Jacksonville University bestowed degrees on nearly 400 graduates this past December in the first Fall Commencement presided over by JU President Tim Cost. Dr. Tracy Connors, a retired Navy captain who attended JU from 1957 to 1959 and holds a Ph.D. in Human Services Management from Capella University, accepted an honorary degree of Associate of Arts, along with an Honorary Doctorate in Leadership Excellence. For his keynote, he drew from a survey of online comments about their learning experiences offered by the JU graduates themselves, among them:
- “Just because the source has all the credentials to be telling you the truth, doesn’t mean it is the truth.” — Benjamin Hayes, Finance and Accounting
- “It is never too late to chase after your dreams. Go do it now, or you’ll be working for someone one day who did.” — Abi Paraon , BSN (Nursing)
The Fred B. Noble Award for outstanding scholarship was given to Sarah Mecklenburg, originally from Germany; Matthew D. Smith of Warren, Ohio; and Zachary Taylor Greenwald of Palm Coast. The award, given to the graduating seniors with the highest grade point average, is named for the late Fred B. Noble, who earned a JU bachelor’s degree at age 91 and was a founder of the University. All three of this year’s winners maintained 4.0 grade point averages.