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Press Release for Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Celebrate UNF Founders Event Honors Heritage and Presidential Medallion Recipients

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

In recognition of the founding of the University of North Florida, Celebrate UNF, an annual event showcasing the impact of UNF alumni, students, faculty and staff on the Jacksonville community, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at the Student Union, Building 58W, Ballroom, Room 3703, on campus.

UNF will celebrate its origin by announcing the selection of a community leader and two local organizations to receive the prestigious Presidential Medallion, a symbol of exemplary service and outstanding commitment to the University.

“As UNF honors its heritage and envisions its future, we are proud to acknowledge the individuals, organizations and companies that have supported the University over the past 43 years,” said UNF President John Delaney.

This year’s honorees include Dr. Anne Lufrano, the Cascone Family Foundation and EverBank Financial Corporation. They will be awarded a Presidential Medallion during the special evening event December 17. A reception will take place at 6 p.m. in the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, located in the Student Union, Building 58E, second floor.

Each recipient 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.

Dr. Anne Lufrano, a retired counseling psychologist, is the current chair of the Student Affairs Community Council at the University. In 2009, she and her husband, Robert, retired chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, established the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, located on the second floor of the Student Union, Building 58E, on campus. The not-for-profit gallery features traveling art shows and offers educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

The Lufranos have been dedicated University supporters over the years, making generous gifts to the UNF Parents Association Endowed Scholarships, First Generation Scholarships, Student Affairs Community Council, Music Flagship Program and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF. Additionally,
Anne is significantly involved in the community, serving as a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors as well as secretary for The Arc Jacksonville.

EverBank Financial Corp, headquartered in Jacksonville, is a financial services company that provides banking and lending services to consumers and businesses. EverBank has had a relationship with UNF for decades and has generously provided funding for various student scholarships, including the EverBank Scholarship and the First Generation Scholarship program. Since the 2010 fall semester, more than 75 students have benefited as EverBank First Generation Scholarship recipients.

EverBank has also made donations to numerous departments and colleges on campus, including the Coggin College of Business, College of Education and Human Services, MOCA, Division of Continuing Education and Alumni Services, to name a few. Additionally, EverBank is committed to giving back to the community and has partnered with several organizations in Northeast Florida, such as HabiJax, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Take Stock in Children, United Way and Junior Achievement to name a few.

The Cascone Family Foundation has been a supporter of UNF for many years. In 2007, the Foundation established the Cascone Family Study Abroad Endowment to support students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Coggin College of Business in transformative study abroad trips. In 2012, the James R. Belyea Memorial Scholarship Endowment was also established. Over the years, the Foundation has helped support the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy in the Brooks College of Health.

Michael Cascone Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth Belyea Cascone, established the Cascone Family Foundation in 2004. The family has many ties to the University. Michael Cascone Jr. served as a member of the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy Leadership Group and as an honorary member of the Coggin College of Business Advisory Council. In 2004, he received the Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leaders Hall of Fame Award. Many family members have taken classes at UNF, including their son, Michael J. Cascone, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree, daughter, Beth C. Higgs, who completed an associate’s degree, and daughter, Juliette C. Gredenhag, who completed both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree.

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.