“All traditions have to start somewhere,” said Brown, associate director of academic support services for Transportation & Logistics. “Instead of complaining that UNF didn’t have any great traditions, I decided to start one myself.”
Brown said she offers the cap and gown to special students who appreciate the tradition and share her Osprey pride. Each time a new graduate dons the borrowed set as he or she matriculates, Brown follows up by stitching the name of the new alum inside the gown.
“They are very happy and then humbled when they see the names of the UNF graduates who have walked before them,” she said. “It is very meaningful for them.”
In the spring of 2004, Brown also started another meaningful tradition for alumni: UNF Alumni Third Thursdays at Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery in Jacksonville. What started as a casual happy hour for a handful of friends and classmates from Transportation & Logistics transformed into an official alumni event in 2005.
“Since then, literally hundreds of UNF alumni have come out for Third Thursdays,” Brown said, adding that alums “Liz Giustra and Shawn Parnell met at Third Thursday and were married in April 2009. In June 2010 they blessed us with our very first Third Thursday baby, Lorelei Parnell. How great is that?”