JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University will bestow degrees on more than 700 students at its annual spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Jacksonville Mayor and alumnus Alvin Brown ’85, ’89 will be the keynote speaker. Commencement begins at 9:30 a.m. on the Science Green, behind the Howard Building in the heart of JU's campus. The university will honor Brown with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Brown, who took office July 1, 2011, campaigned on a vision of “taking Jacksonville to the next level” by creating jobs, revitalizing downtown and building a world-class education system. Before taking office, Brown was an executive-in-residence at JU’s Davis College of Business. He is the past president and CEO of the The Gary Foundation, an organization that helps provide scholarships for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Brown served as a senior member of the Clinton-Gore Administration beginning in 1993. He led the administration’s $4 billion overall community empowerment initiatives, which generated unprecedented levels of public-private partnerships resulting in more than $10 billion in private investments benefiting impoverished urban and rural communities.
Brown went on to serve as the executive director of the Bush/Clinton Katrina Interfaith Fund, which distributed more than $20 million to rebuild houses of worship throughout the Gulf Coast. Brown has been chairman of the National Black Master of Business Administration Association, a group that honored him with the prestigious H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award. Brown is also the recipient of the Frederick Douglass Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Excellence in Community Service Award from 100 Black Men of America, the distinguished Award for Government Services from the National Baptist Convention and the Chairman’s Award from the Congressional Black Caucus.
Brown graduated from JU, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in philosophy and an Executive MBA. He also completed postgraduate work at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2011, Brown received JU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Also included in the ceremony, the university will present two prominent service awards: the Presidential Award for Leadership and the Presidential Award for Service.