Press Release for Thursday, May 1, 2008

UNF Receives $1 Million, Thanks to Vulcan Materials Company

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

Vulcan Materials Company, Florida Rock Division, was recognized today for its gift to the University of North Florida to establish the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund. The company’s $600,000 donation will be matched at 70 percent by the State of Florida, bringing the total to just over $1 million, and will fund scholarships for The Jacksonville Commitment.

“We are happy to support UNF and The Jacksonville Commitment. We are excited about partnering with UNF to help eliminate the cost barrier so students can obtain a college education,” said Tom Baker II, president, Vulcan Materials Company, Florida Rock Division.

“We look forward to watching Jacksonville Commitment Scholars earn their degrees and enter the work force as productive, well educated members of the community,” said Scott McCaleb, vice president, Vulcan Materials Company, Florida Rock Division.

Vulcan Materials Company is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates and provides infrastructure materials that are required by the American economy. The company has 287 aggregates production and related facilities serving 21 states, the District of Columbia and Mexico.

“UNF deeply appreciates this generous gift from Vulcan Materials Company to help fund scholarships for The Jacksonville Commitment,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “Students from low-income families will no longer have to choose between going to college and supporting themselves.”

The Jacksonville Commitment was unveiled in March by the presidents of the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Edward Waters College and Florida Community College at Jacksonville along with the City of Jacksonville and Duval County Public Schools to provide the financial support necessary to obtain a college education to public high school students from low-income families.

The pool will consist of students who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program and reside in Duval County. The students with the most need will become Commitment Scholars first. Over time, more students will be accepted as Commitment Scholars.

“I’m so excited about being selected as a scholarship recipient of The Jacksonville Commitment. I believe this scholarship will help me achieve my goals and dreams,” said DeSean Kirkland, a Jacksonville Commitment scholar who will be attending UNF this summer. “I’m thankful to have the opportunity to pursue a college degree, an opportunity many young people don’t have.”

UNF, JU and EWC are guaranteeing the entire cost of a four-year degree, including tuition, books, meals and housing for those students who choose to live on campus. FCCJ is guaranteeing the cost of a two-year degree and books, with the student then transferring to UNF, JU or EWC to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Approximately 9,000 Duval County students in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades financially qualify for The Jacksonville Commitment; however, the students still must meet the admission’s standards of the institution they wish to enter.

Mayor John Peyton is pledging $1 million for The Jacksonville Commitment in the next fiscal year through his city-wide initiative of the Jacksonville Journey. The four local colleges are raising private support to compliment the city’s funding as the program grows.

To find out more about the new scholarship program, go to