David Hicks, major UNF contributor and philanthropist, dies at age 82

Hannah Lee

Most UNF students will recognize his last name as it is plastered all over campus: the building that hosts OneStop, Ann & David Hicks Hall, as well as a college— the Hicks Honors College. These buildings will be the legacy David Hicks leaves behind for students. Hicks passed away on Monday, July 9 in Colorado. He was 82.

Ann and David Hicks. Courtesy of University of North Florida

Hicks was a member of the Jacksonville community in almost every way. He was a chairman of the Jacksonville Housing Authority, he chaired HabiJax (an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity), he was a patron of the arts at the Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens, and he built the Jacksonville-changing company, Computer Power.

Hicks was responsible for giving $7 million to UNF in order to launch the Hicks Honors College. He also co-chaired with Ann Hicks to raise over $103 million in UNF’s first capital fund campaign.

“We in the Hicks Honors College are deeply saddened by David Hicks’s death.  His generosity to UNF is legendary, but the endowment of the Hicks Honors College was beyond generous—it was a full-throated commitment to the enrichment of higher education and creation of the best possible environment for students to become next-generation leaders.  It was far-thinking and visionary.  David’s heart for improving the lives of all people was evident in his endowment of the Hicks Honors College as it was in his support for Habitat for Humanity (Habijax),” Jeff Chamberlain, dean of the Hicks Honors College, said. “In the short time I have been dean of the Hicks Honors College, I have seen the dramatic ways that the Hicks’s endowment has transformed the lives of student after student, empowering them to achieve things beyond their dreams.  No one can know the extent of the ripples of the good that they do in society and the world, but I hope that David was aware that his investment in so many people’s lives made the world a distinctly better place.”

Along with raising funds, Hicks also created several scholarships for students coming to UNF.

“The campus community is truly saddened by David’s passing. David had a big heart for helping others and his legacy will live on at UNF each day through the many students who receive the Hicks Scholarships, the Neil Gray Scholarships as well as those in the Hicks Honors College,” Ann McCullen, vice president for University Development and Alumni Engagement, said. “We are forever grateful for the many ways David and his wife Ann supported the university. Our hearts go out to Ann, their three children and many grandchildren.”

His memorial service is set for early fall. The family has asked that memorial gifts be sent to the HabiJax office at 2404 Hubbard St., Jacksonville, FL 32206.


* Updated on July 12, 2018 11:45 a.m.

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