Mildred Bruner Legacy Continues at North Florida College

MADISON, FL - On September 4, 1958, the doors of North Florida Junior College opened for the first time. In attendance that day, welcoming the inaugural class to campus, was Mildred Bruner. Mildred, a native Alabamian who relocated to Florida in 1945, spent 36 years in Madison investing in education as a teacher and assistant principal at Madison County High School and a founding faculty member, instructor and administrator at North Florida College, then NFJC.

Mildred BrunerDuring her time at the College, Mildred served in many capacities including the Directors of Admissions and Financial Aid, registrar, advisor, and instructor in biology, history, and social science. She was also active in many local civic clubs and a dedicated member of Madison First Baptist Church. Mildred passed away peacefully November 11, 2013. Today, Mildred’s legacy continues through the Mildred Bruner Scholarship Endowment at the North Florida College Foundation.

In 2007, Mildred’s brother, businessman and former state legislator Ken Smith, generously donated $25,000 to establish an endowment in honor of his sister at the North Florida (Community) College Foundation. Over 14 years, the endowment has assisted 17 students from Taylor, Jefferson, and Madison counties with scholarships.

The NFC Foundation is pleased to announce that Mr. Smith has recently donated an additional $10,000 to the Mildred Bruner Scholarship Endowment to ensure the growth of a perpetual scholarship that assists students as they strive to reach their global and educational goals at NFC.

The most recent recipient of the scholarship is Greenville resident Makayla Walker. Makayla is a 2021 graduate of Aucilla Christian Academy and is currently attending NFC in pursuit of her Makayla WalkerAssociate in Arts degree. Makayla plans to transfer to the University of Florida to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and hopes to eventually become a physician assistant.

According to Makayla, she knew that affording college would be a challenge, and she is grateful for donors like Mr. Smith. “I want the NFC Foundation donor to know how thankful I am that this scholarship exists, not just for me, but for so many other students who need help coming to college,” said Makayla. “It’s kindness like this that can change someone’s life knowing that other people care about your education.”

NFC Director of Resource Development, Judy Lundell looks forward to the positive impact of the growing endowment. “The NFC Foundation and our students are very grateful for the continued support of the Mildred Bruner family,” said Lundell. “Her legacy will live on at the college through the lives of these students because of Mr. Smith’s generous endowment.”

Upon her retirement from NFJC in 1981, Mildred said, “I saw the need for an institution of higher education in this area. It is a dream come true. Helping to lay the groundwork was a gratifying experience. I leave with the feeling that NFJC has performed great services to the area.”

In the 40 years since Mildred’s retirement, North Florida College has continued to offer exceptional services to the surrounding community and strives to continually make student dreams come true.

For more information on partnering with the NFC Foundation to support local education, contact or 850-973-9414.