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Farewell, Dean Coker!

Outgoing JU president Dr. Kerry Romesburg (right) speaks about Dr. Bryan Coker's service as dean of students during Coker's farewell reception Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Kinne Center Banquet Hall. Coker is wearing a JU scarf that he received as a gift at the reception. (Photos by Donald dela Torre/Jacksonville University)

By Kevin Hogencamp/Jacksonville University

All good things must come to an end.

That — and profound sadness, judging from the tears that were shed — was the prevailing sentiment at a reception Wednesday at Kinne Center Banquet Hall, where the JU community bade farewell to Dr. Bryan Coker. After serving nearly 10 years as JU’s dean of students, Coker is becoming a vice president and dean of students at Goucher College in Baltimore, Md.

At the reception, Coker was presented with gifts, including a JU scarf, photograph of Davis Student Commons, a six-month supply of bacon from Sodexo; and a handful of tender goodbye speeches.

“Bryan has meant so much to this school. When we needed something, we would turn to Bryan, and he always, always delivered,” said outgoing JU President Kerry Romesburg.  “He has certainly made my time at this institution so much richer. We will miss him and his family.”

Coker, who has spearheaded numerous initiatives which have had a major impact upon campus life, told the well-wishers he will forever be grateful for his tenure at JU. Indeed, he somewhat apologized for leaving.

“I’ve got high aspirations for my career, and to meet those high aspirations, sometimes you’ve got to make a move,” he said. “This instituion and this commuity have been incredible to me and my family. Even on the low days, I loved coming to work here because of all of the great people here.”

Click on this Wave Weekly article and this JU Navigator article to read more about Coker’s career and his move to Goucher College.

Here is a photo gallery from the reception: