Historic Marker on campus

UF Facts and History


Florida’s oldest and largest university, the University of Florida traces its beginnings to the takeover of the private Kingsbury Academy in Ocala by the state-funded East Florida Seminary in 1853. The seminary moved to Gainesville following the Civil War and consolidated with the state’s land-grant Florida Agricultural College, then in Lake City, to become the University of Florida in 1905.

Classes began September 26, 1906, with 102 male students. The early campus consisted of three buildings: a storage facility and two dormitories, Buckman Hall and Thomas Hall. Actually, Thomas Hall was a combination of classrooms, offices, cafeteria and library. Until 1947, UF was for men only and was one of only three state universities, Florida State College for Women ( now FSU) and Florida A & M. In 1947, the UF student body numbered 8,177 men and 601 women. Today, UF is one of the five largest universities in the nation, with approximately 50,000 students!. More UF facts and history.

UF Alma Mater

Composed in 1925 by Milton Yeats

Florida, our Alma Mater
Thy glorious name we praise
All thy loyal sons and daughters
A joyous song shall raise
Where palm and pine are blowing
Where southern seas are flowing
Shine forth thy noble Gothic walls
Thy lovely vine clad halls
Neath the Orange and Blue victorious
Our love shall never fail
There's no other name so glorious
All hail, Florida, hail.

In the name of Alma Mater
We take each comrade's hand
True to thee and to each other
Throughout our Eden land
Old school we love so dearly
May god be ever near thee
To guide us by the shining light
Of honor, truth and might
Hear our alma mater calling
Let courage never fail
For before her all are falling
All hail, Florida, hail.

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UF Orange and Blue Fight Song

So Give a Cheer for the
Orange and Blue,
Waving Forever!
Forever Pride of Old Florida,
May She Droop Never.
Well Sing a Song for the Flag Today,
Cheer for the Team at Play!
On to the Goal,
We'll Fight our Way for
Florida!

School Colors

In 1910, the university adopted orange and blue as its official colors, combining colors from the two schools that united to form the UF. The University of Florida at Lake City had blue and white school colors and the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville had orange and black.

School Mascots - Albert and Alberta

Technically speaking, there were no Florida Gators until 1911, when the alligator was accepted as the nickname for the varsity team. In 1907, however, there was a student organization called the Bo Gator Club. The leader of the group was the Chief Bo Gator, Neal S. Storter, who was also the center and captain of the 1911 football team.

In 1911, every player on the football team was a Floridian and it was the only squad in Gator football history to finish a season undefeated. When a local vendor placed an order for school banners to commemorate the season, he chose the alligator as an emblem. The team travelled to South Carolina where it tied USC and upset Clemson and then returned to Gainesville as the Florida Gators!

UF Motto

Civium in moribus rei publicae salus -- The welfare of the state depends upon the morals of its citizens.

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