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Press Release for Tuesday, December 10, 2013

UNF Student Honored for Service at Fall Commencement

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

The University of North Florida will honor a student with an outstanding record of volunteerism when it hands out more than 1,100 degrees Friday, Dec. 13, during fall commencement at the UNF Arena, Building 34, on campus.

Derek Davis, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication, will be recognized as the recipient of the Senior Service Award, which is presented by the Alumni Association to a graduating senior for outstanding volunteer service to the University and the community. The Senior Service Award will be presented during the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Davis, a native of Southwest Ranches, Fla, has become well known on the campus and in the Jacksonville community through his volunteerism. He has served as the treasurer and vice president of the Presidential Envoys Executive Committee as well as volunteered with the Envoys at numerous events, including the Clara White Mission, Monique Burr Foundation, Alumni Beach Clean Up and the UNF CNN Presidential Debate to name a few.

He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and has served in leadership roles directed at community service, including participation with several organized running events like “Swoop the Loop,” “Girls on the Run” and “We Walk for Lupus.” Davis served as president for Dance Marathon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network, which included overseeing a team of 18 and running the event with more than 400 students. During the past four years, he has helped UNF raise more than $112,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Davis has served on the Caring Committee at the University, volunteered at Mayo Clinic and UFHealth and has continued to serve in the special-needs ministry at his church. He was the recipient of the UNF Caring Award and spent a summer interning in Washington D.C. with the Heart of America Foundation, where he taught elementary-aged students how to read as well as renovated libraries across the nation in underprivileged schools. During the past 18 months, he has worked with youth in Jamaica and Nicaragua and has helped drill for clean water in Zambia, Africa.
The ceremony for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction and the College of Arts and Sciences will be held at 10 a.m., followed by a ceremony for the College of Education and Human Services, the Brooks College of Health and the Coggin College of Business at 2 p.m. All ceremonies will be held at the UNF Arena.

The University expects to award a total of 1,097 bachelor’s degrees, 188 master’s degrees and 2 doctorates this term. Including the fall 2013 graduates, UNF has issued a total of 62,800 bachelor’s degrees, 16,678 master’s degrees and 314 doctorates since first opening its doors in 1972.

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 through a well-rounded education.