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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville University alumni has been picked to be the next leader of the school.

Tim Cost, a 1981 graduate, has been selected by the JU Board of Trustees to be the new university president, according to a release from the school.

Cost, who has most recently worked as a consultant and Executive Vice President for PepsiCo, will take the top spot on July 1, 2013. He will replace current president Kerry Romesburg, who is retiring.

"Working closely with the faculty and staff at the University, it will be an honor to serve," Cost said in the release. "Our objective is clear: to constantly improve the student experience and enhance our students' success."

Over the past six months, the Board narrowed down the field from 80 candidates for the post.

Cost has been a JU trustee since 2009 and received the JU distinguished alumni award in 2006.

Romesburg said as president, Cost will continue to champion JU as he has in the past.

"This will be a new and exciting era for JU, and I am committed to do my part to help Tim be successful," he said. "He is a well-qualified leader, and as a JU alum, he has the unique ability to represent the institution in all settings. As a trustee, he has been an excellent fundraiser and ambassador for campus."