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The Honorable Jerry Maygarden

Retired Public Servant


Former Mayor of Pensacola, Former Legislator and Majority Leader in the Florida House of Representatives, Former President of Baptist Health Care Foundation, Former President of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce


Right out of high school, Jerry Maygarden helped build the road leading into the University. While serving as student body president, he funded the Natatorium. Later, in the legislature, he lobbied for the Health, Leisure and Sports Facility and had a hand in purchasing 600 acres that expanded the campus by 60 percent. The former mayor of Pensacola said his time at UWF prepared him for a life of public service.

Public service is quite obviously your calling. How were you called to serve?

I was raised by a family committed to the notion of giving back. My father frequently underscored the belief that a great place to live, work and play cannot be purchased with tax dollars—it takes sweat equity. You have to find a place to make a contribution and do your best to improve the human condition.

Why is UWF important to this community?

I think the University is an exceptional contributor to the region. Outside of Luna’s landing and the birth of naval aviation, there’s not a larger contributor than UWF to our social, political and economic life. Pensacola is a different place today because of the University. I’m grateful to have been a part of it.

What does it mean to you to see how the University has grown?

I am fiercely proud of our University, and I want the best for the faculty, staff and students, because they deserve it. I am pleased to have had a direct hand in the advancement of higher education in the state and region.

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