Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,
Two words that should definitely fire you up this weekend: One Spark.
We all live in a great town; we learn and grow at a great university, and the two are located just 10 minutes apart. Many of you came to this area to be part of a stimulating environment, and right now through noon Sunday, right in our own town, is one of the most exciting events to hit our area in years.
One Spark (www.beonespark.com) is the first and largest crowd-funding event ever held in the United States, and it’s going on in a walkable, compact area just across the river from us in downtown Jacksonville. Many more One Spark celebrations are to come.
Our students, faculty and staff are being warmly invited to become part of this enterprising brainchild by attending and voting on startup projects being pitched throughout the event.
I was downtown two nights ago for the kickoff evening, and experienced — along with more than 25,000 other local residents — something truly special happening. Music, performances, creative pitches, dancing, educational lectures and so much more are taking place, all in a spirit of creativity and sharing. This is just the type of event that makes this city unique, and shows the potential for the connections between Jacksonville and JU.
I hope all of you will consider venturing out to this remarkable event. This is our “South By Southwest,” folks, and we should try to soak in as much of it as possible.
Chances are you may even run into some people with JU connections who are participating, like Stephanie Glen ’06, who’ll be at The Jacksonville Landing pitching her ground-breaking “Number Hunter” educational math TV show, or JU Annual Fund Coordinator Gracie Simendinger, who tells us she’ll be “anywhere and everywhere” helping out as a volunteer.
I invite you to be among the tens of thousands experiencing this phenomenon. It’s close by, easy to get to, and parking is free.
One Spark is geared toward the types of people we know excel at JU: intellectually curious folks looking for cutting-edge ideas, innovation and entertainment.
We live in a great town … and at a great school. To help both thrive, we need to all thrive together. Go enjoy One Spark.