As John J. Tigert begins his presidency, Florida comes under hard times. The Mediterranean fruit fly cripples the state’s citrus production and the deadliest hurricane to ever hit Florida destroys what is left of the state’s economy. Then, a year later, the Great Depression begins with the collapse of the stock market. The economy does not recover until America enters World War II in 1941.
1928 » President Tigert Leads UF During Depression and War
John J. Tigert’s administration begins in the midst of a state economic crisis that continues throughout the Great Depression and World War II. State funds for expansion are largely unavailable during his 20-year tenure. The quality of education increases as entrance requirements are heightened and graduate/faculty research intensifies.
1930 » First Football Game Played At Florida Field
The 22,000-seat stadium is named Florida Field and is dedicated to alumni killed in World War I. A bronze memorial plate is embedded in the north wall of the stadium. Unfortunately, Florida loses its first game against the University of Alabama, 20-0.
1935 » Tigert Develops University College
All freshmen and sophomores are required to take seven comprehensive courses covering social sciences, physical sciences, english, math, psychology, humanities (music, art, philosophy), and biology. Upon completion, an Associate of Arts degree is conferred on the student. The University College stays in operation until the late 1970s when it will be merged into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
1941 » Pearl Harbor
Many students join the armed forces and do not return to take final exams after the Christmas vacation. Due to the circumstances, they are given credit for the work that they have completed. More than 10,000 alumni serve in World War II. William Corry and Hubert Schucht, former student body presidents, are among those killed. Corry Village and Schucht Village are named for them.
1947 » J. Hillis Miller President
The postwar enrollment boom is in full swing and the university is experiencing its first year as a fully coeducational institution. In 1945, there were 587 students. In 1946, there are more than 8,000. The university provides married student housing, known as Flavets, for Florida veterans and their families. Miller’s primary efforts are a $15 million building construction program, the expansion of many existing academic programs and the development of the medical colleges.
1947 » Gender Segregation Officially Ends
As World War II ends, more women are interested in attending the University of Florida. The GI Bill that applies to women who served during the war encourages them to seek higher education. Women married to veterans attending UF also want to attend school. By 1950, there are 2,433 women enrolled.