Admiral Jonathan T. 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 University of North Florida 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 students.
Admiral Howe has built strong community partnerships involving UNF and regularly seeks opportunities to connect the University with other local resources. As the president of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, he is credited with forging the relationship between the organization and UNF. This alliance has turned into an internationally acclaimed lecture series and has evolved into a premier cultural and intellectual resource for the Jacksonville community. In addition, Admiral Howe led the effort to raise $1 million from the World Affairs Council to establish an endowed scholarship at UNF.
As the Executive Director of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Admiral Howe has been committed and focused on improving public and higher education in our community. This is evident by the fact, that the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have contributed a major gift to UNF to pair interns with math students at Jacksonville’s low performing inner-city high schools.
Admiral Howe enjoys working with our students as well. He regularly volunteers at UNF conducting mock interviews for honor students who are applying for the prestigious MacArthur, Gates and Rotary International Fellowship. He personally encourages our students to volunteer and attend various intellectual and cultural events to broaden their personal development.
Admiral Howe has brought countless people into the circle of the University of North Florida including prospective students, volunteers, donors and friends. He has served as a true community ambassador for the University and exhibits all the characteristics of a committed alumnus. We are pleased and that he is one of the University’s most enthusiastic representatives and proud to recognize him as one of our own.
Irene 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. Irene has played an important role in developing resources for the institution and in strategic planning to ensure its continued momentum. Because of the generosity of the Lazzara Family the University of North Florida 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. Through her philanthropy, service and example, Irene has also had a significant impact on the Jacksonville community. She has been a volunteer leader in the arts, education and healthcare through her involvement with the Florida Theatre, both the UNF and FCCJ Performing Arts Series, MOCA, MOSH, Hubbard House, Wolfson’s Children Hospital and the Women’s Giving Alliance. Whether encouraging prospective students to apply, inviting currently enrolled students to participate in local cultural events, recruiting volunteers and new Foundation Board directors, or raising funds to meeting strategic needs, Irene Lazzara is one of UNF’s strongest advocates. Recognizing her as an Honorary Alumna is a fitting tribute to someone who truly exemplifies the alumni spirit.
Jim Milligan has made a significant commitment to the University of North Florida through a wide range of volunteer activities, service in leadership positions, philanthropic giving and strong commitment as an ambassador of the University. Jim has served as a member of the Foundation Board for 19 years and still is an active member. He has held several key leadership roles while serving on the Board and has volunteered countless hours of service. Jim currently serves as Chair of Finance and Audit Committee and is a member of the Campaign Steering Committee. Jim’s passion and philanthropic role while serving as a UNF advocate is compelling; Jim was instrumental in securing a $500,000 corporate gift to the university from ALLTEL. His role as a top volunteer did not stop there. Jim views UNF as “his university” and has established two endowed scholarships. The first provides scholarship for nursing students and was established in honor of his wife, who is a nurse. The second is a fellowship which provides funding to outstanding UNF graduate students. Jim not only serves as a Foundation Board member and a philanthropist at the University, but is also a mentor to UNF students. He has been instrumental in helping many students find jobs in the Jacksonville area within business, accounting and computer science fields. A native of Jacksonville, Jim is also a true community minded individual with commitment that goes beyond the university. Jim has served on the board of the Schultz Center, Board of Governors for Epping Forest Yacht Club and has played active roles with the Genesis Health Foundation, United Way, Downtown Development Authority, Inroads Jacksonville and San Jose Episcopal Day School. Jim Milligan has proven what the University of North Florida means to him through philanthropy, active leadership, and exemplary service. He is the example of a true Osprey and what UNF strives for its graduates to become. It is with great pride that we recognize him as an Honorary Alumnus.
Susan Ryzewic embodies all the characteristics of a devoted UNF alumna. If you did not know that Susan graduated from another university, you would assume that she was UNF alum as demonstrated by her tireless commitment and generous support. Susan 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. She is hard working and tackles the job with enthusiasm, devotion and the constant pursuit of excellence. During her six years on the Foundation Board, Susan served as the Chair of the Investment Committee where she shared her expertise in foundation investments to help prosper the University. In addition, she has taken personal time to attend AGB (Association of Governing Boards) conferences to learn and implement new strategies to strengthen the organization. Susan 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. Over the years, Susan has financially supported other UNF programs including the Brooks College of Health Us Women’s Group, the First Generation Scholarship and the acquisition of UNF Alumni Hall which provides a campus home for all UNF alumni. In addition to Susan’s work at UNF, she gives her time to other organizations and has worked with non-profit boards in the community such as the Museum of Science and History, the Women’s Giving Alliance through the Community Foundation and the First Coast Girls Initiative Foundation. In her spare time, she leads her family’s foundation (the Remmer Family Foundation) and provides guidance to other non-profits throughout the U.S. Through this work, Susan has become a national resource, speaking to groups in other parts of the country about family foundation investing. Susan clearly commits her time, energy and resources to UNF to help it become the best university it can be, just as a loyal alumna would do for their own alma mater. She serves as a model for our future graduates and we are thrilled to present her with the Honorary Alumni Award.
Hugh 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. While serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Health, Hugh 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 healthcare. With a demanding schedule, he makes it a priority to accept opportunities to share his knowledge and experience with our aspiring students. As a member of the Brooks College of Health Dean’s Council since 2004, he served for two years as Vice Chair of the Council. Hugh 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. In 2007, Hugh was appointed to the University of North Florida Board of Trustees, a role in which he has proven himself to be thoughtful, deliberate and well informed. He offers valuable insight on the many issues that are discussed and considered concerning the future of the University. Hugh is a highly valued executive in the community as well. He has served on the Jacksonville Journey Steering Committee, chaired the United Way of Northeast Florida, and was recently asked to chair the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce for 2011. In 2007, he was inducted into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame; received the Ultimate CEO Award from the Jacksonville Business Journal; and won the Hope Award, given by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Additionally, as chair of the Sulzbacher Center Board, he received the Excellence in Healthcare Award for his efforts on behalf of healthcare for the homeless. Hugh remains committed to our public schools and currently serves on the Board of the Alliance for World Class Education. For his commitment to healthcare and education and the University of North Florida, it is with great pride that we recognize Hugh Greene as an Honorary Alumnus.
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