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Jacksonville University Resuming In-Person Commencement With 4 Ceremonies, Keynotes

Jacksonville University

Each of Jacksonville University’s four colleges will be holding its own commencement ceremony this spring, marking a first in the school’s 87-year history.The university decided to split the annual rite into four to allow the university to honor its graduates in person while still providing appropriate space for social distancing and safety measures.

The class of 2020 is also being invited to the in-person ceremonies, which they were not offered last year amidst the pandemic.

Each ceremony will confer doctoral, graduate and  undergraduate degrees for the class of 2021 and attendees from the class of 2020. All will be held, per JU tradition, on the school’s oak-lined Science Green, rain or shine. Each ceremony will feature its own keynote commencement speaker.

“We know that students, invited  guests and families look forward to commencement for years, and as a university, we are doing  our best to celebrate the importance of this milestone, while still incorporating the appropriate safety protocols,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost in an email sent to WJCT News.

The keynote speakers and commence ceremonies will be as follows:

Davis College of Business: Saturday, May 8 at 9 a.m.

  • Keynote speaker: Raphael W. Bostic, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences: Saturday, May 8 at 3 p.m. 

  • Keynote speaker: Jason Barrett, president and CEO of Flagler Health+

College of Arts and Sciences: Sunday, May 9 at 9 a.m.

  • Keynote speaker: Melissa Nelson, state attorney for Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, covering Jacksonville and the surrounding areas

Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts: Sunday, May 9 at 3 p.m. 

  • Keynote speaker: Class of 1992 alumna Jennifer Pascual, director of music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.