Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
The University of North Florida Alumni Association will recognize
several exceptional alums for their exemplary service and contributions to UNF
during the 15th Annual Alumni Recognition Dinner at 6 p.m. tonight
at the University
Center on campus.
The Distinguished Alumni Achievement
Award will be presented to Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley. The
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest award given to a UNF
graduate by the Alumni Association and recognizes alumni who have made a
significant contribution to his or her profession, community and/or society,
having consistently maintained the pursuit of excellence as a representative
and graduate of the University.
would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the University of North Florida,” said Haley, who will
accept tonight’s honor in absentia due to the NFL Scouting Combine. “I am truly
humbled to receive UNF’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. I hold my
education from UNF in very high regard, and I would be proud if any or all of
my children decided to follow in my footsteps someday.”
Entering his 16th season in the
National Football League, Haley embarks on his second season with the Chiefs in
2010. Under his direction in 2009, Kansas
City improved in 30 different key statistical
categories compared to 2008. The Chiefs offense led the NFL in Red Zone scoring
efficiency (89.5 percent) in 2009, while the club ranked eighth in terms of
fewest penalties (84). After ranking 31st in three-and-out percentage on
defense in 2008, Haley’s squad ranked eighth in that category in 2009. The Chiefs
also ranked 12th in the comprehensive special teams rankings compiled by the DallasMorning Newsin 2009 after coming in 29th just one year earlier. Only three
teams made bigger gains in those special teams’ rankings than the Chiefs.
Prior to his arrival in Kansas City, Haley won division titles as an assistant
coach in each of his four previous coaching stops with the N.Y. Jets, Chicago, Dallas and Arizona. As Arizona’s offensive
coordinator in 2008, the Cardinals high-powered offense helped lead the club to
its first league title game since ’47 as the franchise earned a berth in Super
Honorary Almuni Awards will also be presented during the recognition dinner.
This year’s recipients include Adm. Jonathan T. Howe, Irene J. Lazzara, Jim
Milligan, Susan Ryzewic and A. Hugh Greene.
Howe graduated with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1957, and
after a highly successful and decorated naval career, retired in June 1992.
He became the executive director of
the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in 1995. For more than seven years he has
served on the UNF Foundation Board Investment Committee and has been
instrumental in the development and growth of the Foundation endowment,
enabling UNF to provide scholarships and fellowships to many deserving
Lazzara has been an active member of the UNF Foundation
Board since 2001. She is a former chair of the Advancement Committee and
Committee on Directors and is currently an Executive Committee member. Because
of the generosity of the Lazzara family, UNF completed a successful campaign to
furnish and equip the Fine Arts Center. In addition to their capital gift,
Irene and her husband, Gasper, established a scholarship endowment for Music
and Visual Arts students at UNF. There are currently seven Lazzara Scholars
enrolled. She continues to give generously to UNF providing both annual support
and by expanding her scholarship endowments.
Milligan has made a significant commitment to UNF through a
wide range of volunteer activities, service in leadership positions,
philanthropic giving and strong commitment as an ambassador of the University.
He has served as a member of the Foundation Board for 19 years and still is an
active member. His passion and philanthropic role while serving as a UNF
advocate is compelling; Milligan was instrumental in securing a $500,000
corporate gift to the University from ALLTEL.
Ryzewic embodies all the characteristics of a devoted UNF
alumna. She currently serves as the president of the UNF Foundation Board,
which is one of the most time demanding and highly visible positions in which a
volunteer can serve. Ryzewic established the Remmer Ryzewic Family Fund Endowed
Scholarship, providing need-based scholarship funding for Duval County
high school graduates through the Jacksonville Commitment program. Her
endowment will enable bright but financially disadvantaged students in our
community to pursue a college degree at UNF.
Greene is the president and chief executive officer of Baptist Health.
He has demonstrated his commitment to UNF for more than 15 years through not
only his financial support, but also his shared wisdom from both the clinical
and business sides of his esteemed career. He has established himself at UNF as
a revered adjunct clinical professor by giving many classroom presentations in
which he shared valuable real-world scenarios about management and leadership
in health care. Greene has been a tireless champion of the School of Nursing
and was the major convener of the hospital CEO group that agreed to fund the
School for $1 million. This leadership allowed us to expand the size of our now
thriving nursing program.
awards to be presented are the Young Alumni Award and Outstanding Alumni
Awards. UNF graduate Kara Tucker will receive the Young Alumni Award, while six
alums will receive the Outstanding Alumni Awards. The recipients are as
Brooks College of Health: Donna Jones
of Business: Anna Brosche
College of Arts & Sciences:
College of Computing, Engineering
and Construction: Earl Shimp
and Human Services: Joni Shook
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