Crowley Maritime Gives $2.5M to Set Up Shipping Research Center at UNF

crowley UNF donation
Courtesy Crowley Maritime

Published Jun 25, 2021 5:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

U.S. vessel operator and logistics company Crowley Maritime announced Friday that it has donated $2.5 million to create and endow a new center of excellence for shipping at the University of North Florida. 

The new Crowley Center for Transportation and Logistics (CCTL) will be housed in UNF’s Coggin College of Business and will draw on faculty expertise from across the university. 

Crowley is headquartered in Jacksonville, the hub for its shipping and logistics services serving Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central America. Its home office is located about 10 minutes away from UNF's campus, and the new center's focus will complement Crowley's primary business. The company’s charitable work has historically supported logistics careers, and the donation is a continuation of that tradition.

“This donation represents a strategic investment in our industry’s future – the talent and knowledge our leaders of tomorrow and the research needed to propel our industry forward successfully,” said Tom Crowley, the company’s chairman and CEO. “We are humbled to be able to play a role in supporting the advancement of researchers, students and their careers in transportation and logistics. The University of North Florida, a dynamic leader in education in one of the global hubs of logistics services, is the rightful home to our new center.”

The center is designed to be a leading hub for transportation and logistics research, education and industry engagement. The endowment will help fund its operations and leadership, faculty support, visiting scholars, industry research, pursuit of federally funded grants and contracts, student recruitment and course development. 

“UNF is extremely appreciative of this generous gift by Crowley to establish a distinguished center of transportation and logistics research and education,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “Our partnership and alliance with Crowley will allow UNF’s Coggin College of Business and the Crowley Center for Transportation and Logistics to be at the forefront of cutting-edge education and research and help prepare our students with skills for the workforce.” 

UNF’s Coggin College of Business’ transportation and logistics program is already considered among the best in the U.S., thanks to a supportive regional professional community and a high-tech logistics IT lab for students to learn about state-of-the-art supply chain tools.

"Crowley Maritime’s gift to establish this center is not only important for the Coggin College and UNF but is a major investment in Jacksonville," said Richard Buttimer, dean of UNF’s Coggin College of Business. "This center will train future generations of transportation, logistics and supply chain leaders, and will ensure that Jacksonville and Northeast Florida has a world-class pool of talent and leadership for this vital industry."