Skip to Main Content

Press Release for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

UNF Alumni Association Recognizes Exceptional Alums

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

The University of North Florida Alumni Association will recognize several exceptional alums for their exemplary service and contributions to UNF during the 13th Annual Alumni Recognition Dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at the University Center on campus. Cost for the event is $50.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. Shyman B. Paryani. 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.

Paryani is the director of the Florida Radiation Oncology Group. He is also chairman and medical director of OnCURE Medical Corporation, where he oversees 13 radiation cancer treatment centers. As a UNF graduate, he has given back to the University by serving on the Brooks College of Health Advisory Board, the Foundation Board and by pledging his personal resources.

Paryani also serves as director of the P.E.T. Scan and Cyclotron Center, co-director of the Florida Cancer Center and co-director of the Flagler Cancer Center. He holds the patent for the Scott–Paryani Quick Implanter, which treats cancer using radioactive beads implanted around tumors.

The 2007 Honorary Almuni Awards will also be presented during the recognition dinner. This year’s recipients include Helen Brown, Walter Moore, Russell B. Newton III, Howard Serkin and Tony Weight.

Brown’s commitment to UNF, most specifically the Brooks College of Health, is longstanding, generous and beyond expectation. Since 1995, she and her husband, Dr. J. Brooks Brown, have been stalwart supporters, dedicating their personal time and resources to advance the College. Their support was crucial to the award of the generous transformational gifts from the Brooks Health System, resulting in the naming of the Brooks College of Health. These gifts also resulted in many scholarships to students and professorships to faculty members.

Moore has demonstrated a deep and lasting commitment to UNF for more than 25 years. As president and CEO of UNIJAX Paper Company and a prominent business leader, he endorsed the University and supported its early growth. He served on the UNF Foundation Board from 1983-1986 and established the UNIJAX Endowed Scholarship, one of the first endowments UNF received. Moore led the initiative to establish an eminent scholar chair in wholesaling in UNF’s College of Business Administration, which has had a significant impact on the students and faculty of the Coggin College of Business for many years.

Newton is president of Timucuan Asset Management, Inc. and also serves as the general partner of The Timucuan Fund, Ltd. and Timucuan Opportunity Fund, L.P. He is a longtime supporter of the University. He first became involved as a volunteer in the 1990s, serving as chair of the UNF Foundation Investment Committee. Today, as the 20th president of the Foundation, he continues to excel with his leadership, vision and passion for education. Newton’s accomplishments include implementing the Foundation’s investment strategy and philosophy that ensure the best possible returns for UNF’s endowment.

Serving as chairman of Heritage Capital Group, Serkin began his association with UNF as the first Executive in Residence in the Coggin College of Business in the late 1980s. He has been a dedicated volunteer and staunch supporter of UNF. Serkin has served as president of the UNF Foundation Board and provided leadership to several Foundation committees. His company also funded the 2002 UNF Local Economic Indicators Project.

Weight has been a tremendous supporter of UNF Athletics. He has established the Weight-Kilcullen Basketball Program Endowment and was instrumental in organizing the effort to fund and build the Dr. Arthur Browning Athletic Rehabilitation Training and Education Center at UNF. Additionally, Weight has committed a significant gift, along with fellow honorary alumnus John Hayt, to allow UNF Athletics to build a dedicated student-athlete strength and conditioning facility in Hodges Stadium.

Additional awards to be presented are the Young Alumni Award and Outstanding Alumni Awards. Dr. Jarek E. Conrad will receive the Young Alumni Award, while six alums will receive the Outstanding Alumni Awards. The recipients are as follows:

Brooks College of Health: Mary S. Lesperance
Coggin College of Business: Don Packard III
College of Arts & Sciences: Dr. Helen D. Jackson
College of Computing, Engineering and Construction: Ryan Fryman
College of Education and Human Services: Laine Silverfield
Division of Student Affairs: John R. Conway