A Century to be Celebrated

A Century to be Celebrated
Former Jacksonville University president and chancellor, Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, like Linda and David Stein, in the lobby of the Howard Administration Building, May 23.

When Jacksonville University President Tim Cost received his diploma in 1981 from President Frances Bartlett Kinne, he most likely didn’t think he would have to recall the words she whispered to him 36 years ago, but the 100-year-old educator challenged his memory May 23 at her birthday celebration.

“Do well?” he responded. “I told you ‘Go out and change the world,’” she said, adding “But I said that to everyone.”

One year prior to Cost’s graduation, Dr. Frances B. Kinne was inaugurated as the seventh president of Jacksonville University in 1980, having served one year as interim president. She was also the first woman president in the state of Florida and the second in the nation. Kinne was also the first female president of the Jacksonville Rotary Club, first female member of the River Club and winner of the first Jacksonville EVE Award and its first EVE of the Decade (1970-1980) winner.

A Florida Women’s Hall of Famer, Kinne’s list of achievements reflect the values the university tries to instill in its students, said Cost at the former president’s centennial celebration. Persistence, optimism, respect and teamwork took Kinne through some of the 20th century’s worst moments, including the Great Depression and World War II, when she worked as a U.S. Army hostess.

JU’s legendary lady never stopped smiling as four hundred friends and fans gathered at JU’s River House to toast the indomitable petite powerhouse. Wearing her signature red, Kinne went for the laughs reminiscent of the ones she once shared with Bob Hope and Jack Benny when she brought them together to the campus in 1972.

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