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University of Florida

Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is among the United States’ most academically diverse public universities. One of the "Public Ivies" (the only one in the Deep South), it is the fourth-largest university in the country, with more than 48,000 students. Belonging to the Association of American Universities, the comprehensive, land-grant research university has a long history of established programs in international education, research, and service. Among its research facilities are the Center for Latin American Studies, the Whitney Marine Laboratory, and the Florida Museum of Natural History. The history of the University of Floria dates back to 1853, when the state-funded East Florida Seminary took over Kingsbury Academy in Ocala. During the Civil War, the seminary closed and upon reopening it was moved to Gainesville, in the 1860s. Later, in 1895, it was consolidated with the state's land-grant Florida Agricultural College at Lake City. By 1904, the academy changed its name to University of Florida. In June 1905, by the Buckman Act, the college became an independent university by consolidating 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 into one campus in Gainesville. The first president of the university was Andrew Sledd from the University of Florida at Lake City. Architect William A. Edwards designed the first campus buildings in the collegiate gothic style. The first class started with 102 students on the present site, in September 1906. In 1911, the university adopted the alligator as its symbolic figure. UF officially began allowing women to register, in 1947. It opened its doors to African-American students, in 1958. The University of Florida's rapid campus expansion began in the 1950s, and its status as a major research institution was confirmed in 1985, by its admission to the prestigious Association of American Universities. The Shands Hospital opened on the campus in 1958, along with the medical school. UF still focuses on expanding its role in research in a number of fields. The University of Florida is home to 16 colleges and more than 100 research, service, and education centers, bureaus, and institutes. It offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and an equally wide array of 200 graduate degrees. The academy’s professional degree programs include dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. WUFT, the centerpiece of the critically-acclaimed journalism programs here, consists of both a PBS television station and an NPR radio station. UF’s graduate programs in chemistry and tax law are consistently ranked among the best in the nation. The 2,000-acre campus houses more than 900 buildings, including 170 with classrooms and laboratories. Most of the northeast corner buildings are listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Approximately 7,000 students live in on-campus residence halls. The five family housing villages have more than 2,200 married and graduate students. The largest information resource system in Florida, the university libraries house more than 4 million volumes, more than 7 million microfilms and thousands of full-text electronic journals. Major UF services include the University Scholars Program and the Office of Information Technology (OIT). The Scholars Program acquaints UF undergraduates to the exciting world of academic research by allowing them to work one-on-one with Florida faculty on selected research projects. The OIT has direction and strategic planning in information delivery and computing standards, resources, and management. Academic Technology, UF Computing and Network Services, Web Administration, and Data Infrastructure are its individual components. The university’s sports teams, which compete in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA's Division I-A, are called the “Florida Gators.”