Campus Improvements & New Presidential Fellows

June 11, 2013

To the JU Community,

Congratulations to the entire Jacksonville University family for your fantastic turnout last week for the groundbreaking of our new College of Health Sciences building.

To see the engagement of so many of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and leaders of the local health care community shows not only a high level of excitement and commitment, but also just how relevant JU is as a major player in higher education and the economic progress of our region.

As we move through this summer, we’ll undertake more ambitious planning efforts involving our financial picture, personnel and master physical plan. We’ll also take a hard look at how to turn the challenges facing us into opportunities, as we address them directly. As you move about the campus in these coming weeks, please note the upgrades:

  • New flagpole at the roundabout near the future College of Health Sciences building;
  • New “uplighting” between Howard Building and the Swisher Library;
  • New landscaping throughout campus;
  • Renovation of the Williams Hall lobby;
  • Renovation of the Riverview Dining Hallteria;
  • Renovation of Nellie’s;
  • Creation of the new Student Veterans Association Study Center;
  • Refurbishment and rebuilding of our River House;
  • Resurfacing of our football/lacrosse field at D.B. Milne Field;
  • And many more improvements.

As part of our move to involve as many people as possible in the give-and-take of change, I’m pleased to announce that two of our top 2013 graduates, Katherine Thomas and Luka Vukadinovic, have begun new roles this year as JU Presidential Fellows in the President’s Office.

Katherine Thomas, of Bartow, Fla., was recognized with the University Award for Outstanding Service and Co-curricular Involvement, which goes each year to the graduate whose service to the university and participation has been exemplary. Among her many activities, Katherine has been a lead Peer Career Advisor, Admissions Student Ambassador and Residential Life Community Advisor. She was President of PanHellenic and of Delta Delta Delta sorority, Vice President of JUSA and a Student Alumni Association founding member.

Luka Vukadinovic, of Montenegro in Eastern Europe, is delaying graduate school for a year, having already been accepted to the London School of Economics and University of Cambridge, among others. He was awarded JU’s Fred B. Noble Medal, given to students with the highest grade point average in their class. Luka graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, is an Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society member and the JU College of Arts & Sciences Student of the Year. His many activities have included leadership posts in the Political Science Society, JUSA and International Student Association. He also worked for our IT Department and Residential Life, and interned at the United Nations in New York City.

I’d like to extend my thanks to you all, in advance, for your cooperation and close alignment with these two Presidential Fellows as they work with me and the rest of our staff to improve our efforts in core areas where we interact with students. Our goal here remains clear: to create an outstanding student experience.

These two bright students have had a remarkably broad scope of interaction with the entire campus over the past four years. They are highly accomplished ambassadors for the university and have invested themselves in our community and alumni events and functions. I’m sure they will bring a full measure of energy and passion to what we are doing here at JU.

A great deal of hard work lies ahead for us all at JU, and with your efforts, I’m confident a great deal of progress lies around the corner as well.

Thank you for all you’re doing to make this a great University.


Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981