The University of North Florida offers distinct educational and
cultural resources and state of the art performance spaces that are
available to the community.
The Thomas G. Carpenter Library is 199,000 sq. ft. and seats 2,000. The facility has 300 public workstations, 37 study carrels, and 17 group study rooms, and has wireless connectivity. The library is open to the general public, and is used by a cross-section of the Jacksonville area. Anyone with online access can search the Library’s catalog, digital collections, and research guides prepared by library staff. The Library’s reference services provide information and research assistance to area business people and the general public. The Library faculty and staff also provide resources to the community, including author talks, lectures, and special programs.
Courtesy borrowing privileges are extended to students, faculty, and staff of Florida’s state universities and community colleges, and for local faculty and staff of Jacksonville University and Edward Waters College. Students in the International Baccalaureate program at area high schools are also eligible for courtesy borrowing privileges. The UNF Alumni Association currently provides library cards to local Alumni. In addition, area educators, business people, and other professionals can apply to become Special Borrowers with an annual fee and limited borrowing privileges.The Library also houses Special Collections, which includes University Archives, Manuscripts/Personal Papers, Rare Materials, and the Florida Heritage Collection. Currently, the public can schedule an appointment to view the items in the Special collections. An effort is also underway to digitize many of these holdings for easier public access. Special Collections also sponsors changing exhibitions and offers research materials on Jacksonville history.
The Fine Arts Center offers a variety of programming throughout the year, providing the Jacksonville community with more opportunities to experience national and international productions such as The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Langston Hughes Project, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Sleeping Beauty on Ice.The English department also offers opportunities for the community to experiencetheatrical performances. They have produced plays such as New Beginnings by Jessica Rich, Down from the Mountain by Acacia Bush, Day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward, and more. The UNF Undergraduate Theatre Club has performed The Maids by Jean Genet and Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett to name a few. Additionally, Explorations in Documentary provides the opportunity to showcase student films, paintings, texts, and installations to the public.
The UNF Fine Arts Center includes the Lazzara Performance Hall, which seats 1,400 guests for major events. The Center also has a 200 seat recital hall, four large rehearsal rooms, 44 individual practice rooms, and specially designed teaching studios and classrooms.Musical offerings range from the inaugural performance of soprano Kathleen Battle in 2002, to jazz singer Dianne Reeves, to eight-time Grammy award winner, Natalie Cole. The Music department has 10 performing groups that provide concerts to the public. These include the UNF Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Opera Ensemble, Drumline, and Wind Ensemble. UNF puts on the Great American Jazz Series, which brings in jazz artists as residents, and the Feast of Carols with world-renowned composers. Last year the Opera Ensemble put on its first complete, vocally suitable operatic work with orchestra. Many of these groups also provide performances throughout the community, including at local elementary schools and other venues.The UNF Jazz Ensemble I has the reputation of being one of the finest collegiate jazz ensembles worldwide. They have won numerous group and individual awards and have been recognized by several national publications. The Ensemble has performed all over the United States and abroad. They also perform annually at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
UNF provides the Jacksonville community with the opportunity to hear distinguished speakers on an array of topics relevant to current events and societal issues. There are currently eight different speaker series throughout the campus, including the Presidential Lecture Series, the Irish Studies Performance, and Distinguished Voices Lecture Series which includes the Inquiry and Insight Lecture Series. Past speakers have included documentarian Ken Burns, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, German historian Daniel Goldhagen, and noted author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi. The Inquiry and Insight series, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs, provides free lectures which are open to the public and “promote dialogue among visiting scholars, community supporters, students, faculty members, and staff.”There is also an annual Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Luncheon, a program celebrating the non-violent teachings and ideals of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Past speakers for the luncheon include actor Ossie Davis, comedian Dick Gregory, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and television/radio personality Tavis Smiley.
While more of this information will be revealed through future phases of the project, the sports program at UNF offers the opportunity for the Jacksonville community to attend a variety of events. Facilities include the Dusty Rhodes Batting Facility and the Hayt Golf Learning Center. The UNF Arena has been used for a variety of concerts, the Orlando Magic Training Camp, area high school graduations, and even hosted the 2004 U.S. men's and women's Olympic teams. Inside the arena, the community can view the UNF Athletics Hall of Fame, presented by the PLAYERS Championship. Community sports enthusiasts can also enjoy the friendly rivalry with Jacksonville University at the SunTrust River City Rumble.
The 1,300 acre UNF campus includes a nature and wildlife area with lakes and trails. The wildlife refuge is not only used by faculty and students for scientific research, but also as a rich resource for all members of the local community.The UNF Environmental Center hosts the UF Master Naturalist Program and various conferences, including one in conjunction with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions on "Ethical Aspects of Urban Development.” They also hosted a conference with the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. District IV on "Water Matters?"Faculty and students also conduct research that impacts our local environment, including a multidisciplinary study of the economic, political, sociological, cultural, anthropological, historical, scientific, hydrologic, and engineering aspects of the St. Johns River.
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