CJC 40 Gators Under 40

Brian Aungst

The University of Florida Alumni Association named UF College of Journalism and Communications (CJC) alumnus Brian Aungst as one of its “40 Gators Under 40” for 2024.

Brian Aungst

Brian Aungst, 39, calls himself a proud Triple Gator, having earned bachelor’s degrees in Telecommunication and Political Science in 2005 and a law degree from the Levin School of Law three years later.

The Alumni Association member is a shareholder at the Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen law firm and a strategic adviser to the Philadelphia Phillies for a catalytic multimillion dollar project to redevelop the team’s spring training home and surrounding commercial properties in Clearwater, Florida. In February 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him to the board of supervisors of the taxing district that oversees Walt Disney World Resorts.

In his nomination letter, he said he has “dedicated my life to improving the quality of life in the communities I have served.” He’s done that through numerous activities, including:

  • Serving on the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County in various roles, including chair.
  • Serving as a board member and legal counsel for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • Finding ways to make affordable housing more available throughout the state.
  • Representing victims of domestic violence.

While at UF, Aungst received the C. Arthur Sandeen Improving the Quality of Life Award, named for the former head of Student Affairs and given to those who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life for students.

He was named Mr. Countryside in 2021 and a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” from 2012-2024. He also received the Business of the Year for Economic Advancement from the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.

Aungst met his wife, Cary, M.D. 2010, at UF. They are raising two children and a Golden Retriever in Clearwater.

What are the main factors that have led to your success?

I have been blessed by incredible opportunities through my connection to the Gator Nation. The values of public service instilled in me were carried through at my time at UF and have carried through to this day. Public service has allowed me to serve diverse communities across the state and provided invaluable experiences and relationships.

Was there a defining moment that led you down the path you chose?

My grandfather Larry Pike and my parents Brian and Karen all lived the lives of servant leaders and instilled in me a strong desire to be involved in building and serving communities at a young age.

How did your time at CJC help prepare you for success?

My time at CJC was extremely beneficial in preparing me for life outside of Weimer Hall. Covering breaking news stories in places like Lake City and Marion County gave me firsthand exposure to the way events reshape and impact lives in our community on a daily basis. I also had the privilege of representing the CJC in the Student Senate which was formative for my future public service.

What career advice would you give to current CJC students?

Your time at UF has prepared you to follow and realize your dreams. Set goals and go out and achieve them.  Persistence in the face of adversity is the key to long term success.  Never give up; just keep moving up.

Why is it important for alumni to give back to the College?

Giving back in various ways including providing mentorship, job opportunities for current students and alumni, and monetary support for the University are great ways to pay forward the benefits our UF education has provided us and the success we enjoy as a result of our UF experiences.




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