Passing of a Great Friend, Mr. Bob Shircliff Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 9:59 a.m.

Dear Campus Community,

Happy new year and welcome back to campus. I hope your holiday break was rejuvenating, as we now dive into a busy spring semester.

While we have many exciting things to look forward to this year, we begin 2020 with some sad news of a life so well lived. Last week we were notified by his daughter Laura that the great Bob Shircliff, former chairman of our Board of Trustees, long-time JU board member, and the ultimate close friend of our University, passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 91 years old, and had been diagnosed in the Spring of 2019 with late-stage lung cancer.

Bob was the rarest of global business executives, true philanthropists and visionary community stewards. His warm association with our university spanned nearly 50 years. He believed in our mission and in the important work we do here. On my own undergraduate graduation day, I shook two hands as I walked across the stage in 1981, first the President, Dr. Fran Kinne, and the then-Chairman, Mr. Bob Shircliff. Two greater influences one could not conjure. For decades, Bob stood firmly for the bedrock principles we believe in as a premier university and that we work to instill in our students: respect, service, integrity, trust, work ethic, character, optimism, truth, humor and constantly -- always -- paying it forward.

It was a gift to me to be invited to sit with Bob and wife Carol alone for a quiet lunch in their home just a few days before Christmas. While his body was failing him, he was still so clearly himself: asking how we were doing, passing on his best wishes to our families, offering his support of us. It was remarkable, as usual, with Bob. I did have one final opportunity to hug him and tell him how much he has meant to our University, our community, and all of us personally. His legacy is immeasurable.

Bob set a standard with his principles and an example with his behavior worthy of our remembering as we begin this new year. We were all so fortunate to have called him a friend, and a better University for having such a devoted supporter in our corner. Please join me in thoughtful prayers of support for Carol and his entire family. 

Rest in peace, Bob.

Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981