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Jacksonville University Launches Zimmerman Scholars Program

Jacksonville University is pleased to announce the creation of the Zimmerman Scholars Program. Made possible by a gift from the Zimmerman Family Foundation Inc., the program is a first-of-its-kind venture for the university and pairs scholarship recipients with world-class leadership development opportunities. The program specifically benefits the internationally ranked Davis College of Business, the only private business school in northern Florida and southern Georgia to hold an accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Less than 5 percent of the more 16,000 schools worldwide that grant business degrees have earned AACSB accreditation.

“Our entire family is proud to help accelerate the positive momentum happening within JU’s Davis College of Business while establishing a world-class program that prepares students for the future.  From their first year at JU and through graduation, Zimmerman Scholars will be among the most sought-after job candidates with unmatched skills and personal connections to Jacksonville’s business leaders,” said Morrie Zimmerman, President and CEO of Far East Brokers and Consultants, Inc., which was founded in 1981 by Charles Zimmerman. With headquarters in Jacksonville and operations in Asia, today the company is the leading importer of seasonal general merchandise for the U.S. retail industry, and Charles Zimmerman remains the Chairman of the Board.

The Zimmerman Scholars Program combines the premier business education available at the Davis College of Business with an individualized co-curricular program devoted to developing young leaders. The Zimmerman family contributed to its creation, and the result is a comprehensive student leadership program that includes scholarships, career exploration, internship and mentorship opportunities.

As Davis College cultivates its reputation for excellence, the Zimmerman Scholars Program will allow it to expand its advanced offerings in concert with the university’s overall commitment to excellence. “As a successful entrepreneur who proudly employs Jacksonville University alumni, Charles Zimmerman and his family understand that developing adaptable young leaders is essential to the ongoing prosperity of northeast Florida’s growing business community,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “Our University is proud to partner with the Zimmermans to ensure our talented graduates are ready for the ever-shifting world of work and ready to lead through any challenge.”

Undergraduate students of all years majoring in accounting, finance, economics, management, business analytics, business administration, marketing, sport business or international business are eligible to apply. Each class of Zimmerman scholars will engage in a unique set of learning experiences based on their stage of leadership development. All activities are designed to foster individual growth and will focus on the skills most desired by employers. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to engage with working professionals; work on real-life, company-based projects; and lead/mentor one another.

Unique aspects of the program include “Career Trek” visits to local companies, integrated internships and the opportunity to lead project teams devoted to real business challenges. In addition, Zimmerman scholars in all classes will serve as representatives of the Davis College for various occasions and will have the opportunity to connect with members of the Davis College executive advisory board through networking events, practice interviews and Shark Tank-like interactions with the business community.

According to Davis College of Business Dean Barbara Ritter, such a program is designed to prepare top students for leadership positions in Jacksonville and beyond. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Zimmerman family, the Davis College of Business is able to provide this unique opportunity for top students to advance their skillset.  The Zimmerman Scholars Program is unique to our college and embodies our mission to advance the individual development of each student.”

The application window for the program is now open and includes the submission of a resume; transcripts; and answers to a number of essay questions centered on work ethic, integrity, openness to self-reflection, and ability to work with others. Students who advance in the selection process will be interviewed by members of the executive advisory board of the Davis College of Business. 

Once accepted into the program, Zimmerman scholars will be eligible for dedicated scholarship support to the Davis College of Business and will begin participating both in their classes and co-curricular leadership experiences. Questions about the program or application process may be submitted to zscholars@ju.edu.