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Jerry Maygarden

  • Communication Arts '74, Master of Communication Arts '75, Honorary Doctorate '13


The Honorable Jerry Louis Maygarden was born and raised on the American Gulf Coast in historic Pensacola. He is a community activist who enjoyed a remarkable career in business and public service.

Throughout his career, Jerry held executive leadership positions within some of Florida’s finest, mission-driven organizations, including colleges and universities, hospitals and healthcare systems and state and local governments. Jerry is a former city councilman and mayor of Pensacola. He served as a state legislator and majority leader in the Florida House of Representatives. He also served as president and chief executive officer of the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce. Jerry is Director Emeritus and former Lead Director of Synovus Bank of Pensacola.

Jerry is a talented communicator—essayist, illustrator, and lecturer. He studied fine art and design at the University of West Florida. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication Arts, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the UWF faculty and trustees. In 2015, he was designated a “Fellow” by the UWF Foundation. Jerry published a collection of essays under the title, “Inside the Bubble: Monographs and Memories from the Other Florida.”

Jerry received the “PACE Pioneer and Community Leader of the Year” awards from the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce. He also received “Distinguished Alumnus” awards from Pensacola State College and UWF. He is a recipient of the “Community Stakeholder’s” award from the Community Hospital Association of Florida, and the “George Washington Honor Medal” from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Jerry is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War; he served in the Mekong Delta while attached to the Mobile Riverine Forces of the United States Navy.

Jerry is a life-long parishioner and certified lay servant in the Methodist Church. He is a founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida; a former director and current Interim Head of Schools for East Hill Christian Schools in Pensacola; a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International; a founding member of Embrace Florida Kids; a former member of the Alabama-West Florida Children’s Home; and, a 33° Scottish Rite Mason.

Jerry and his wife, Rhonda Fosha, have two children: Louis “Trip” Maygarden, Esq., (Adrienne) and Morgan Maygarden Gleason (Tim). They also enjoy the company of three adorable granddaughters—Emma Grace Gleason, Addie Mae Gleason and Charlotte Elise Maygarden. The Maygardens reside in the Beulah community and on Santa Rosa Island.