JU Celebrates 80 Years at Renovated River House

Alumni, students, faculty and staff gather to toast the university's past and future

Eighty years marks a milestone at Jacksonville University and with that milestone comes renovations, new buildings and a toast to celebrate the past and future that is JU.

On April 16, students and alumni gathered at 6 p.m. to celebrate the past 80 years of the university. The gathering took place at the newly renovated River House, where food and beer, samples of what is to be sold there when the facility permanently opens, were served.

Although the allure of free food and beer may have brought the students to the venue, it was really all about celebrating the history of JU and what has made the university what it is today.

Originally founded in 1934, JU was originally known as William J. Porter College before becoming Jacksonville Junior College. Since then, JU has grown and is continuing to grow under the leadership of JU president and alumnus, Tim Cost.

“This is a historic day,” said Alvin Brown, mayor and two-time graduate of JU. “President Tim Cost has gone above and beyond anything we could have ever thought. He has taken JU by storm and he is a strong visionary leader, taking JU to the next level of success.”

Students and alumni celebrated along with Mayor Brown and President Cost until 9 p.m., when a surprise of fireworks was unveiled on the Dolphin Green.

“It is really amazing what has been done in only the year I’ve been an alumna,” said Kat Ramsey, class of 2013. “I’m incredibly jealous but the surprises just keep coming and I know more big things will happen for JU.”