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Alumni swoop up awards during Homecoming Week

Jordan Bebout

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Members of the Osprey Club, the booster organization for the UNF Athletics program. Photo by Jordan Bebout

Members of the Osprey Club, the booster organization for the UNF Athletics program. Photo by Jordan Bebout

Osprey alumni flew back to the nest Wednesday night for the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony to celebrate the “Best of the Best” of the flock.

The Alumni Association honored the achievements of accomplished ospreys at its annual Alumni Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony in the Student Union as part of UNF’s homecoming celebrations.

Nominated by their colleagues, the candidates were discussed and voted on by an alumni board.  Not only were award recipients successful in their careers, they are also well-liked and respected within the osprey community.

“We were impressed with the caliber of the nominees,” said Debbie Johnson, a 30-year member of the Alumni Association.

In their speeches, all of the award recipients acknowledged others who were part of their journey to success, along with telling funny stories about their colleagues and their time at UNF. After their speeches, all the recipients received standing ovations, along with hugs on their way back to their seats.

This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award is Lisa Davis, CEO and founder of Analytics Partners, a healthcare data consulting company in the Riverside area. She described herself as a “second-generation Jacksonvillian with a desire to grow the community.”

Davis had made her mark on campus by starting up the collaborative computer stations on the second floor of the library. Davis hopes these stations will encourage students to engage with each other more.

This year’s recipient of the Service Award is Sam Inman, CFO of Community First Credit Union and graduate from the Coggin College of Business.This award is given to an osprey alumni who shows continual commitment to volunteering and involvement in the community. Inman is a mentor and board member of Big brothers and Big Sisters of Northeast Florida

David Polovina gave a speech after accepting the Honorary Alumni Award. Photo by Jordan Bebout

David Polovina gave a speech after accepting the Honorary Alumni Award. Photo by Jordan Bebout

Dave Polovina, account executive at Demetree Insurance Services, won the Honorary Alumni award for improving the quality of education at UNF.

“I love my UNF family and getting to change students’ lives,” said Polovina.

He didn’t graduate from UNF, but now he can call himself an alumni.

Dr. Derrick Robinson, visiting assistant professor of economics at UNF, is the recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Robinson exhibited outstanding professional achievement, contributions to the community and exemplary service to the University. While he was at UNF, he lead several TLO’s and was involved in the Environmental Center.

“I love UNF,” said Robinson. “I love the community we have here and the variety of students.”

UNF Alumni James Taylor, Jessica Klopfstein and John Klopfstein enjoy the cocktail reception before the ceremony. Photo by Jordan Bebout

UNF Alumni James Taylor, Jessica Klopfstein and John Klopfstein enjoy the cocktail reception before the ceremony. Photo by Jordan Bebout

The UNF Alumni Association hosts many events throughout the year, but the recognition ceremony seems to be a favorite amongst the crowd. Alumni have a splendid excuse to get dressed, see their peers, and enjoy it all with a nice dinner. What more could one ask for?

“Our graduates work every day to make this city great,” said Joshua Merchant, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Engagement. “You’re all shining ospreys,” he said.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]

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Alumni swoop up awards during Homecoming Week