Former Jacksonville sheriff to be honored


The Winston Family YMCA and the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast recently named former Jacksonville sheriff and past president of Edward Waters University Dr. Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Glover Jr. the 2024 recipient of the W.W. “Bill” Gay Community Impact Award.

The award will be presented to Glover at the third annual Giving Tree Gala at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville on March 9.

"I am truly honored to be recognized by an organization that shares my passion for serving others, particularly low-income children in our community,” said Glover. “It is a testament to the impact that we can make when we work together towards a common goal. I have always believed that education can change lives and create opportunities where none existed before, and I will continue to work tirelessly toward that goal. I am grateful to the First Coast YMCA for this incredible honor, and I pledge to continue to serve our community to the best of my abilities."

In 1995, after serving 28 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Glover was elected the first African-American sheriff in Florida since the Reconstruction era and the first African-American sheriff in the history of Jacksonville. During his tenure he donated $250,000 of his pension to fund college scholarships for need-based high school graduates.

After serving two terms, Glover was appointed the 29th president of his alma mater, Edward Waters University. A Jacksonville-native, Glover received a Great Floridian designation and was inducted into the Florida Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

He recently published his memoir “Striving For Justice: A Black Sheriff in the Deep South.” Proceeds will go towards funding the “Where They Will Shine” scholarship for need-based students in partnership with the Florida State College Jacksonville Foundation.

“Dr. Glover has epitomized service to the Jacksonville community and his contributions continue to be felt by generations today,” said Tim Burrows, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast vice president of operations. “Beyond his extensive service in law enforcement, Dr. Glover has made an indelible impact on countless lives, particularly through educational opportunities for low-income children. His passion for serving those around him matches that of the First Coast YMCA and we couldn’t be more honored to present him with this award.”

The annual Giving Tree Gala is an opportunity for the Winston Family YMCA and the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast to thank supporters who empower the YMCA to provide critical programs and services. The W.W. “Bill” Gay Community Impact award is named in honor of W.W. “Bill” Gay, who was a longtime supporter of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast.

For more information about supporting this year’s gala, go to