University of Florida
Template:FLSUS taxobox The University of Florida, is a public university located in Gainesville, Florida. It is the fourth-largest university in the United States, with over 48,000 students; it also has the eighth-largest budget (nearly $1.9 billion per year) and is considered one of the top public universities in the United States. UF is also one of the Public Ivies, the only one in the Deep South.
Noted as the place where Gatorade was created, UF ranks first among public institutions and second among all institutions in the number of National Merit Scholar students enrolled. More members of the U.S. Congress have attended UF than any other university; currently nine alumni serve in the House or Senate.
UF's current president is Bernie Machen.
The June 5, 1905 Buckman Act created the current University of Florida by removing funding for existing educational institutions, including the University of Florida at Lake City, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School at St. Petersburg and the South Florida Military College at Bartow, and consoldating them under state control. On July 6, the state legislature selected Gainesville for a new university campus. Andrew Sledd from the University of Florida at Lake City became the first president, while architect William A. Edwards designed the first campus buildings in the collegiate gothic style. Classes began on September 26, 1906. The alligator was chosen as the school mascot in 1911.
1905 was considered the university's official founding date until 1935, when the date was retroactively changed to 1853 by state officials at the instigation of UF's third president John J. Tigert. 1853 was the founding date of the East Florida Seminary in Ocala, an unrelated institution which closed during the Civil War and whose name was used by other schools, including one in Gainesville which was abolished by the Buckman Act in 1905. Some historians believe the motivation was to make UF officially older than Florida A&M, a black college founded in 1887. 
The Buckman Act established the University of Florida as the only public school in Florida for white males. In 1947, UF began allowing women to enroll. Admission of African-American students began in 1958.
Shands Hospital at UF first opened in 1958 along with the medical school. Rapid campus expansion began in the 1950s and continues to the present. In 1985, UF's status as a major research institution was confirmed by its admission to the prestigious Association of American Universities. Current efforts at UF continue to focus on expanding the university's role in research in all fields.
The University of Florida Campus Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. The district includes 19 buildings, eleven of which had been added to the register previously. Two buildings outside the historic district, the old WRUF radio station (now the university police station) and the old P. K. Yonge Laboratory School (now Norman Hall), are also listed on the register.
Additionally, a former East Florida Seminary residence building, Epworth Hall, is listed on the register. Epworth Hall is now part of the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville.
UF is divided into twenty-one colleges, which offer over 100 undergraduate majors and an equally wide array of 200 graduate degrees, including the only dentistry and veterinary medicine programs in the state. The centerpiece of the critically-acclaimed journalism programs at UF is WUFT, which consists of both a PBS television station and an NPR radio station.
Florida's programs are generally ranked highly among public universities, and the university was ranked as a Top Tier school by US News and World Reports for 2005. The graduate programs in chemistry and tax law are consistently ranked among the best in the United States. UF's engineering programs are very well-funded, partly from royalties on the sale of a UF invention, Gatorade. The university is 13th among all universities - public and private - in the number of U.S. Patents awarded in 2000.
The acceptance rate at UF has trended downward as the applicant pool has become more competitive. In 2005, the average incoming freshman had a GPA of 3.9, an SAT score of 1340, and an ACT composite of 29. Undergraduate tuition is around $100 per credit for Florida residents, and $520 per credit for out-of-state students, with a typical load of 30 credits per year.
The school's sports teams are called the Florida Gators and compete in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA's Division I-A. Florida has one of the strongest collegiate athletic programs in the United States and dedicates about $44 million per year to its sports teams and facilities. For the sixth time, UF swept the overall men's and women's Southeastern Conference All-Sports Trophy in 2002. With its third-place finish in the 2001-02 Sears Directors' Cup rankings, Florida has ranked among the nation's top 10 athletic departments for 19 straight years.
The Gator football team is often ranked among the top 25 in the NCAA. In 1996, the Gators, led by head coach (and former Heisman trophy winner) Steve Spurrier and quarterback Danny Wuerffel, won their first national championship. In January 2001, Spurrier left the Gators to coach the NFL's Washington Redskins. He was replaced by Ron Zook, who failed to meet the high standards that Spurrier had set over the previous 12 years. In October 2004, Zook was fired in the middle of his third season but remained coach for the rest of the regular season. In December 2004, Urban Meyer, previously the coach of the Utah Utes, replaced Zook as the head football coach. He defeated his first SEC opponent as head coach, Tennessee. He was only the fourth coach in UF history to do so. Traditional football rivals include the Seminoles of Florida State University, the Hurricanes of the University of Miami, the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia, and since the early 1990's the Volunteers of the University of Tennessee. A hallmark of the Gator football season is "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party", the rivalry game against the University of Georgia, played in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gators won 14-10 in their most recent meeting in 2005. The Gators' home stadium is Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as "Florida Field" or "The Swamp".
Basketball is another sport at which the Gators have seen success. The UF men's basketball squad won their first Southeastern Conference Tournament title in 2005, beating the University of Kentucky. They also appeared in the 1994 Final Four and lost in the 2000 NCAA Championship game to Michigan State. They are currently coached by Billy Donovan, who has been the head coach of the Gators since 1996. Florida's primary men's basketball rival is traditional SEC basketball superpower Kentucky - though the rivalry is felt more keenly in Florida than in Kentucky.
The Gators have also seen success in gymnastics, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and baseball. The 2005 Gator baseball team played in the 8-team College World Series and advanced to the final best-of-three round, which they lost in consecutive games to the University of Texas. Since 1990, Gator athletes have won over 100 individual national titles as well as team NCAA national championships in women's tennis (1992, 1996, 1998, 2003), men's golf (1993, 2001), women's indoor track (1992) and women's soccer (1998). UF's 164 SEC Championships are the most in league history.
Since 1968, 118 Gator student-athletes have represented 27 countries in ten Olympiads and laid claim to 76 medals, including 39 golds.
Famous UF alumni include:
- Stephanie Abrams, meteorologist, The Weather Channel
- John Atanasoff, inventor of the digital electronic computer
- Red Barber, radio sportscaster principally for the Brooklyn Dodgers
- John Burke, former Major League Pitcher and first ever Draft Choice of the Colorado Rockies
- Wes Chandler, former Gator & NFL superstar wide receiver
- Lawton Chiles, late former governor of Florida and former U.S. senator
- John Delaney, former mayor of Jacksonville and current president of the University of North Florida
- Jonathan Demme, Academy Award winning director of Silence of the Lambs
- Kate DiCamillo, award-winning children's novelist and screenwriter
- Chris DiMarco, successful professional golfer
- Faye Dunaway, Academy Award winning actress for Network
- Scott Dunlap, PGA golfer
- Buddy Ebsen, actor, best known as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies
- David Eckstein, All-Star shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals
- Rich Fields, announcer of The Price Is Right, radio personality
- Malcolm Gets, actor, Caroline in the City
- Bob Graham, governor, senator, and presidential candidate
- Philip Graham, famed publisher of the Washington Post
- Rex Grossman, quarterback for the Chicago Bears
- Darrell Hammond, comedian, Saturday Night Live
- Kristin Harmel, People reporter and novelist
- Carl Hiaasen, novelist and Miami Herald columnist
- Spessard Holland, governor, senator, namesake of Holland & Knight
- Jevon Kearse, professional football player for the Philadelphia Eagles
- Joseph Kittinger, famed pilot, best known for his high-altitude balloon flights and parachute jumps
- Ken Leebow official Web site, author, speaker and TV personality -- 300 Incredible Things to Do on the Internet book series
- John Janick, owner of Fueled by Ramen Records
- Fred Levin, prominent attorney, namesake of the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida
- Jamie McIntyre, senior Pentagon correspondent for CNN
- Buddy McKay, Former Lt. Governor of Florida, Former Interim Governor of Florida(*)
- Mike Miller, NBA Player
- Bobby McCray, NFL Defensive End
- Rob Murphy, former major league baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds
- Bill Nelson, U.S. Senator
- Marshall Nirenberg, Nobel Prize winner in medicine and physiology
- Andy North, golfer, winner of the 1978 and 1985 US Open
- Mike Peterson, NFL Middle Linebacker
- Jesse Palmer, NFL Quarterback and star of ABC's The Bachelor
- Stephen Root, actor, best known as Milton in the Mike Judge comedy classic Office Space
- Al Rosen, former Cleveland Indians thirdbaseman and AL MVP
- Forrest Sawyer, anchorman, ABC News
- Joe Scarborough, former congressman and MSNBC talk show host
- Elfi Schlegel-Dunn, sports/gymnastics commentator for NBC
- Lito Sheppard, NFL cornerback
- George A. Smathers, former U.S. senator and presidential candidate
- Emmitt Smith, former professional football player, Super Bowl MVP, NFL's all-time leading rusher
- Steve Spurrier, former Florida Gators quarterback and national-championship winning head coach, 1966 Heisman Trophy winner, former coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, current head football coach at the University of South Carolina
- Stephen Stills, member of bands CSNY and Buffalo Springfield
- Fred Taylor, NFL running back
- Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas, namesake of Wendy's Restaurants and daughter of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas
- Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay
- Mel Tillis, singer, songwriter and comedian
- Kendra Todd, real estate businesswoman and winner of The Apprentice 3 reality TV show
- Bob Vila, home-improvement guru and former host of This Old House
- Brad Wilkerson, major league baseball player for the Washington Nationals
- Danny Wuerffel, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, led the Florida Gators to the 1996 National Championship, former NFL player
- Jack Youngblood, Hall of Fame NFL football player
- Todd Barry, Stand-up Comedian Website
(*)- Named Interim Governor of Florida after the death of Gov. Lawton Chiles at the time.
The University of Florida has more of its graduates in the United States Congress than any other university or college in the country - currently nine alumni serve in the House or Senate. In the last four decades, more presidents of the American Bar Association have come from the Levin College of Law than any other U.S. law school.
- University of Florida Facts. University of Florida website. Accessed January 6, 2004.
- Teague, Edward H. Historic Sites Guide. George A. Smathers Libraries website. February 2, 2000. Accessed April 30, 2005.
- University of Florida NBA Draft Clubhouse