Jacksonville University’s Charter Day recognizing the University’s 1934 origins has blossomed into Charter Week (#JUCharterWeek), with the annual celebration now expanded to include events over the entire week of April 11, such as a food drive and distribution, Day of Service, Eli Young Band concert, advice from a renowned fitness guru, a Global Toast and even a TedX Salon.
Every year, the University celebrates its birthday with Charter Day of Service, featuring hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends volunteering for the community, with a special emphasis on Arlington. A Global Toast (#JUToast) follows for friends around the world who cannot take part in person.
Project partners include Duval County Public Schools, Five Star Veterans Center, PACE Center for Girls, GRASP Academy, L’Arche Harbor House, the Daniel Home, the Sulzbacher Center and more. Volunteers will receive free t-shirts, water and breakfast. JU President Tim Cost is encouraging as many participants as possible to sign up for projects by the April 8 deadline to show the University’s outstanding commitment to its community.
This year, JU decided one day wasn’t enough to celebrate its 82nd anniversary, so it expanded the festivities into a full Charter Week 2016. In addition to volunteer projects as part of the week, students, faculty and staff will be able to enjoy an abundance of Wild West-themed fun April 15, including movie night, square dancing, mason jar decorating and more. See the Schedule of Events for a full list of activities.
Some of the notable highlights for Charter Week 2016 include:
- Dr. Bob Sallis, founder and chair of the worldwide Exercise is Medicine initiative, will be the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences Distinguished Lecturer at 5 p.m. April 11 in Terry Concert Hall. The visit is in conjunction with JU having been named an Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) Campus. There are only 71 campuses in the U.S. with this designation, and only two in Florida (JU and Florida Gulf Coast University).
- A campus-wide food drive April 11-15 benefiting Arlington Community Services, as well as food distribution to the needy in the community via the Feeding Northeast Florida Mobile Food Pantry, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Parking Lot A in front of the Gooding Building.
- A Wild West Charter Fest will be held the evening of April 15. Students, faculty, staff and alumni will be treated to a fun-filled evening of carnival rides, barbecue, fireworks and a special performance by the Eli Young Band at Strom Amphitheater.
- Charter Weekend hosted by the JU Alumni Association has a full slate of activities for all Dolphin graduates. They include affinity reunions such as Greek Life, a Family Fun Fest and a TedX Salon titled “Aging – Everyone is Doing It” in Gooding Auditorium. Registration for activities is required for Alumni.
The University has a long tradition of community service, which it now coordinates through its unique Center for Community Engagement. During the 2014-15 school year, the Jacksonville University community provided more than 26,000 volunteer hours, with an economic impact of more than $600,000. It also provided more than $150,000 in support to charitable organizations through sponsorships and donations in that year alone.
Charter Week is part of JU’s commitment to its community, which also includes its support of Renew Arlington, a joint effort of the City of Jacksonville, JU, community organizations, citizens and other interested stakeholders to work collectively for the betterment of Arlington.. At the request of JU, the city’s Office of Economic Development created a working group to develop a strategy to revitalize the Arlington area to create an environment that is welcoming, attractive, safe and walkable for students and residents. Renew Arlington entails a comprehensive review of transportation, public utilities, housing, lighting, land use and zoning issues, public safety, neighborhood retail, and infrastructure including the development of a near-term to long-term plan for transforming the community.
For a comprehensive overview of Charter Week 2016 events, and to register, click here.