East central Florida underwent a revolution in the 1950s as an army of 75,000 technicians, engineers, and scientists poured into the sleepy fishing communities stretching from Titusville to Melbourne along the Atlantic Coast.1 The year 1958 was one of significant change for the country and for Florida. In January, the United States launched its first satellite into orbit. In July, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the bill creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A month later the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) called for the creation of a new super-rocket code-named Saturn.2 Less attention was paid to young RCA physicist Jerry Keuper’s May announcement of the creation of Brevard Engineering Institute (BEI). When classes began in September the school’s name had changed to Brevard Engineering College (BEC). In 1966, the school became known as the Florida Institute of Technology.
"Countdown to College: Launching Florida Institute of Technology,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 77:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol77/iss2/4