JU set to name baseball stadium after John Sessions

April 26, 2007


John Sessions, a graduate of Jacksonville University and longtime supporter and benefactor of the baseball program, will be honored by having the stadium bear his name with a pregame ceremony on May 4 before the Dolphins take on UNF.

Sessions, a member of JU's inaugural class of four-year students in 1959 with a degree in business administration, founded 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.

"With his generous donation, we are very proud and honored to name our baseball stadium after John Sessions," said Kerry Romesburg, JU president. "John is a great supporter of the University and his desire to see the University reach higher levels is infectious. His years of commitment to JU is a great example of what our alumni mean to the University."

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. This summer the couple will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

"John has always been involved in our baseball program and with his donation, he is insuring that the program will continue to grow in the coming years," said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. "John's passion to see the University build on all of the positive things that are going right now has been a great inspiration for me. We are honored by his donation and feel that there isn't a better way to recognize his devotion to JU than by naming the stadium after him."

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, will continue the family tradition this fall after graduating from Providence High School.

"The University has always meant a lot to me and my family," Sessions said. "We feel extremely fortunate to be able to give back to a school that means so much to us."

A staple at JU baseball games for more than 20 years, Sessions will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the UNF game with more than 100 friends and family in attendance.

"John Sessions is a great friend and benefactor for the program and this dedication is a way to take his impact to the next level," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "It's great to have alumni give back to JU the way he has and his support has extended to each program on campus. We are very proud to have his help in our endeavors as well."