Treasured friend, steadfast supporter – that is how Jacksonville University knew Carol Shircliff best. Throughout her life, Shircliff supported the local community through her numerous philanthropic efforts, raised a beautiful family and was the wife of long-time board member and former chairman of the board of trustees Bob Shircliff. On June 8, 2021, Carol Shircliff passed away peacefully at home at the age of 90.
“Our friends Carol and Bob Shircliff are among a wonderful group of the most cherished supporters in the history of this university,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “They were close and nurturing partners in so many memorable ways, including their great dedication to Jacksonville University. Our collaboration and partnership with them spanned 50 years, and they lived, every day, their beliefs in our mission and the important work we do here”
The Shircliff name is an important one on campus. Shircliff Hall at the Village Apartments, and the Shircliff Conference Room and Carol Shircliff Healing Gardens in the Brooks Rehabilitation Center of Healthcare Sciences are named after the Shircliff family, as is the Shircliff Circle annual giving society. Shircliff Circle is the university’s largest giving society and honors the individuals, corporations and foundations who make gifts to Jacksonville University for three or more consecutive years. Their consistent support advances the university’s mission to prepare students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving.
Throughout their lives, Carol and Bob were both true philanthropists and visionary community stewards. “When I said goodbye to Bob shortly before his passing just a little more than a year ago, Carol was by his side, and that is how they were both happiest,” Cost said. “Theirs was a love story that started with a blind date and spanned a marriage of 67 years. As a university, we are so very fortunate to have played a small part in the wonderful life they shared together. I’m certain there are many other institutions that have the exact same enduring sense of gratitude.”
While Bob may have been most directly involved with Jacksonville University, Carol was a powerhouse in her own right, chairing and holding leadership positions in many local organizations, including: The Junior League, Symphony Guild, Catholic Foundation, Ascension St. Vincent’s … The list goes on and can be viewed in more detail in her obituary, which paints a true picture of a woman who genuinely cared about her community, family and friends.
Carol and Bob Shircliff shared their values, their time and their efforts freely, graciously and generously. The principles they held dear – service, respect, integrity, truth, optimism – are the same principles instilled in students and in the culture of Jacksonville University. Carol lived these principles. She and Bob both did, and because of that, their legacy will live on, and Jacksonville University will forever remain grateful to both of them.