After serving as Jacksonville’s mayor from 1995-2003, John A. Delaney became the University of North Florida’s fifth president in 2003. As mayor, Delaney spearheaded major initiatives including The Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.2 billion improvement plan that gave the city new public facilities and other amenities. He also created the Preservation Project, a massive land conservation program giving Jacksonville the distinction of having the largest urban park system in the United States. Prior to that, he served as the chief assistant state attorney, the number two prosecutor for Northeast Florida and as the general counsel for the City of Jacksonville.
As UNF President, John A. Delaney oversees a campus of more than 16,000 students, 600 faculty and more than 1,000 staff. The 1,381 acre campus in Northeast Florida is considered a driver in the region, with an annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion. Under his direction, UNF reaffirmed its commitment to students, by offering individualized attention and offering transformational learning opportunities.
Delaney is considered UNF’s chief fundraiser, nearly doubling the university’s privately funded endowment. In April 2013, the Power of Transformation campaign exceeded its goal, raising more than $130 million. The campaign was publicly launched in 2009 with an ambitious goal of $110 million. His presidency continues a distinguished career as a public servant. Delaney has also served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards. He and his wife Gena have four children and twin grandsons.
John explains why the Human Rights Ordinance in the city of Jacksonville is important, not only to him, but to the city of Jacksonville: “If we want a strong workforce and a strong educational system, we need to recognize the rights and contributions of LGBT individuals in the workplace and throughout society. It’s the smart thing to do as well as the ethically and morally right course to follow.”