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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, May 5, 202111:54 AM EST

Jacksonville University announces four commencement speakers

Raphael Bostic and Melissa Nelson among the leaders to address 2020 and 2021 graduates.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

 Jacksonville University’s 2021 commencement ceremonies May 8-9 will feature keynote speakers with credentials in the law, finance, health care and fine arts.

“We are honored to have such esteemed national leadership joining us for this important weekend. 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,” JU President Tim Cost said in a news release.

For the first time in the school’s 87-year history, each of the four colleges will conduct its own ceremony.

The university is inviting the class of 2020, which had to forego its commencement plans because of the pandemic, to participate. Each ceremony will confer doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degrees for the class of 2021 and attendees from the class of 2020. 

May 8: Davis College of Business

Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will deliver the commencement address at 9 a.m.

Bostic received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and is responsible for monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation and payment services. He is a voting governor on the Federal Reserve’s chief monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee.

May 8: Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences

Flagler Health+ President and CEO Jason Barrett

Flagler Health+ President and CEO Jason Barrett will deliver the keynote address at 3 p.m.

An expansion of Flagler Hospital, which has been caring for the residents of St. Johns County since 1889, Flagler Health+ advances the physical, social and economic health of Northeast Florida communities.

Since joining the Flagler organization as vice president of operations in 2003, Barrett has served in executive roles including chief administrative officer, chief integration officer and chief operating officer.

May 9: College of Arts and Sciences

Melissa Nelson, state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit

Melissa Nelson, state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit, will deliver the keynote address at 9 a.m.

In office since January 2017, she leads more than 300 attorneys and staff members.

Nelson established Florida’s first Conviction Integrity Review unit, developed a driver license restoration program, convened the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee aimed at reducing juvenile recidivism and engaged the office in an academic research study focused on making data-driven decisions.

May 9: Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Director of Music Jennifer Pascual,

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Director of Music Jennifer Pascual, who graduated from JU in 1992, will deliver the keynote address at 3 p.m.

She is the first woman appointed to the post at the cathedral in New York City

After graduating from JU, Pascual received a master’s in piano performance from Mannes College of Music and a doctorate of musical arts in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

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