Rinker Associate Professor Emeritus Jack Martin Passes Away

By: Kyle Niblett

The University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning mourns the loss of one of its former faculty members: Jack Martin, retired Associate Professor Emeritus of the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management and a distinguished veteran and retired Colonel of the U.S. Army. Martin passed away on Friday, March 18, 2022. He was 93.

“Jack Martin was one of the most beloved faculty in our school,” Rinker School Director Dr. Robert F. Cox said. “He remained actively involved in Rinker functions long after his retirement. Students from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s have shared fond memories of referring to him as ‘No Slack Jack’ and ‘Dr. Dirt.’”

After attending one year at UF, Martin attended West Point Military Academy and graduated in 1951. He subsequently received his master’s degree in engineering from MIT. Upon retiring from a 24-year career in the Army, he returned to Gainesville and received his master’s degree in education before spending two-plus decades as a professor at the Rinker School. Highly regarded amongst his faculty peers and his students, he brought a wealth of life experiences from his prior career to the classroom and was honored for his many contributions as 1983 Rinker Teacher of the Year.

“Jack made a positive impact on our students, fellow faculty and the construction industry as a whole,” Cox said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Martin’s construction career in the military took him to Germany and Greenland and included a year in Vietnam commanding a battalion of 77 officers and 1,400 enlisted men. He received numerous awards for his service, including: the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), National Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals.

A Florida native, Martin had a special fondness for being a Gator and chose to give by sharing his many career experiences through teaching and live out his golden years in Gainesville. He not only gave back to the students and the courses he taught, but quietly and personally supported the school in the creation of the Soils and Concrete Laboratory and student scholarships.

As a result of his contributions to the Rinker School, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sports Hall of Fame member and former Army football player was inducted into the Rinker Construction Management Hall of Fame in September 2021.

Gainesville Sun: Jack Martin leaves legacy that deserves to be remembered, emulated

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