree programs in the state. The MPP-JD is being offered in conjunction with Florida Coastal School of Law.

All the programs were approved by the SACS accrediting agency, said JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney.

"This approval is a major step forward for the JU Public Policy Institute and is a great credit to the JU faculty and the JU MPP program and curriculum," he said.

Prospective students can visit ju.edu/ppi to submit an application online, or can print application forms and mail them if they desire.

"The JU Public Policy program, like JU’s signature Health Sciences, Business and Marine Science programs, is playing an important role in our region and state,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Our MPP program will prepare students for the marketplace and for leadership. This approval is a great compliment to the quality of the program and its extraordinary community partners.

The JU MPP degree is a two-year, 48-credit program, and students are guaranteed an internship after their first year at one of 15 public, private and non-profit organizations, including the Governor’s Office, Congressional Offices, Mayor’s Office, Jacksonville Port Authority, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, JEA, Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, The Community Foundation, JCCI, CSX, Florida Blue and more. MPP graduates work in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

"This is the only MPP program in Florida, and this approval moves Jacksonville University closer to becoming one of the leading public policy institutions in the state of Florida," said Richard Sisisky, chairman of the JU PPI board.

More information: Phillip Milano, Director of News and Publications, at pmilano@ju.edu or (904) 256-7042.

To learn more about the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute or to apply, visit www.ju.edu/ppi, e-mail rmullan1@ju.edu or call (904) 955-1857.

JU launches new era with groundbreaking of College of Health Sciences building

​By Phillip Milano 

More space, better facilities, state-of-the-art technology, the most well-prepared health care graduates and even stronger partnerships with the medical community were key highlights touted as Jacksonville University broke ground Monday, June 3, on its new $8 million College of Health Sciences building.chs_groundbreak0613SMALL09.jpg

“This is a great day for JU and for Jacksonville as we move ahead on our priority to be a leader in health care education in this community,” JU President Tim Cost told onlookers assembled at the new building’s location between the Lazzara Health Sciences Center and Davis College of Business. “This new building will allow our Nursing, Speech Pathology, Orthodontics and future programs to have the critical space they need.”
 
JU has made the two-story, 30,000-square-foot structure a centerpiece of its bold $85 million ASPIRE comprehensive campaign, with the new building expected to open by August 2014. It is part of a larger, $20 million, phased plan to expand the College of Health Science’s facilities, programs, equipment and faculty to meet growing demand.
 
chs_groundbreak0613SMALL18.jpgCost announced Monday that funding for the building has been secured, and a contractor will be named soon. He praised the foresight and generosity of major donors Jack and Beverly Keigwin, Greg and Denise Nelson and Matt and Alexis Kane. Cost also announced that ASPIRE overall has raised more than $50 million toward its goals.
 
The new building will have advanced technology, dedicated classrooms, faculty and staff offices, meeting rooms, a multidisciplinary simulation learning center, a computer laboratory and more. It will use green technology and offer the latest in active learning environments, with classrooms designed to be reconfigurable for the most effective, engaging space and teaching styles.
 
“Today marks concrete evidence of JU’s commitment to realize the vision of the College of Health Sciences,” said college Dean Judith Erickson. “Our goal is to be the premiere provider of leading-edge health education in the region. We are creating the programs to meet the needs of our health care partners. Changing demographics and the new health care law mean our students will be prepared for the significant challenges that lie ahead.”
 
JU’s current health sciences facilities, in Lazzara and in temporary spaces, are bursting at the seams as demand for medical professionals accelerates locally and nationally. For example, student visits to its simulation labs have jumped four-fold since 2008, to more than 1,200. Between the 2007-08 and 2011-12 academic school years, more than 1,700 students obtained their BSN from JU, and another 106 received their MSN. In addition, JU’s Orthodontics program is the largest in the nation, graduating 15 students per year and treating thousands of patients annually at very low cost.
 
About 1,600 students are now enrolled in the College of Health Sciences. With Nursing and Exercise Science program increases, and the addition of advanced-degree programs in Speech-Language Pathology, Health Executive Leadership, Occupational Therapy and Health Information Management, enrollment is projected to rise as much as 40 percent, to around 2,300 by 2016. This fall’s entering nursing class will be the largest in JU’s history: 67 new students are signed up, for a total of 260 total pre-licensure undergraduates, an increase from 235 in fall 2012. In addition, JU has more than 1,100 online nursing students, and more than 150 graduate nursing students.chs_groundbreak0613SMALL13.jpg

JU partners with area providers such as Baptist, Mayo Clinic, Brooks, St. Vincent’s, Flagler Hospital, Wolfson and Nemours to provide hands-on training to JU students and also on-site education to these partners’ employees.
 
chs_groundbreak0613SMALL21.jpgJack Keigwin said he and his wife, Beverly, a trained nurse, were moved to help get the building off the ground when they saw what it could do for current and future students and for the region.
 
“We know there are many qualified students who just can’t get in because of the current space constraints,” he said. “Now so many more are going to graduate and do something special. This will contribute to the overall health care good of this community.”
 
Greg Nelson, meanwhile, noted that JU is “poised to do some phenomenal things on this campus, and the jewel in all of it is the College of Health Sciences.”
 
“We know it’s not hard to hire a nurse, but it’s tough to hire an excellent nurse,” he said. “JU can rise to national prominence with this new expanded college.”
 
JU Board of Trustees Chairman Fred Pruitt noted that area hospitals want JU’s nurses “above all else.”
 
“We are on a roll here at JU, and the College of Health Sciences is the most important project we have going.  I believe it’s our time here.”
 
Christine Sapienza, who starts July 1 as associate dean of the College of Health Sciences and will roll out JU’s new speech-language pathology advanced-degree programs, noted that the new space and multi-media classrooms mean JU’s new Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will be positioned to offer the most rigorous curriculum in the area.
 
“We will teach a continuum of care, from prevention to rehabilitation, and from infants to our aging population,” said Sapienza, a national leader in her field and chair for the past eight years of the University of Florida’s highly ranked department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. “Together with our partner Brooks Rehabilitation, we will provide the faculty, resources and on-site and distance learning options to meet the needs of providers in this important field.”
 
Historically, JU has fed high-quality job candidates into the region, who stay in the area in high numbers, at high-paying jobs. JU’s first doctoral class (Doctor of Nursing Practice) began in fall 2011. Its Nursing graduates had a 98.65 percent passing rate on the state nursing licensure examination in 2012 (with a 100 percent pass rate for the last two cycles), and its Emergency Nurse Practitioner program is one of just five in the United States.
 
With the addition in the next several years of two health professional degrees (Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy) and two health administration programs (Health Executive Leadership and Health Information Management), JU will need additional laboratory and class space devoted solely to these students and faculty.chs_groundbreak0613SMALL15.jpg

Buchra Watfa, who came to the U.S. from Syria in 2001 at age 15, received her BSN from JU in 2011 and now works at St. Vincent's in the critical care area. She said the caring faculty at JU always emphasized that students should take steps forward in their learning – something she plans to do in the future with more education in the College of Health Sciences.
 
“This expansion should make a difference in JU’s life and in Jacksonville’s,” said Watfa, who was chosen by faculty at her graduation to receive the prestigious "Director's Award" given to outstanding students. “This is so important to the area, and I’m so thankful for this.”
 
More information: Phillip Milano, Director of News and Publications, Jacksonville University, pmilano@ju.edu, (904) 256-7042.
 
For a zip folder containing artist renderings of the new College of Health Sciences building, visit http://www.ju.edu/files/aspire.zip. Look in the folder titled "cohs.”

 

 

 

Chancellor Emeritus Frances Kinne’s 96th birthday, contributions to JU celebrated at luncheon

KinneBirthday201304.jpgBy Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University

With basketball legend Artis Gilmore leading the refrain and much of her loving, admiring Jacksonville University family assembled in her honor, Chancellor Emeritus Frances Bartlett Kinne says “Happy Birthday to You” never felt and sounded so good to her.

A former JU professor, dean, president and chancellor, Dr. Kinne was honored Thursday, May 23, with a celebration of her 96th birthday and of her many contributions to the University. About 120 past and president JU students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees were on hand, as were Kinne’s closest relatives, her Mayo Clinic physician and others Kinne calls her “Mayo family.”

Kinne’s service and leadership at Jacksonville University has changed lives and the course of higher education in Northeast Florida and beyond. The luncheon celebration was held at a building named in her honor, the Kinne University Center.

“I continue to be moved and touched by the love that I receive from my Jacksonville University family,” Kinne said afterward. “I am very fortunate.”

Kinne began her Jacksonville University career in 1958 as a humanities professor, was selected as founding dean of JU’s College of Fine Arts in 1961, and served in that capacity until being named JU’s president in 1979, becoming the first female college president in Florida.

Kinne was JU’s president for 10 years and chancellor from 1989 to 1994, and has served as chancellor emeritus since 1994. With Kinne as president, JU established the Business College, nursing school and aviation program.

Kinne had a nomadic life as a music teacher, wartime U.S. Army host and colonel’s wife before agreeing to teach at JU for a couple of months.

“The grass never grew under Fran’s feet, at least until she came to JU 55 years ago,” said Dr. John Trainer, a vice president and professor under Kinne and the birthday luncheon emcee, said during the celebration.

Trainer, a former Lenoir-Rhyne University president and Bolles School administrator who now is JU’s senior campaign officer, provided several humorous anecdotes about Kinne, including one about her conversation with a Mayo physician who marveled recently at Kinne’s intelligence, saying she had the brain of a 35-year-old.

“Fran said, ‘That’s well and good, but what can you do for my body,’” Trainer said.

JU President Tim Cost, a 1981 JU alumnus, said that Kinne is a “magical woman” of grace and class who has a knack for demonstrating her leadership abilities rather than just talking about them.

Referencing a photograph of Kinne presenting Cost his diploma at the 1981 JU commencement ceremony, Cost said that he learned recently that Kinne’s husband died that day.

“She left his hospital bed to run our commencement,” Cost said. “You can talk all day about influencing other people’s success — or you can do things like that.”

KinneBirthday201311.jpgHistory Prof. Walker Blanton, JU’s longest-tenured faculty member, opted to forgo a speech at Kinne’s party and said simply: “Fran Kinne is the best thing that’s ever happened to Jacksonville University.

Diana Donovan, a 2011 JU graduate and JU Alumni Board of Governors member who works as an aide to Jacksonville Mayor and JU alumnus Alvin Brown, told the celebration audience that being around Kinne influenced her to be kind and attentive to everyone around her.

“I learned so many lessons from you … not just from what you said, but from watching you live,” Donovan said to Kinne.

Gilmore, a 1971 JU alumnus who led the Dolphins to the NCAA championship game and whose distinguished career resulted in his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, also spoke of Kinne’s inspiration and encouragement. Gilmore now serves as JU’s special assistant to the president.

During her anecdotal-filled remarks, Kinne reminisced about the new Volkswagen Beetle that her first husband, U.S. Army Col. Harry Kinne, purchased for her as a present for obtaining her doctoral degree.

She could have had a new Mercedes, but liked the looks of “the Bug,” in which she logged 47,000 miles over three years commuting from St. Augustine to JU.

“I thought it was cute,” she said.

Kinne says that she attributes her success and health to her positive attitude – a trait she encourages others to adopt. She noted that she and Cost have something important in common: They entered the higher education business for the right reason.

“The only reason we are here is because of the students,” she said. “Sometimes as administrators we forget that.”

Earlier Thursday, Kinne and Cost were guests on the WJCT-FM 89.9 radio program, “First Coast Connect” with Melissa Ross (click here to listen to the broadcast; the interview begins at about 25:30). The show took emails, Tweets and calls from listeners wishing Kinne happy birthday, including former JU board chair Ron Autrey.

One caller got choked up as he discussed Kinne's influence on his life.

"She (is) just the most positive person," the caller said.

Kinne said she always thought each new post she took on at JU would be temporary, but she kept staying on.

“It got in my blood. I enjoyed the students and JU so much,” she said.

Cost said on the radio show that Kinne was an overwhelming presence and influence in his life “from the word go.”

“I’ve been stealing ideas from her ever since,” he said, clasping hands with her. “An important one is to be constantly out with the students.”

Before Thursday’s luncheon and in recognition of Kinne’s 96th birthday, friends of Kinne and other JU supporters donated more than $15,000 for the Harry & Fran Kinne Business Scholarship and renovations of the JU Library.

(JU Director of News Phillip Milano contributed to this report; photos by Donald dela Torre/JU)

Click here and scroll down to see a gallery of photos from Kinne’s 96th birthday celebration.

 

National leader Christine Sapienza tapped for new position in the College of Health Sciences at Jacksonville University

​By Phillip Milano

Jacksonville University is bringing in a national leader in the field to start up and lead a new department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with plans for the region’s first master’s degree in the key area of speech-language pathology by fall 2014. 

Chris SapienzaSMALL.jpgChristine Sapienza will work directly with College of Health Sciences Dean Judith Erickson as they bring new curriculum, professional development opportunities and program innovations to JU.
 
Starting this fall, JU will open the new department to provide students and professionals who do not have the required background in those areas the prerequisite courses in human communication needed to pursue a master's degree in speech-language pathology.
 
JU intends to develop a full undergraduate major for the program in the near future, with the intent to begin the master’s program in speech-language pathology as soon as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) completes its current review for its candidacy application for accreditation.
 
Sapienza, PhD., chair for the past eight years of the University of Florida’s highly ranked department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, starts July 1 as associate dean of JU’s College of Health Sciences and will build the speech pathology programs.
 
At full speed, the program’s new faculty members, along with clinical speech pathologists and research staff from JU partner Brooks Rehabilitation, will work with Sapienza as her department moves toward an enrollment of about 30 new students in the program each year.
 
“Universities in Florida receive hundreds of applications from students annually trying to enroll in graduate speech-language pathology programs, but they can typically accept only 30 to 60 new students,” Sapienza said. “Jacksonville University is a premier institution to establish this new program that works in partnership with the region’s medical community and public school system, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
 
JU President Tim Cost praised Sapienza as a well-recognized national leader in the speech-pathology field who will bring new ideas, energy and talent to the University.
 
“Dr. Sapienza instantly brings world-class experience and notoriety that will allow us to attract marquee faculty and superior students to establish JU regionally and nationally in the communications sciences,” he said. “It’s hard to overestimate how important her arrival is for us and for the entire area.”
 
Using a hybrid model that combines distance-learning modules, in-class teaching and contemporary learning methods, Sapienza and newly hired faculty will offer five core undergraduate courses starting in fall 2013 that provide the tools and knowledge in fundamental concepts of human communication sciences.
 
It’s so fitting to make this announcement during Better Hearing and Speech Month, and I am thrilled to bring on and work with someone of the caliber of Christine Sapienza,” Erickson said. “She is known for her high energy and passion for the speech-language pathology field, and she places high value on the discipline and its future contribution to health care and the Jacksonville community. Her insights and reach in the field will ensure that JU establishes one of the leading programs in our state in such a highly marketable field.”
 
Speech-language pathologists are expected to experience high job growth opportunities in the next decade, with median national annual salaries ranging from $60,000 for SLPs in schools to $70,000 for those in health care settings, according to recent surveys by ASHA.
 
Several trends point to increased demand for speech-language pathologists, Sapienza said:
 
·         A growing older population means more people prone to medical conditions that result in speech, language and swallowing problems.
·         Medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants, individuals with developmental and physical disorders, people who have experienced head or neck trauma, and individuals who have sustained a stroke or other debilitating disorders such as Parkinson's disease, all of whom are likely to need assessment and possible treatment by a speech-language pathologist.
·         An increased emphasis has been placed on early identification of speech and language problems in young children.
·         A wave of retirements of current professionals in the field is projected, and a high need is expected for SLPs in both urban and rural settings, as well as in medical settings and public schools.
 
Because of these and other trends, a report in June 2011 by ASHA using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the national employment rate of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow faster than average through 2018, with a 19 percent increase in job openings estimated between 2008-2018.
 
“With such a strong future projected for speech-language pathologists, JU has taken a leadership role by offering a modern education option for students that moves the training in this area up a notch,” Sapienza said. “These students will then be brought back into the fold locally. You’re going to see high-quality professionals filling a major need in the region, in the public schools, in medical centers, at long-term care facilities and more.”
 
For more information about the speech-language pathology program at JU, contact Dr. Christine Sapienza at csapien@ju.edu or the College of Health Sciences at (904) 256-7281.
 
About Christine Sapienza
Dr. Sapienza is a leader in the field of speech-language pathology. She served as chair of the University of Florida’s department of speech language and hearing department, helping it become a top 10 department within the UF Health Science Center, where she recruited scholars and high-achieving students as well as collaborated on innovative distance learning programs and initiated multiple interdisciplinary research collaborations.
Dr. Sapienza also holds a research career scientist title with the Malcom Randall VA Brain Rehabilitation Research Center in Gainesville, where she leads a current clinical trial on Parkinson’s disease. She has made significant scientific contributions in the area of voice and respiratory function for people with diseases, and has mentored more than 15 doctoral students now working successfully around the country and the world.
Sapienza’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Service, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the non-profit CurePSP. She is also author of the graduate textbook “Voice Disorders” (Plural Publishing) and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, as well as numerous book chapters and texts. 
JU launches new Doctorate in Business Administration

In another move to respond to marketplace needs with its advanced-degree offerings, Jacksonville University will begin a Doctorate in Business Administration in fall 2014, one of only a handful of accredited such programs nationwide.

The degree in the Davis College of Business gives JU its second doctoral program, after the University began its successful Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in fall 2011.DCOB1small.jpg

JU expects an initial class of 12 students after accreditors review and OK the planned degree. Most students will be experienced professionals looking to add intense research tools and cutting-edge analytics to their portfolios, program officials said. At full-speed, up to 40 students will be enrolled in different phases of the three-year program.
 
“The success of the Davis College of Business in our region comes from how directly relevant its offerings are as it fills the needs of the business community,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Our new DBA shows we are creating an even deeper connection and listening closely to what business people and entrepreneurs require to strengthen their careers.”
 
Modeled after the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program at Georgia State University, the DBA will be one of just four offered in the Southeast and focuses on leaders looking to go beyond their master’s-level training in business or other fields, said JU Business Dean Don Capener. 
 
doncapener1.jpg small.jpg“We found there was no other business opportunity beyond a master’s degree in the area,” he said. “For the size of the Jacksonville area, we wanted to give other opportunities to working professionals.”

Forward-leaning opportunities to glean information from “Big Data,”
Business Analytics and Globalization will all be offered as part of the program, Capener added. Two new faculty members with expertise in international marketing and business analytics will be brought on staff.
 
“The need for this type of new training comes from industry demands on leaders to be able to envision change – to be able to use tools that allow you to skate where the puck is going to be,” he said. “Jacksonville is a logistics hub and becoming more cosmopolitan, so it’s incumbent upon its educational institutions to stay ahead and provide leadership with their instruction.”
 
Dr. Lois Becker, senior vice president for academic affairs at JU, agreed the DBA puts the University in an elite position in the region in its business education offerings, particularly since the DCOB is one of only a small number of business colleges accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
 
“JU has many powerful partners in the Northeast Florida region,” she said. “This degree program is another way in which the University is supporting them and all business in Jacksonville.”
 
Rather than concentrating on preparing students for careers in higher education like other Ph.D. in business programs, the DBA program cultivates the "scholarly practitioner" -- someone who can apply the theory they learn in the classroom to real-world problems.

JU Professor of Finance Richard J. Cebula, who has been ranked among the top 150 most prolific economic writers in the world, will advise candidates in the new DBA program, Capener added.
 
“Dr. Cebula is one of America's truly great economists, and JU is proud to see him prominently on so many lists as a world-renowned thought leader,” Capener said. “He has moved fluidly into finance during his tenure at JU from his ground-breaking work in econometrics while at Emory University in Atlanta.”
 
Classes in the DBA program will be held Friday afternoons and Saturdays, with the program consisting of 12 classes, written and oral exams and a dissertation. Students will come from a diverse mix of executives working in all types of industry, including banking, manufacturing, sales, accounting, education, technology and more.

Since all have full-time jobs, the students will attend classes on a part-time basis, Capener said. “They can travel a distance to attend the program, as half of their assignments can be researched and completed online.

“It will be a very, very challenging program, but a very rewarding one as well.”

Students have a variety of reasons for pursuing the degree, Capener said. Some seek personal development in their current careers, some want a consulting career, others have always wanted to pursue a doctoral education, and a small minority want to pursue a career in academics.
 
Interested applicants should have significant professional experience and expertise in management and have a master’s degree. The application vetting process will include, among other things, an on-site interview, written statement of purpose and other requirements. Completing the GMAT college exam is not required but may enhance an applicant’s chances.
 
For information on applying, visit www.ju.edu/dcob and click on the link for the DBA application, or contact AnnaMaria Murphy, Graduate Admissions Counselor, at (904) 256-7426, e-mail amurphy8@ju.edu.
 
Media contact: Dr. Don Capener, Dean, Davis College of Business (904) 256-7431, cell (904) 463-5188, dcapene@ju.edu.

 

JU awards 838 degrees at commencement ceremony featuring astronaut Scott, former president Romesburg

CommencementResizedForWeb0106.JPGBy Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University

Know who you are, who you want to become, and act accordingly.

Former Jacksonville University President Kerry Romesburg offered that sage advice as commencement speaker and received an honorary degree Saturday, May 4, as JU awarded 838 degrees at its 2013 spring commencement ceremony at First Baptist Church Jacksonville.

“This is what I ask you to do: Imagine what you want in life, decide who you wish to be, determine your values, and then live with those ends in mind …” said Romesburg, who retired Feb. 1 after a successful 8½-year tenure at JU’s helm.

Former astronaut David Scott, one of only 12 people who have walked on the moon, also received an honorary degree at the JU commencement ceremony. The event was held at First Baptist, rather than JU’s traditional outdoor commencement setting on campus, because of the likelihood of inclement weather. Of JU’s spring 2013 graduates, 294 received bachelor of nursing degrees; 70 received master of business administration degrees; and 130 graduated with Latin honors, which are earned by students with a minimum GPA of 3.50 with 60 graded credits at JU.

President Tim Cost bestowed the degrees and presented three student awards at the ceremony: the Fred B. Noble Medal to graduating students Luka Vukadinovic, of Montenegro in Eastern Europe, and Ann-Marie Connolly, of Jacksonville, for having the highest grade point averages in JU’s 2013 class; the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership to Eric J. Smith, of Tallahassee; and the University Award for Outstanding Service and Co-curricular Involvement to Katherine Thomas, of Bartow, Fla.

JU’s college and school students of the year are Vukadinovic, College of Arts & Sciences; John Quartucio and Vitaliy Chernyshov, Davis College of Business; Nick Boucher, College of Fine Arts; Heather Cole, School of Education; and Alexandra Baker, School of Nursing.

Also Saturday, a master’s degree was awarded to Stephanie Sowa, the first graduate of the JU marine science graduate program; and biology professor Dr. Karen Jackson was recognized as being JU’s professor the year.

CommencementResizedForWeb0110.JPGRomesburg arrived at JU in 2004 during one of the most turbulent fiscal periods in the university’s history and capped his four-decade career in higher education by putting JU on track for long-term financial stability and growth. He said Saturday that receiving an honorary degree from JU and being selected at its commencement speaker were especially gratifying because, “I know personally how one’s life can be changed by higher education.”

“I pay tribute to each of you for what you have accomplished … You have made my career meaningful,” he told the graduates.

Romesburg was awarded an honorary doctor in education degree while Scott, husband of JU Trustee Margaret “Mag” Black-Scott, was bestowed the University’s first honorary doctor of science and technology degree.

Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in the summer of 1971, spoke briefly during the ceremony, encouraging the JU graduates to do what he and other scientists aspire to do – unite cultures throughout the world.

“Cultures are like musical instruments,” he said. “We all play different instruments, but if we playthe tunes the same, if we come together, it’s a beautiful harmony.”

Scott told the students that by graduating from a prestigious university, they’ve reached a summit -- and that to sufficiently continue their journey, they should travel.

 “See the world, sail the seas, plunge the oceans, walk the deserts and look at the stars …” he said, encouraging them to send postcards and letters to their professors after their expeditions.

“Say in your letters, ‘This is what I did today and this is what I am going to do tomorrow. Thank you for yesterday, because it helped me get where I am because I’m on a summit,” Scott said.

CommencementResizedForWeb0109.JPGScott was the seventh person to walk on the moon and the first person to drive a lunar roving vehicle on the moon’s surface. For the Apollo 15 mission, he received NASA’s highest award “for leading the most complex and carefully planned scientific expedition in the history of exploration.”

Scott worked in NASA management for six years and continues to pursue opportunities in the commercial space sector. He has 15 patents in the U.S., Europe and Japan covering inventions in spaceflight operations and robotic planetary exploration.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, a two-time Jacksonville University alumnus, also spoke during the ceremony, which nearly filled First Baptist’s 7,000-seat auditorium.

The spring 2013 JU graduates hail from throughout the United States and from 21 other countries. Students from all 50 states and 92 countries have studied at JU over the University’s 79-year history.

JU has more than 20,000 alumni.

Click on this Wave Weely article to view a photo gallery from the Spring 2013 commencement ceremony.

 

Former President Romesburg, astronaut Scott to be honored May 4 at JU commencement

By Kevin Hogencamp

David Scott, a 20th century American hero and one of only 12 astronauts to walk on the moon, will receive an honorary degree along with former Jacksonville University President Kerry Romesburg at JU’s commencement Saturday, May 4.

Romesburg_KerryResizedForWeb.jpgRomesburg will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, where more than 800 degrees will be awarded, including a master’s degree to the first graduate of the JU marine science graduate program. Also, the University will present two prominent student honors: the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and the University Award for Outstanding Service and Co-curricular Involvement.davidscott1.jpg

Commencement begins at 9:30 a.m. in the main auditorium of First Baptist Church at 119 W. Beaver St. in downtown Jacksonville. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on the JU campus, but was moved to First Baptist due to the strong likelihood of inclement weather; directions and more information is available at www.ju.edu.
 
A live video stream of the commencement ceremony will be shown at www.ju.edu.
 
Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in the summer of 1971, will receive the University’s first honorary doctorate of science and technology.
 
“David Scott’s record of achievement is extraordinary,” said JU President Tim Cost. “He has had an impact on the nation and the world for decades, and having him with the students of our Jacksonville University Class of 2013 is an extreme honor for the entire JU community.”
 
An engineer, retired U.S. Air Force colonel and former test pilot, Scott was selected as a NASA astronaut in October 1963 and made his first flight into space in March 1966 as pilot of the Gemini 8 mission, the first docking in space, along with Neil Armstrong. He made two additional space flights, as command pilot for Apollo 9 in 1969, and commander of Apollo 15, becoming just the seventh person to walk on the moon and the first person to drive a lunar roving vehicle on the moon’s surface.
 
For the Apollo 15 mission, Scott received NASA’s highest award “for leading the most complex and carefully planned scientific expedition in the history of exploration.”
Scott retired from the Air Force in 1975, becoming director of the NASA Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. He entered the private sector in 1978 and is involved in pursuing opportunities in the commercial space sector. He was a key technical advisor on Tom Hanks’ 1995 feature film, “Apollo 13,” which won two Academy Awards and was nominated for seven others, including “Best Picture.”

Scott and his wife, Jacksonville University Trustee and alumna Margaret Black-Scott, have a home in Ponte Vedra Beach. Black-Scott recently expanded her Beverly Hills Wealth Management firm to Jacksonville.

Romesburg, who served as JU’s president from July 1, 2004, through Feb. 1, 2013, will receive an honorary doctorate of education. During his remarkable tenure, Romesburg guided JU from inherited financial challenges and helped restore the alumni’s faith in their alma mater.

“Kerry Romesburg has created a lasting legacy as a strategic, visionary leader that every Jacksonville University student and graduate fully recognizes,” Cost said. “His career in education has been characterized by success and integrity.”
 
In recognition of Romesburg’s outstanding service and the realization of his vision to better utilize the picturesque St. Johns River as Jacksonville University’s backdrop, the JU Board of Trustees recently honored him with a resolution naming the westernmost area of campus “Romesburg Riverfront.” The Marine Science Research Institute, Negaard Rowing Center, Larry Strom Amphitheatre, Dolphin Green, Swisher Golf Facility, Kurzius Beach and Cost Trail were developed on Romesburg’s watch.
 
Before becoming JU’s president, Romesburg worked in higher education with the Arizona Board of Regents and Arizona State University, as executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and as president of Utah Valley State College and Nevada State College. 
Nation's largest kids triathlon coming May 5 to Jacksonville University

firstcoastkidstriathlon.jpg

From the City of Jackksonville 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 26, 2013 — Jacksonville is less than two weeks away from hosting the nation’s largest Kids Triathlon at Jacksonville University (JU). The 2013 First Coast Kids Triathlon will take place May 4 – 5 on the JU campus.
“More than a sport, it’s an opportunity to encourage character development and hard work while teaching about the spirit of competition,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I applaud all the sponsors, volunteers and event planners for their success in guiding young people on a path to healthier, more active lives.”
The Triathlon is close to reaching its goal of registering 2,000 youth athletes to participate in what will be the largest triathlon for children in the country for the fifth straight year.  More than 350 volunteers and 6,000 spectators are expected.
“We are excited to host such an outstanding event for youths on our campus,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Together with our partners we know that keeping kids focused on health and personal pride is critical to their development. We are proud to open our campus and its expansive riverfront to the community.”
The City of Jacksonville partnered with the Jaguars Foundation, Jacksonville University, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, Florida Blue and Firehouse Subs for the event.  With their help, the triathlon has expanded a first-of-its-kind program that introduces kids from underprivileged communities to the sport of triathlon.  In 2013, 60 kids will learn to swim and be taught the fundamentals of bike safety, proper nutrition and injury prevention during a seven week program.  In turn, they will participate in the triathlon on May 5.  As part of the program, all of the children will be permitted to keep the equipment used in the triathlon.
The support also funds an outreach program in schools across the First Coast.  Through this program, schools can receive free classes for all students about the importance of being healthy and active.  Every school that forms a team for the triathlon will earn their share of more than $10,000 that will be used to help schools buy the equipment, supplies and materials necessary to keep kids healthy and active throughout the school year.  More than 12,000 kids are expected to participate in the education seminars, with more than 1,200 kids representing their school at the event.
"We could not have reached this point without incredible support from every corner of Jacksonville, but race weekend is all about the kids,” said Tom Gildersleeve, Event Director of the First Coast Kids Triathlon. “This is one of very few events developed exclusively for kids, and they are the stars of the show.  More than 150 kids will have completed all five First Coast Kids Triathlons come Sunday afternoon, and all 2,000 participants will have amazing stories to tell.  They will walk away from JU having done something less than 1% of all kids ever do.  They will feel great about themselves, and this increased self-confidence will help them in all aspects of their lives."
 
About The First Coast Kids Triathlon
Organized by Kids Triathlon, Inc. (a 501c(3) entity), this event will attract 2,000 racers to Jacksonville University, and it will be largest kids triathlon in the United States for the fifth consecutive year.  More than 350 volunteers and 6,000 spectators will also participate.
 
Schedule of Events for May 4 – 5
The race weekend is spread over two days.  The festivities kick off Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. with Packet Pick-Up and the Event Expo.  Saturday is highlighted by the Pep Rally (starts at 5:30 p.m.), featuring welcome messages from local officials, introductions of the 2013 Celebrity Big Kids and a motivational speech.  Sunday morning is race day with transition opening at 6:15 a.m. and the races starting at 7:30 a.m.  Everything concludes with the Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
 
What is a Kids Triathlon? 
Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and kids triathlons are a vital part of this trend.  Race distances are set by the USATriathlon (the governing body of the sport under the United States Olympic Committee) to be challenging, yet achievable, and every race consists of four components – swimming, biking, running and transitions.  There are two divisions in kids races with the Juniors (10 years old & under) completing a 100 yard swim; three-mile bike ride and half mile run.  The Seniors (ages 11 – 15) complete double the distances (200 yard swim; six mile bike ride; and one mile run).
 
Contact Information:
Tom Gildersleeve
Event Director, First Coast Kids Triathlon
Email: tgildersleeve@comcast.net
Phone: (904) 448-2707
Cell: (904) 610-9921 
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