Jacksonville University dedicates Alfred I. duPont Plaza study space, adds new scholarships

Study space celebrates acclaimed philanthropist, nursing scholarship fund

From left, Kimberly Price, David Gonino, Dr. Christine Sapienza, and JU President Tim Cost at the dedication of the Alfred I. duPont Plaza.
From left, Kimberly Price, David Gonino, Dr. Christine Sapienza, and JU President Tim Cost at the dedication of the Alfred I. duPont Plaza.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  Jacksonville University is celebrating its new Alfred I. duPont Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund and honoring Alfred I. duPont’s commitment to education by naming one of its most prominent study spaces for the legendary industrialist and philanthropist.

The Alfred I. duPont Plaza sits in the heart of the oak-canopied campus, its cushioned seating areas, landscaping, stone pavers and smartphone charging stations nestled just outside the Founders and Council buildings, two of JU’s first, built on land cleared by students in the 1950s. 

"Alfred once said, ‘It has been my firm conviction throughout life that it is the duty of everyone in the world to do what is within his power to alleviate human suffering.’ Given that view, I believe he would be very proud to support the Nursing program here at Jacksonville University,” said David Gonino, Chief Investment Officer for the Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust. “Thank you for the wonderful work you do educating the next generation of nurses and choosing a beautiful place on campus to honor Alfred.”

The $100,000 gift from the Trust’s Alfred I. duPont Educational and Charitable Fund will help finance in perpetuity the education of Nursing students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. JU’s Keigwin School of Nursing will select recipients who are Nursing students, who will be known as Alfred I. duPont Nursing Scholars.

“Any time we have a chance to upgrade the quality of the experience for our JU students and at the same time strengthen our relationship with one of the finest organizations on the globe, it’s a red-letter day for our University,” JU President Tim Cost said at the dedication of the plaza. “We are here at JU for applied learning … and our [duPont scholarship awardees] will be able to get an education and come out and contribute in the world of healthcare.”

Dr. Christina Sapienza, Dean of the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, noted that from humble beginnings in 1984 with seven graduates, today’s Keigwin School of Nursing boasts nearly 6,000 alumni who work locally, nationally and around the world, and are some of the most sought-after recruits by major hospitals.

What’s termed “The JU Nurse,” Dr. Sapienza said, is much in demand and set apart from other job candidates because the Keigwin School of Nursing accepts only the highest-caliber, most passionate candidates; offers a rigorous curriculum that includes realistic, patient-centered training in its Simulation Training and Applied Research (STAR) Center; and, perhaps above all else, features a caring, renowned faculty that teaches contemporary toolsets to allow students to become highly effective practitioners.

“When a recruiter from a hospital tells us our students are different, they are different because of the humanistic care they portray when treating patients, and while that can be taught, it also is modeled by the faculty in our college,” Dr. Sapienza said.

“We’re incredibly proud that the scholarships being provided will not only help students finish their educations, but also that the Alfred I. duPont Educational and Charitable Fund will be proud of the type of nurse our students are when they leave here,” she added. “It’s with tremendous gratitude that you’ve given us the opportunity through this scholarship program to not only reward students for their past and current achievement, but also to motivate them so they can reach their future goals.”

About The Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust

The Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust is one of America’s most generous supporters of pediatric healthcare. Since 1935, the Trust has distributed more than $2.7 billion to its primary beneficiary, The Nemours Foundation, for the care and treatment of children primarily in Delaware and Florida, and it has helped hundreds of thousands of sick children find health and new hope for the future, regardless of ability to pay. For more information, visit http://www.alfrediduponttrust.org.

About the JU Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences

Jacksonville University’s Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences aspires to be the region’s premier provider of healthcare science education. The college is committed to preparing healthcare professionals for careers defined by excellence in practice, community service and lifelong professional development. Our core values include teaching, research and community engagement. We are well-positioned to provide students with the essential skills and hands-on training they need to be competitive and thrive in high-demand jobs in the healthcare industry. Our faculty and staff are innovative, creative and engaged in advancing the knowledge and skills to improve the delivery of health and human services. Our College includes the Keigwin School of Nursing, School of Applied Health Sciences and School of Orthodontics. For more information, visit www.ju.edu/chs.

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