Press Release for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cascone Family Gift Launches UNF Study Abroad Endowment

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida recently received a $350,000 gift from the Cascone Family Foundation, establishing the Cascone Family Study Abroad Endowment.

The gift is eligible for state matching funds, which will bring the total amount to $525,000. The Cascone Family Study Abroad Endowment will be used by UNF students studying abroad in the Coggin College of Business and the Department of World Languages.

“The generosity of the Cascone Family Foundation will encourage and support UNF business students as they seek to become future leaders. Our whole community benefits from their gift,” said John McAllister, dean of the Coggin College of Business at UNF.

“This gift will make it possible for students from World Languages and the Coggin College of Business to experience the greater global community in ways they might otherwise not be able to experience,” said Barbara Hetrick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNF. “The gift from the Cascone Family Foundation will provide and preserve opportunities for our students now and into the future.”

Michael Cascone, a Southside resident, is the retired chairman of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) and was awarded the Coggin College’s Prime Osborne/Distinguished Leader award in 2004. He remains one of Jacksonville’s most outstanding executives and civic-minded citizens.

Active on local, state and national levels in health care related issues, he spent 35 years with BCBSF, consistently demonstrating his own principled commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all by heading a diverse array of charitable organizations, including a record-breaking Northeast Florida United Way Campaign.

Two of Cascone’s children graduated from UNF. Michael Joseph Cascone has a BBA in Accounting from UNF’s Coggin College and Juliette Cascone Gredenhag has a B.A. in Communications. While studying at UNF, Gredenhag participated in a month long study abroad program in Strasbourg, France.

The Cascone Family Foundation contributes annually to the Coggin College and French study abroad scholarships at the University.

This year there are more than 200 students from the Coggin College that are participating in short-term study abroad programs. According to the Open Doors 2007 report, an international educational exchange report, the Coggin College ranks No. 4 in the nation among Master’s Universities—universities which offer a full range of baccalaureate programs and are committed to graduate education through the master’s degree—in the number of students participating in short-term study abroad programs.

Approximately 50 UNF language students study abroad each semester, many of whom enroll in the University’s faculty-led study abroad programs to Strasbourg, France, and Valencia, Spain. Additionally, students studying Spanish have the opportunity to enroll in the University of Alcalá de Henares program in Spain, where UNF has an established relationship with this institution.

Other UNF students enroll independently in a variety of programs. Last year alone, World Languages students studied in China, Japan, Perú, France, Morocco, Russia, Germany and Costa Rica, among other nations.