Ira Koger believed the quality of a community’s cultural life attracts business, so business leaders should not regard the arts and music as “frills.” He was widely respected as a patron of the arts and devoted himself to cultural developments and events. Koger thrived at a variety of vocations and roles, including election to the South Carolina House of Representatives at age 21, President of O.P. Woodcock Company and Chairman and CEO of both Koger Properties and Koger Equity.
The Kogers funded a Distinguished Professorship in Music and endowed the School of American Music/Jazz at the University of North Florida and have been responsible for more than 300 scholarships at the Jacksonville school. Ira Koger was inducted into the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame in 2000 for his philanthropic contributions to the arts in Jacksonville and across the Southeast.