University of North Florida kicks off new semester

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday wasn’t just the first day of school for hundreds of freshmen kicking off the new semester at University of North Florida. It was also President David Szymanski’s first day in charge.

Dr. Szymanski, the former dean of the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, takes over for John Delaney, who retired in May to return to the private sector.

But even though Delaney is gone, a piece of him remains on campus. The student union now carries the former president’s name, one of many changes returning students will notice.

Another change is the renovation of Skinner-Jones Hall. The school recently upgraded classrooms and research labs at the facility, which primarily houses students studying engineering and computing.

Incoming freshman Marissa Birmingham had mixed emotions as she moved in Friday. "Kind of scared, but I’m excited it’s a new chapter," she told News4Jax.

Fortunately for Birmingham, there were plenty of upperclassmen with advice on how to make the most of this opportunity.

"I would definitely say be yourself," said junior Ciera Brooks. "There is no one like you, no place like this. Just come here, be yourself and you will find your people."

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