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Rendering courtesy of Jacksonville University - As part of the $85 million ASPIRE campaign, Jacksonville University envisions a football and lacrosse stadium at its Arlington campus. The new football and lacrosse stadium also can accommodate outdoor t...
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Dec. 4, 201212:00 PM EST

JU announces $85 million ASPIRE campaign


Jacksonville University officials announced the $85 million ASPIRE campaign designed to raise funds for scholarships and research, health sciences facilities, improved athletics venues, an endowment and more.

"This is our future. This moves us to where we should be to keep fulfilling our promise to students, parents and the community," said JU President Kerry Romesburg in a news release. The announcement was made Friday.

JU, established in 1934, is based at 2800 University Blvd. N. in Arlington.

Incoming JU President Tim Cost, who will take the position Feb. 1 as Romesburg retires, is the campaign chairman. He talked about the campaign with the Daily Record in October, but delayed details until the formal announcement.

The 78-year-old liberal arts institution has more than 3,700 students.

The campaign, which is explained at, began its quiet phase in 2009.

"We wanted to go public by the end of 2012, and we wanted to reach a critical mass of initial fundraising with commitments from all of our 34 trustees," said Cost, a trustee. He said $43.1 million has been raised to date.

JU offers majors in more than 70 areas. The release said U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly recognized it as one of "America's Best Colleges."

The five fundraising "pillars" were outlined Friday.

Scholarships and academics — $19 million

• Student scholarships — $15 million.

• Faculty development and research — $1 million.

• The JU honors program — $1 million.

• Undergraduate research — $1 million

• Davis College of Business initiatives — $1 million

College of Health Sciences growth — $20 million

The program plans for a new 45,000-square-foot College of Health Sciences building, with

dedicated classrooms, faculty and staff offices, meeting rooms, a

multidisciplinary simulation learning center and a computer laboratory.

Enhancing campus and student life — $8.4 million

• Marine Science Research Institute — $800,000.

• Land development — $6.6 million.

• River House remodel — $500,000.

• Phillips Fine Arts remodel — $500,000.

Athletics — $17.6 million

• Basketball and volleyball practice facility — $7.5 million.

• Football and lacrosse stadium — $4.2 million (Phase 1)

• JU Athletics Center — $5.7 million.

• Softball hitting facility — $200,000.

Financial vitality — $20 million

The campaign wants to increase JU's endowment, which now is more than $30 million.

"JU must be able to respond quickly to emerging current needs and opportunities to serve students, prospective employers and the greater Jacksonville community," said a news release.

"A 'nest egg' to meet accelerating future demands is vital. A portion of endowment income will be used to support endowed professorships, extending faculty career ladders to recognize the highest levels of experience and qualification," it said.

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