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SEELY: Hayt to Receive Coveted Beman Award
- Updated: October 28, 2016
Jacksonville benefactor John T. Hayt has been named the 2016 winner of the Deane Beman Award, given annually by the area professional and amateur golf associations to honor a person who has contributed to the community.
The announcement was made at the Hayt Golf Learning Center at UNF, which had been donated to the university by Hayt and his wife, Gerri.
The Beman Award will be presented at the annual Celebration of Golf dinner on February 8 at Timuquana Country Club. Previous winners were Beman, the former Commissioner of the PGA Tour, and Herb Peyton, whose Gate companies sponsor golf events in the area.
The announcement came as a surprise to Hayt, who thought he was attending a golf shootout between the university’s basketball and golf teams.
UNF basketball coach Matt Driscoll gathered the teams in the Hayt Center building and introduced Fred Seely, president of the Jacksonville Area Golf Association, who spoke on the banquet and then introduced Deerwood pro Jim Lohbauer, president of the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA.
Lohbauer then introduced banquet co-chair Greg Lecker, who made the announcement.
“I had no idea this would happen,” said Hayt. “Not even when I saw Fred and Jim and Greg in the room. I am very much humbled.”
Also present was UNF President John Delaney.
“John Hayt has been a great friend of our university and this is a great honor,” said Delaney.
Hayt is the retired chairman and CEO of EquiCredit Corp, a Jacksonville-based publicly-held company that was a pioneer of the home equity lending industry. He retired in 1997 after the company was acquired by Barnett Banks for Florida.