Press Release for Wednesday, May 14, 2008

UNF Fellowship Honors Former Mayor Ed Austin

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

Former Jacksonville Mayor Ed Austin is being honored today with a fellowship in his name at a special event hosted by the University of North Florida.

UNF President John A. Delaney will announce the establishment of the Ed Austin Graduate Fellowship Endowment Fund at 6 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Alumni Hall (formerly the Auchter Building), located at 4804 Kernan Boulevard, just north of the entrance to the core of campus.

Friends and colleagues have contributed $100,000 to the endowed fellowship fund in Austin’s name, honoring his distinguished career in public service to the Jacksonville community. The contribution will be matched by the State of Florida at 50 percent, bringing the total to $150,000. The endowment will provide perpetual support for outstanding students seeking a Master of Public Administration degree at the University.

“Ed has been a leader in this community for so many decades, it’s great to see his friends, family and former co-workers honoring him in this way,” said Delaney, who got his start working for Austin at the State Attorney’s Office in 1981. “This endowment fund will ensure that Ed not only has a long-lasting legacy in the community but also in higher education.”

Austin’s most lasting contribution as mayor is his River City Renaissance program, which funded urban renewal and revamped the city’s historic downtown neighborhoods. He oversaw the city’s purchase and refurbishing of the St. James Building, which would eventually become Jacksonville’s new city hall.

Before running for mayor, Austin served as State Attorney for 20 years. He received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in school administration and received a juris doctor from the University of Florida.