There’s a brotherly bond between Nat Glover and Steve Pajcic. It’s been there for years.
They’ve walked campaign trails together as Glover won two sheriff’s races in the 1990s and lost in the 2003 mayor’s election.
They’ve comforted each other when both lost their beloved older brothers in 2006.
And then there are the boating expeditions.
As Glover describes it, “We’ve had a couple of mishaps.”
They’ve run out of gas.
They’ve run out of oil.
They’ve run aground.
“When we get stranded somewhere because of a miscalculation, we talk and kid and laugh until somebody comes along and helps,” Glover said.
There’s a kinship that transcends biology. A faith that extends beyond the norm.
That was evident Monday as Pajcic and his wife, Anne, donated $2 million to Edward Waters College, where Glover went to school and is now president.
It is the largest donation from an individual in the college’s history.
Pajcic acknowledged “a big part” of the reason he made the donation was because of Glover.
It was also another in a long line of contributions the Pajcics have made to help disadvantaged youths get an education.
They donated $1 million to the University of North Florida for scholarships for students from Paxon School for Advanced Studies, where Steve Pajcic and his late brother, Gary, attended.
They also donated $1 million to be used as incentive pay for teachers at Annie R. Morgan Elementary School, which they attended. That helped raise the school’s grade from an “F” to an “A.”
“We’ve been so blessed,” said Pajcic, a longtime successful attorney and former state legislator. “It’s kind of a blessing to be able to help others.”
He said he started to fashion a program of how the money for Edward Waters should be used. “Then I decided that Nat knows better than me and his trustees know better,” he said.
So he gave the money unencumbered.
Glover described the $2 million donation as “very, very generous and very, very surprising.”
He learned about the Pajcics’ intention before Christmas but wanted to pick the right time to announce it. “Black History Month seemed to be the right time,” Glover said.
The money will be used in a variety of ways.
Because 98 percent of the college’s students receive financial aid, scholarships are an obvious place to start.
“One of the things we need to address is to help keep young people in school and get more in school,” Glover said.
He wants to use part on the faculty, which could mean hiring additional members, increasing faculty development or additional financial compensation.
A third area is for operations.
Glover said he will be the lead in determining how the gift is used.
It wasn’t the first donation Pajcic has given to Edward Waters College since Glover returned.
Pajcic helped with Glover’s inauguration, and as the president said, “He gave $100,000 here, $100,000 there.”
Pajcic got to know Glover through his brother and law partner, Gary. Pajcic said his brother was a prosecutor when Glover was a “hot-shot detective” with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Glover’s first campaign for sheriff in 1995 strengthened the relationship among the three of them. “I can tell you right now, we were as close as blood brothers,” Glover said.
Pajcic points out the similarities between the two of them, some that started long before they met.
They grew up a mile from each other not far from Edward Waters College.
They both had a brother who was a better athlete.
They both married early and married well.
And they both found a friend as close as the brothers they lost.
To donate to the Edward Waters College fund, visit http://bit.ly/1gcjpTP