Ken and Linda McGurn receive Distinguished Alumnus Award

Ken and Linda McGurn

Ken and Linda McGurn are the first couple to ever receive UF’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ken and Linda McGurn were recipients of the University of Florida’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

The Award is the highest honor a graduate can receive signifying a graduate’s contributions in his or her chosen field or outstanding service to the university. Saturday’s ceremony marked the first time a couple had received the award.

The McGurns own McGurn Investment Company and have been instrumental in the redevelopment of downtown Gainesville. They have received more than 60 local, state and national awards for their projects, including a HUD National Certificate of Merit. Their projects include dozens of new and renovated buildings including the Opera House which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Sun Center which houses the Downtown Tech Center. There, the McGurns provide office space, mentoring and financing for startup companies which have help create dozens of high tech jobs and a thriving tech community in downtown Gainesville.

They are heavily involved in sustainable development and have invested in more than 500,000 watts of solar voltaic electrical generating capacity. They have been recognized for their environmental work including being the Alachua County Conservation Stewards of the Year, receiving a Sustainable Florida Award presented by Governor Jeb Bush and recognition by the national Alliance to Save Energy. They have established two major endowments at the University of Florida including one in support of the Warrington College of Business Administration to be used at the Dean’s discretion. Both serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board and the UF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board.

Ms. McGurn (BSBA ’73, JD ’78) is a past chair of the UF Foundation Board of Directors and past chair of the Foundation Audit Committee. She is co-chair of UF Women which works to engage women in leadership and philanthropy at UF. She was also a member of the Steering Committee for UF’s Fisher School of Accounting. She earned a BSBA in accounting and a JD from the University of Florida.

Dr. McGurn (BSBA ’72, MBA ’73, Ph.D. (’81) is past chair of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the UF Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. He has a PhD in Real Estate, Finance and Economics, a BSBA in Management and a Masters in Real Estate and Urban Land Planning, all from the University of Florida.