Diana Donovan, Director, Office of the President
Diana Donovan provides support and leadership to the President in interactions with alumni, donors, current and prospective students, parents and JU athletes. Prior to joining the University in 2014, she was Director of Scheduling for the Jacksonville Mayor's Office. Previously she was a JU Admissions Event & Visitation Coordinator, New Student Orientation Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, a JU Ambassador, Director of Dolphin Productions, and a Board of Trustees Student Representative. Diana is a 2011 alumna; and as a senior won the JU "Dolphin Award" for leadership, as well as the "Miss Dolphina" Award. She is currently Jacksonville Chapter Chair of the JU Alumni Board of Governors.
Dolores Starr, Executive Assistant to the President
Dolores Starr has worked with five Jacksonville University Presidents, one Interim President and one Chancellor (Dr. Frances Kinne) since beginning her work at JU in 1989. As Executive Assistant, she arranges meetings, helps plan events, maintains the President’s schedule, handles correspondence and acts as an all-important liaison between the President and the public. Ms. Starr, a Jacksonville native, is married with two sons, Steve and Shawn (a JU graduate). Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, reading and keeping up with her three granddaughters.
Artis Gilmore '71, Special Assistant to the President
One of the greatest basketball players in U.S. history, JU alumnus Artis Gilmore became Special Assistant to the President at JU in December 2007. In that role, he represents the University and the athletics department in a community-relations capacity, and works with alumni and donor development.
Gilmore is a key component of JU’s 53 Campaign, which – named for the number on Gilmore’s JU basketball uniform – commemorates his historic basketball career and benefits the JU Scholarship Fund. He also serves as Jacksonville’s ambassador for sports, entertainment and physical fitness, working to attract more sporting events and trade shows to the city, and serving as a public health advocate.
Born Sept. 21, 1949, Artis Gilmore grew up in Chipley, Fla., and completed his high school education at Carver High School in nearby Dothan, Ala., where his athletic prowess was already stirring basketball fans from afar. Gilmore attended Gardner-Webb Junior College (now Gardner-Webb University), earning National Junior College Athletic Association honors in two seasons by averaging 22.5 points and grabbing 1,150 rebounds. In 1969, he enrolled at Jacksonville University and his two-year career became the "glory days" of Dolphin basketball and catapulted the University into the national spotlight.
The 1969-70 Dolphins, led by Gilmore’s 26.5 points and NCAA-leading 22.2 rebounds per game, finished the season with a spectacular 27-2 record and advanced to the NCAA championship game. The following season, the Dolphins gained another berth in the NCAA tournament, with Gilmore sparking the Dolphins to a 22-4 record and again leading the nation with 23.2 rebounds per game. Gilmore obtained an education degree from JU in 1972 and an honorary doctorate from JU in 1983. His No. 53 jersey is retired at both Jacksonville University and Gardner-Webb University; he is a JU Sports Hall of Fame charter member; and he still holds eight JU single-season or career basketball records.
Gilmore played 18 years in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He was the first selection of the 1971 ABA draft by the Kentucky Colonels and was named the ABA's MVP and "Rookie of the Year," and holds the ABA single-season blocked-shots record (422) and single-game rebound record (40). In 1975, Gilmore was the NBA re-entry draft top pick of the Chicago Bulls, whose public address announcer gave him the moniker "A-Train." He spent 12 seasons in the NBA with Chicago (1976-82, 1987-88), San Antonio (1982-87) and Boston Celtics (1987-88), before playing one season in Italy.
Gilmore still holds the NBA record for field goal percentage (.599) and is among the career NBA leaders in blocked shots (3,178) and rebounds (16,330). Gilmore’s 24,941 points is No. 1 all-time among left-handers; he was an 11-time all-star; he was voted one of the top 50 players of the 20th century by The Sporting News; and he is an inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
During his playing career and since he retired in 1989, Gilmore has been active in the community, particularly in children’s mentoring, literacy and character programs. He also has hosted golf tournaments to provide scholarships for minorities to attend JU, and he participated in U.S. military goodwill tours abroad. Gilmore also has owned an insurance adjusting firm and worked in project management for W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractors Inc. in Jacksonville.
Gilmore and his wife, Enola Gay, have three daughters, Shawna, Priya and Tifany; and two sons, Otis James and Artis II.