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Former JU President Frances Kinne Dies At Age 102

Jacksonville University
Former Jacksonville University President Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne was 102.

Chancellor Emerita and former Jacksonville University President Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne passed away Sunday at the age of 102, according to the university.

Born on May 23, 1917, in Story City, Iowa, Dr. Kinne dedicated 62 years of her life to serving Jacksonville University, its students and the community of Northeast Florida.

She began her career at the university in 1958 as a humanities professor, and became the first female College of Fine Arts Dean in the world in 1961, according to JU. She was named president of Jacksonville University in 1979, becoming the first female president of a Florida university.

Video: JU President Tim Cost Announces The Passing Dr. Kinne 

Under her leadership, JU established what is now the Davis College of Business, the Keigwin School of Nursing, the Aviation program, and the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts.

Credit Jacksonville University
Former JU President Frances Kinne is pictured with current President Tim Cost in 2019.

The university said Sunday she was known for her unquenchable optimism, her joy for life and her selfless service to others, adding that Dr. Kinne was most proud of her connection with students.

The university said she continued to counsel and inspire hundreds of Jacksonville University alumni, as well as academic and corporate leaders throughout her life.

Archived Video: WJCT Presents: Jacksonville Legacy Series - Dr. Frances B. Kinne 

Jacksonville University’s student center (Frances Bartlett Kinne University Center) bears the Kinne name due to her charitable endeavors, as do the Kinne Garden at Wilma’s Little People School, Frances Bartlett Kinne Welcome Gallery in the University’s Frisch Welcome Center, the Frances Bartlett Kinne Auditorium at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, the North Wing of the Bertha Bartlett Public Library in Story City, Iowa, and the Frances Bartlett Kinne Alumni & Development Center at Drake University.

Credit Jacksonville University
Then JU President Dr. Frances B. Kinne enjoys a light moment with comedians Jack Benny (left) and Bob Hope (right) in this undated file photo.

Jacksonville University will hold a memorial service later this year to honor Dr. Kinne and celebrate her life. More information will be announced as plans are finalized.

Credit Jacksonville University
Former JU President Dr. Frances B. Kinne is pictured speaking with WJCT's Melissa Ross in March of 2017.