John Sessions
A lot of people love their alma mater. A lot of people have a passion to see their alma mater succeed. But there are not a lot of people that have the love, passion, determination and dedication to their alma mater like John Sessions had for JU.

“Mr. Sessions was a true gentlemen and friend,” said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. “He had a great passion for JU and everyone here knew Mr. Sessions and had a great love and respect for him.”

A member of JU’s first graduating class in 1959 with a degree in business administration, Sessions went on to start Bug Out Service in 1963, which is headquartered in the Arlington area of Jacksonville. The business, which has now expanded to six branch offices, is now being run by his son-in-law, Paul Felker, after Sessions retired as President and CEO in 1997. Sessions and his wife, Elizabeth Carson, first met at Lafayette High School in Mayo, Fla. where he played basketball and baseball and she was Valedictorian of their senior class. After Carson graduated from Florida State and Sessions completed two years in the Army, as well as a year at Troy State, they were married in July of 1957 and moved to Jacksonville in order for Sessions to attend JU. The couple celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary this past summer.

A father of two and grandfather of three, he has produced one JU alum - his daughter, Caren Felker (who graduated in 1983). His grandson, Justin Felker, is continuing the family tradition as he is currently enrolled at JU.

With his success in the business world, Sessions stayed close to his alma mater and took a keen interest in JU’s athletic programs, especially the baseball team.

Through the years, there were not many JU games, home or away, that Sessions did not see. When he wasn’t there, you could be sure he was glued to the radio to hear the broadcast of the game.

His passion for JU spilled over to anyone and everyone he met, almost infecting people with JU fandom. His pride in seeing JU win conference championships could be seen on his face – a smile that you couldn’t erase.

A longtime booster, Sessions was honored by having the baseball stadium, where he spent so many days, named in his honor in 2007.

"The University has always meant a lot to me and my family," Sessions said on the eve of naming the stadium after him. "We feel extremely fortunate to be able to give back to a school that means so much to us."

John Sessions

Introduction by Alan Verlander, Terry Alexander and Lyndon Shelton

Acceptance Speech by Carson Sessions