Press Release for Thursday, April 5, 2018
UNF Board of Trustees Names Student Union in Honor of John Delaney
Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida Board of Trustees voted late yesterday afternoon during a special meeting to name the campus Student Union building the John A. Delaney Student Union in honor of President John Delaney’s service and commitment to the University over the last 15 years.
“Naming the Student Union after our longest-serving president is a fitting reminder of the mark John Delaney has left on this University,” said BOT Chair Kevin Hyde. “The Student Union is the heart of the campus and under his leadership, this facility has made a positive impact, not only on the lives of students and the entire University community but Northeast Florida as well.”
The announcement came as a surprise to Delaney Thursday evening during the annual Celebrate UNF event, which showcases the impact of University alumni, donors and volunteers on the Jacksonville community. The building naming will take effect Friday, June 1.
“I’m truly flattered to have our Student Union, the hub of student activity, named in my honor. I’ve had three fulfilling careers over the course of my life and this has been the longest,” said Delaney, who retires from the UNF presidency May 31. “I’m grateful to all who have joined me on this journey.”
Last spring, the Student Union was recognized by College Rank as one of “The Best 25 Student Union Centers” in the nation and was one of only two Florida institutions to make the list. In 2012, the Student Union was also recognized by the Florida Chapter of The American Institute of Architects as the best educational building and voted the top building in the state by architects’ votes. Additionally, the facility was voted by the public as the No. 4 building overall in the state and was the only local building in the Top 5.
Designed by Rink Design Partnership Inc., the 150,000-square-foot Student Union was completed in 2009 and is comprised of two, three-story buildings, referred to as 58 East and 58 West, separated by an outdoor student plaza, called Osprey Plaza. The $40.1 million facility was programmed to be the focal point for student activities and programs, dining facilities and offices for Student Government as well as the Division of Student and International Affairs.
The east building is mostly administrative and houses all Student Government functions, Student and International Affairs offices, a bank, Outtakes snack store, a game room and Spinnaker Media. The west building contains a food court with three fast-food outlets on the main floor, the UNF Bookstore (two stories), the Boathouse restaurant and various meeting rooms on the second level, four ballrooms on the third level, along with numerous student lounges and meeting rooms of various capacities.
One of the most unique elements of the Student Union is a 108,000-square-foot grass amphitheater with a permanent stage. Located behind the west building, the Coxwell Amphitheater, which can seat 6,000 spectators, is constructed with a nine-degree elevation for optimum viewing by crowds attending concerts, performances, fairs and other events.
The Student Union follows the University’s other new buildings on campus as a certified “green” building, meaning it uses energy-saving measures, recycled materials and natural light to improve the work environment.
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.