Jacksonville University is an
especially impressive educational center when one considers its modest
beginnings. Created to "furnish an opportunity for citizens of
Jacksonville and vicinity to obtain a standard collegiate education
without leaving the city’’ and "to fill the need for a center of culture
and cultural background for Jacksonville,’’ William J. Porter
University opened its doors in 1934 as a two-year community college.
Within a year, the institution was renamed Jacksonville Junior College
to identify more accurately its ties to the city and its two-year
The College’s first ten years were a continuing struggle for
survival; but, by 1944, the first full-time president and faculty had
moved into the Kay Mansion in Jacksonville’s fashionable Riverside area.
With returning World War II veterans swelling the student ranks and
projected enrollments increasing, plans for another move were soon
underway. In 1947, the Board of Trustees commissioned a master plan for
development of a new campus in suburban Arlington. In 1950, the College
relocated to its present site in its first permanent structure, the
With the decision to expand to a four-year program, Jacksonville
Junior College became Jacksonville University in 1956. Shortly
thereafter, the Jacksonville College of Music merged with the
University. In 1961, JU was accredited by the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools, and the College of Music was renamed the College
of Fine Arts due to the addition of programs in drama, art, and fine
arts. Graduate studies were added to the curriculum in 1964 with the
creation of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program.
In May 1967, the College of Arts and Sciences was established by
combining the academic divisions of business administration, education,
humanities, science and mathematics, and social sciences. The Davis
College of Business opened in 1979. Graduate studies leading to the
Master of Business Administration degree were initiated the following
year, and the Executive MBA program was added in 1984. An adult studies
program was established in 1986 as the College of Weekend Studies under
the administrative supervision of the Davis College of Business. This
program is now the JU Adult Degree Program.
University Mission, Values and Vision
and Vision of Jacksonville University, a private, independent
institution offering baccalaureate and selected master’s degrees, are
articulated in the following statements approved by the Board of
The Mission of Jacksonville University is to
prepare each student for life-long success in learning, achieving,
leading and serving.
This mission will be accomplished as a small, comprehensive,
independent university community located within a vibrant urban setting.
The University serves an ethnically and geographically diverse,
predominantly undergraduate student body, as well as adult learners in
selected undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Jacksonville University learning community will provide
personalized service, close student-faculty interaction and an extensive
array of educational and co-curricular programs. Our learning
experience will emphasize engaged learning, the integration of thinking
with doing, and the combination of professional preparation with a
strong liberal arts foundation.
In the Jacksonville University learning and living community we value:
- students and the quality of their learning/living experience as the highest priority;
faculty and student engagement in teaching, learning, and extending
knowledge within an environment of excellence and academic freedom;
- service to the University, community, and society; and honesty, integrity, and mutual respect.
Jacksonville University will be known for
developing graduates who are distinctively well prepared for lives of
continuous learning, achievement, leadership and service.
The focus of Jacksonville University will be on creating a complete
learning environment where students can develop and experience academic,
social, and personal success. Students will feel that Jacksonville
University is their academic home; a home in which they feel safe,
secure, appreciated, and involved. The foundation of this effort will be
the full-time undergraduate program, complemented by selected
professional and graduate programs.
"On the banks of the wide St. Johns
Stands our Alma Mater dear,
Where by striving and through our friendships,
We find a pathway clear.
It’s the place where our thoughts return
As through this busy world we roam.
For our memories will always lead us
Back to our college home."
Official Colors & Mascot
The University colors are forest green and white. The symbol is the oak tree. The mascot is the dolphin.