Gainesville lobbies for the new University of Florida by offering land, money and an agreement to “furnish water to the university without charge.” When the telegraph office in Gainesville announces the good news to the waiting crowd, a noisy celebration begins with ringing church bells, a parade and exploding firecrackers. The Gainesville campus opens for registration on Sept. 24, 1906. Classes begin two days later for the 102 students enrolled.
1909 » Murphree Becomes President
Albert A. Murphree, former president of West Florida Seminary (now FSU), is appointed second president of the University of Florida. Murphree organizes the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Agriculture, Law and Engineering, and establishes the Graduate School. He prides himself on knowing every student by name.
1910 » Orange And Blue Chosen As Official Colors
UF acquires its colors from the two schools that united to form the new school. The University of Florida at Lake City had school colors of blue and white and East Florida Seminary in Gainesville had orange and black.
1911 » Alligator Chosen As UF Mascot
Every player on the football team is a Floridian and it is the only squad in Gator football history to finish a season undefeated. A local vendor places an order for school banners and chooses the alligator as an emblem. The team travels to South Carolina where it ties USC and upsets Clemson. The team returns home with a name. Several explanations are given for the name, but most point to the team’s captain, Neal “Bo Gator” Storter.
1912 » Florida Alligator is Published
The Florida Alligator begins publication as the first regularly issued student newspaper. It begins as a weekly and for many years will be printed on Saturday night in Anderson Hall.
1918 » World War I
The university serves as a base for 400 soldiers. The students are displaced to local boarding houses as sentries guard the gates and dormitories on campus. In October, an epidemic of Spanish influenza strikes the soldiers and students. One-third of the students grow seriously ill and several die.
1925 » First Woman Enrolls
The Legislature rules that women of a “mature age” be allowed to enroll during regular semesters in UF programs that are unavailable at Florida State College for Women. Before this, only the summer semester was co-educational to accommodate teachers. The first woman to enroll is Lassie Goodbread-Black in the College of Agriculture.