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John Crossman Real estate mogul and higher education philanthropist John Crossman will deliver the keynote address at Beacon College’s Second Annual Alumni Reunion event on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. at the Student Center, 108 East Main Street, Leesburg, Fla.

Crossman is president of Crossman & Company, one of the Southeast’s largest retail leasing, management and investment sales firms, controlling more than 22 million square feet of properties in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Crossman, the son of an itinerant Methodist minister, regularly moved around Florida throughout his childhood.

Crossman overcame dyslexia, graduating from Florida State University in 1993. He joined Crossman & Company in May 2006. During his more than 21 years in real estate, Crossman has helped manage more than $1 billion in transactions.

“John Crossman was a perfect fit as guest speaker at the Alumni reunion,” says Chelsea Eubank, Beacon College director of alumni relations. “Mr. Crossman has overcome obstacles himself, but that never stopped him from his passion of real estate. Mr. Crossman has a natural passion for empowering college students and being able to share and teach them how to be successful.”

Though a successful businessman, Crossman arguably is better regarded for his advocacy, crusading for diversity and championing the notion of real estate as a social equalizer in higher education.

After watching his father Rev. Kenneth Crossman battle the Georgia Ku Klux Klan, march for Central Florida garbage workers’ rights, and stand up for underdogs for better than three decades — Crossman comes by advocacy honestly.

He conceived a plan to foster racial reconciliation through real estate education that envisions fiscal parity for minorities though greater participation in the wealth-building real estate industry. To that end, Crossman endowed real estate scholarships at Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman College — both historically black higher-education institutions — and inspired the formation of real estate clubs at both campuses.

Efforts to promote a real estate curriculum at all historically black colleges and universities earned him the distinction as a United Negro College Fund Champion of Education and the Underground Railroad Award from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, his service to his community extends beyond academe. Sen. Marco Rubio nominated Crossman to the Regional Service Academy Nomination Board, while Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to Valencia College’s Board of Trustees.

Crossman lives in Central Florida with his wife Angie and their two daughters, Claire and Ava.