JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University on Sunday held a celebration of life for Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, chancellor emerita and former president of the university.
It was a chance for the JU family to say goodbye to Kinne, who died in May 2020 at age 102 -- just days before her 103rd birthday.
There was no grand service last year for the first female president of a Florida university because of COVID-19, but that was fixed Sunday afternoon when dozens arrived on the JU campus in Arlington to pay their respects to Kinne.
“We recognize the monumental contributions that Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne made to our community,” said Dr. Tim Cost, president of JU.
Cost read a proclamation from the mayor.
“I do hereby proclaim today -- May 23, 2021 -- as Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne Day here in Jacksonville, Florida,” he said.
Faces from JU through the decades paid tribute to Kinne, including JU basketball legend Artis Gilmore.
“The greatest lady that I know that I call mom,” Gilmore said. “It is so wonderful to see all of you and the connection we had with Dr. Fran Kinne.”
The university also unveiled a bronze statue of Kinne at the event that will stand in Kinne Plaza on campus.