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Gary Chartrand will keynote Saturday's commencement ceremony at Jacksonville University.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Dec. 10, 201412:00 PM EST

City notes: Gary Chartrand to keynote Jacksonville University commencement

by: David Chapman

Jacksonville University will award degrees this weekend to almost 400 students in one of the school’s largest fall commencement ceremonies.

Gary Chartrand, Florida Board of Education chair and executive chairman at Acosta, will be the ceremony’s keynote speaker. He also will be awarded an honorary degree.

The event starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Dolphin Plaza (formerly the Science Green) on campus.

Live video streaming will be available at


Michelle Tappouni joins Ability Housing

Ability Housing of Northeast Florida has named Michelle Tappouni property development manager.

She will be responsible for site identification of future projects, project development including design and construction, and project management.

She most recently was general manager for Breaking Ground contracting, where she was responsible for administrative operations, managing projects and contract negotiations.

Ability Housing is a nonprofit focused on providing permanent supportive housing in Jacksonville.


Blood supplies running low for holidays

The Blood Alliance is asking for donors during the holiday season to help combat low levels.

The organization is facing low blood supplies of all types, but especially O-negative and O-positive. Giving blood generally takes an hour and one pint can save up to three lives, according to a news release.

For more information, visit


Cole Pepper joins Armada; Winn-Dixie hosts fan event

TV, radio and digital media broadcaster Cole Pepper has joined the Jacksonville Armada FC to direct the club’s broadcast and digital media department. He’ll also be the “Voice of the Armada” on the team’s TV and radio broadcasts in the upcoming season.

In addition, Winn-Dixie is hosting a fan meet-and-greet with some of the team’s players from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the grocer’s County Road 210 store.


University of North Florida will present Glover with honorary doctorate

Edward Waters College President Nat Glover will be presented an honorary doctorate from the University of North Florida for his decades of service in law enforcement and education.

The formal conferral will be at 10 a.m. Friday as part of UNF’s fall commencement ceremony.

Glover was the first African-American to be elected sheriff in Florida since Reconstruction. He served two terms before retiring in 2003 and later became the 29th president of Edward Waters, his alma mater.

He also worked as a special adviser to UNF President John Delaney.


#EdSpark moving to Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

Education-related projects at One Spark 2015 will have a different home.

#EdSpark will be housed at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. It again will be sponsored by the Schultz Center. The center is raising student achievement through development services for educators in Northeast Florida.

Last year, there were 46 creator projects and more are expected this year, said Deborah Gianoulis, Schultz Center CEO.

The center announced this year it will sponsor two cash awards in the newly added education category for One Spark. It will underwrite the top-voted award and top-juried award, totaling $30,000.


HabiJax partners with Owens Corning on family's New Town home

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville has partnered with Owens Corning as part of the New Town revitalization.

Owens Corning, a Fortune 500 producer of glass fiber reinforcements for residential and commercial building materials, presented HabiJax with a $15,000 donation to renovate a home for a family in the neighborhood.

Volunteers from the local Owens Corning plants also contributed community service hours for the work.

“We appreciate the continued support that the employees of Owens Corning have demonstrated to us over the years,” said HabiJax President and CEO Mary Kay O’Rourke in a news release.


UNF student being honored for her volunteerism

The University of North Florida will honor Rachel Kurzinski for her volunteerism when it hands out almost 1,100 degrees Friday.

Kurzinski will receive the Senior Service Award given by the Alumni Association for her volunteer work at the university and in the community. It will be presented during the 2 p.m. ceremony. She is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

She is a native of Madison, Wis., who has taken part in the Women in Business Society and Student Leadership Advisory Board on campus. Off campus, she volunteered with Generation W, Generation WOW, Junior Achievement Girls and the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation.

The university expects to award 1,062 bachelor’s degrees, 210 master’s degrees and 10 doctorates this term.


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