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Press Release for Monday, September 30, 2013

Community Leaders Selected UNF Presidential Medallion Recipients

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102


The University of North Florida announces the selection of three community leaders to receive the prestigious Presidential Medallion, an honor given to community leaders who have helped guide UNF during its 41 years.

"We celebrate our past and our future and we honor some very important people who have helped us along the way," said UNF President John Delaney. "This year's recipients have been tremendous volunteers as this young university has gained national recognition."

This year's honorees include Dr. R. Bruce Taylor, Melanie Jennings Husk and Bruce Ogier. They will be awarded a Presidential Medallion at noon Tuesday, Oct. 1, during the University's annual Founders Day luncheon at the Adam W. Herbert University Center, Building 43, Banquet Hall, on campus.

Each individual will receive the Presidential Medallion for Outstanding Service, which is the highest form of nonacademic recognition awarded by the University. The medallion is given annually to recognize both alumni and friends who have given their time and talents to help make UNF an outstanding institution of higher education.

Taylor, named an honorary alumnus of UNF in 2001, is the chief executive officer and chairman of Taylor Engineering, Inc. He was originally appointed to the UNF Board of Trustees in 2003 and reappointed for a second and third term. He was elected chair of the Board of Trustees in 2006 and re-elected for a second and third term, ending January 2014.

Taylor's generosity led to establishing the Taylor Engineering Research Institute in UNF's College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. The Institute operates for the advancement of collaborative research in the fields of coastal and water resource science and engineering. Additionally, his leadership to the campus community led to the creation of an on-campus student leadership institute, a concept inspired by Taylor's military experience in the Navy. What started as the Institute for Values, Community and Leadership morphed into the Taylor Leadership Institute, an initiative that emphasizes the promotion of personal, civic and community engagement with a concentration on values and leadership.

Husk, vice president of marketing and communications for Baptist Health, graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University in 1977. She served as a UNF Foundation Board member for more than a decade and donated, along with her husband, Gary, to the Fine Arts Center to name the Husk Jennings Courtyard. Husk has received several awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Outstanding Alumni Award and Fab Grad, all from UNF. Additionally, she was the first woman to receive the coveted Silver Medalist Award from the Advertising Federation of America, won the Tribute to Women in Industry Award and was named an EVE Award finalist in 2001.

She is involved in numerous community organizations, including the First Coast YMCA, United Way of Northeast Florida as marketing committee chair and strategic planning steering committee member, as well as founding member of Bright Holidays, a local organization dedicated to helping area elementary, middle and high school students. She was also selected to become a member of the International Women's Forum, named the Easter Seals Professional Adviser of the Year-the first person outside of the medical profession to receive the commendation-and was named to Adweek's Regional All-Star Team.

Ogier is president and shareholder of Capital Analysts of Jacksonville, Florida, Inc. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from UNF in 1974 and while a student at the University, he was a founding member of the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club. Ogier is a current member of the Student Affairs Community Council at UNF, where he serves on the executive committee and previously served on the resource development and governance committees.

A former member of the UNF Alumni Association Board, he was named a Fab Grad and received an Outstanding Alumni Award in 2008. Last year, Ogier endowed a student initiative, an organic vegetable and herb garden, named the Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens, in memory of his parents. The Ogier Gardens, as they are called, comprise more than an acre on the north side of campus and provide students and other volunteers the opportunity to learn about organic harvesting, health and wellness. The garden also serves as an outdoor classroom for multidisciplinary studies.

UNF, a   nationally ranked  university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures -rounded education.