At Jacksonville University, 2022 was one of the most pivotal years to date. With the announcement of two new colleges, the launch several new programs and celebrations of significant milestones in the University's history, there's a lot to look back on. See the year's top stories below, and we wish our entire Dolphin family a happy new year!
This November, Jacksonville University announced its intent to open a four-year medical school in partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine called LECOM at JU. The medical school is supported by long-term clinical agreements with the region’s preeminent healthcare providers, including Baptist Health, Flagler Health+, AdventHealth, HCA Florida Memorial Hospital, Brooks Rehabilitation, and others.
The inaugural class of students is expected to begin in 2026 following the accreditation process and the construction of the medical school building on the north end of campus. It will be the centerpiece of a development called the Medical Mall.
In February, Jacksonville University not only announced its College of Law, but its inaugural class began courses at JU Downtown in August. As the first new law school in more than 20 years in the state of Florida, the Jacksonville University College of Law fills a much needed gap in legal education in Northeast Florida.
It is the fifth college at Jacksonville University.
This year, Jacksonville University was selected to be featured on the Amazon Prime show “The College Tour.” The episode shot on campus in the spring, and premiered to the JU campus – and the world – this fall.
The show is hosted by Alex Boylan ’99, winner of “The Amazing Race.” Boylan is the host and producer of multiple award-winning shows, including “The Chef’s Table,” “Animal Attractions,” “CBS Buzz Tour,” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”
For the fourth consecutive year, Jacksonville University was among the top 25 percent of regional universities on U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious list of Best Colleges, an annual ranking of the best colleges and universities in the U.S.
Out of 135 universities, Jacksonville University was ranked 34th overall on this year’s list of Best Regional Universities in the South and, once again, was recognized as a Best Value college, climbing five spots to reach 37th on that list.
The inaugural cohort of 12-month ABSN students completed their training in August, the first group to do so since the program was announced last year. Following their intensive training, the 37 graduates are off to start their careers in nursing. This fall, Jacksonville University added an additional pathway in the program at the Palm Coast location.
As the year draws to a close, renovations to the STEAM Institute – the former Lazzara Health Sciences building – are nearing completion. Once completed in the Spring, it will be among the first of its kind in the country – a standalone space dedicated to STEAM studies, housing unique learning spaces for students in the sciences, engineering, and arts. The main disciplines that will use the space include students in animation, computing sciences, cybersecurity, data science, engineering, film and fintech, a new offering at the University and the first of its kind in Jacksonville.
The JU Men’s Lacrosse team had a banner season, recording the most wins in program history and coming one game short of the NCAA tournament. Following the record-breaking season, Head Coach John Galloway resigned his contract, committing him to the program through the end of the decade.
The Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute celebrated the 10-year anniversary
of its founding in 2022. Since its founding, the Public Policy Institute has graduated
hundreds of students, hosted esteemed speakers on campus and held political debates
at the University. Watch a recap of the past decade at the link.
Anyone who’s entered campus this year will notice a significant change at the main gates – the addition of the turbo roundabout. Replacing the former four-way stop at Merrill Road and University Boulevard, the roundabout enhances safety and efficiency just outside the campus’ gates.
To celebrate 60 years of the Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities, world-renowned classical music artists Jamie Barton and Jake Heggie performed a recital on campus. It was the culmination of the 2021-2022 Creative Arts Series titled “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future.” Along with the performance from Barton and Heggie, guests attended the 60th Anniversary Gala on campus.
In a triumphant moment that was years in the making, Jacksonville University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams finally got their first look – and first shots – inside the just-completed Basketball Performance Center this January. The facility, where both basketball teams will hold the majority of their practices and training sessions, helps elevate the program to a more prestigious level. It also solves practice scheduling conflicts that occurred when the basketball and volleyball teams shared Swisher Gym. It features a full court, half court, weight room and coaches offices and will have direct access to the adjacent Swisher Gymnasium.
Utilizing an unprecedented data set, Jacksonville University Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Bryan Franks published a comprehensive study in the Frontiers in Marine Science journal in November on the movement and migration habits of great white sharks in the Western North Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Franks, who teaches in the Marine Science Research Institute, co-authored the OCEARCH study with eight shark scientists. Data collection on the 48 tagged sharks in the study has been ongoing since 2012.