History, Legacy, and Alumni


The business program at JU was established as a small division within the College of Arts and Sciences in 1967. The business programs were given the status of a College of Business in 1979 and the first MBA classes were offered in 1980 and first Executive MBA program in 1986.

The EMBA program is small by many business school comparisons, capped at no more than 20 students. Nonetheless, it has produced nearly 600 graduates since inception, and many of these individuals are now key business leaders within Jacksonville. It is viewed very positively by major firms such as Florida Blue, CSX, Haskell Corp., Lender Processing Services, Sea Star Lines, Mayo Clinic, etc. Indeed, participation in the Davis EMBA is seen as part of the succession planning programs in many of those companies.

Davis Legacy​​​

The Davis family has represented hard work, success in business, and outstanding philanthropy on the First Coast and throughout Florida for more than 75 years. J.E. Davis and his brothers worked tirelessly to build the Winn-Dixie grocery chain into one of the nation's industry leaders. Along the way, the Winn-Dixie company and the Davis family have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the community. In the 1950's, J.E. Davis began the family's association with Jacksonville University and launched a dedicated and fruitful partnership that continues to this day.

In 1984, the Davis family gave the University $3 million to build a new home for business programs. They had a vision for students to learn the fundamentals of business while focusing on practical approaches. And they had the foresight to know that a strong foundation in business skills would create generations of graduates who were ready to lead the enterprises of the future.

More than 20 years after the first gift that transformed the business program, the Davis family has again made state-of-the-art business education a hallmark of Jacksonville University. Their $20 million challenge grant in 1998 inspired the University to reach for the highest goals, while at the same time providing $10 million for the new Davis College of Business building. Now, students have the opportunity to learn from distinguished faculty and utilize the latest in business technology in a new facility made possible by the Davis family's never-ending vision of excellence for Jacksonville University.


For our alumni visitors, “Welcome back, once again.” You are a big bunch of friends spread all over the world who have a vested interest in the continued success of your business school and university. Our alumni organizations are one great way to stay involved. After graduation you’ve responded to your respective professional and family callings, scattering far and wide. Even from afar, there are ways to stay in touch and involved with the college. We love to hear about your exploits, accomplishments, and changes in family, and we look forward to communicating with you much more frequently in the future using social media. We also periodically do alumni surveys online to get their ideas about possible changes in our programs, so we’d really like to know how to contact you.

On the other hand, many of you remain in the Jacksonville, Florida area and we get to see you at many of the speaking events and recognition events constantly taking place around the Davis building and larger campus. Still others are actively engaged on advisory boards and various committees helping run this place. A group of alums helped redesign the EMBA Program this past year, for example. Our appreciation and thanks to all of you for helping.

For those nearby, you also have the wonderful opportunity to host student team projects and sponsor internships in your own organizations, or personally provide coaching to students. Information about how to become part of these organizations is provided below.

Needless to say, as a private university we must rely upon alumni and friends a lot to provide financial support student scholarships, faculty development, and program offerings. We promise to always use your financial support wisely and always with the ultimate goal of providing high quality education and professional development for students.​