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Three awarded UNF Presidential Medallion honors

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The University of North Florida is honoring three community leaders with the Presidential Medallion for Outstanding Service for helping to guide the university during its 39 years.

Luther Coggin, Steven Halverson and Joannie Newton are receiving the honor. Coggin was recognized Tuesday at UNF’s annual Founders Day event at the University Center on campus.

Halverson and Newton will be awarded their medallions individually later this year.

“Our momentum is growing every day thanks to people who are passionate about the University,” said UNF President John Delaney in a statement.

The Presidential Medallion is the highest form of nonacademic recognition awarded by the university and is given annually to recognize both alumni and friends who have given their time and talents to UNF.

• Coggin served on the UNF board of trustees from 2002-10 and also served on the steering committee for the university’s “Access to Excellence Campaign” from 1997-2003. Through the Coggin College of Business, named in his honor, he has provided scholarships, fellowships and professorships.

He also has been recognized with the Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Coggin College of Business and was made a UNF honorary alumnus.

• Halverson served on the UNF board of trustees for four years, including a stint as vice chairman. As a member of the inaugural board appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, he worked through organizational and operational issues as a new system of higher education governance took shape in Florida.

In 2007, he received UNF’s Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Coggin College of Business.

• Newton was appointed to the original UNF board of trustees by Bush in 2002 and served until 2003, when she was appointed to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of 11 universities across the state.

After serving on the state board, she returned to the board of trustees for the 2006-11 term and was reappointed for a second term ending in 2016. She has supported the university through the Partnership Initiative in the Coggin College of Business, where her late husband, Martin E. Stein Sr., helped establish the Business Advisory Council.

She has also contributed to the Fine Arts Center and has established two endowed professorships in Delaney’s name.

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