Florida Technological University officially began on June 10, 1963, when the State Legislature passed Bill No. 125 and Governor Farris Bryant signed it into law:
"An ACT authorizing the state board of education to establish a state university or a branch of an existing state university in the east central part of Florida; defining the area; authorizing the board of control and the state board of education to determine the exact location; providing an effective date."
The act, which took effect July 1, 1963, defined east central Florida as including the counties of Flagler, Orange, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, Volusia, Osceola, Indian River and St. Lucie.*
To celebrate our 50th Anniversary, this exhibit will highlight many university "firsts" and explore the history of various departments, faculty, staff, and students who have contributed to the growth and excellence of the university and greater community.
In a relatively short amount of time, UCF has gone from an institution with no name, no location and no funds, to the second largest in the country. When classes began in 1968, UCF had an enrollment of 1,948, 90 faculty and 150 staff members. As of Fall 2012, UCF's enrollment was 59,785, with 1,959 teaching faculty, and a staff of 8,748.
In its 50-year history, UCF has awarded over 235,407 degrees. UCF has become a partnership university with groundbreaking research, innovative education and more than 190,000 alumni. The current service area for UCF encompasses 11 counties including Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties.
When the university was founded in 1963, Florida Technological University (FTU) was envisioned to become a leading technological university to rival Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). Knicknamed "Space University", President Millican foresaw "a rendezvous with space and the stars." Although the university quickly achieved excellence in its engineering and computer science programs by the close of the university's first decade, it was apparent that there was more to FTU than just technology. In 1979 the name changed to the University of Central Florida to reflect the broader scope of the university's educational mission.
Exhibit curated by Sandra Varry in 2013.
*Source: Accent on the Individual: The First Twelve Years of Florida Technological University, by Kenneth G. Sheinkopf, 1996, Florida Technological University Foundation, Inc.