In 1853, the East Florida Seminary is founded in Ocala. During the Civil War, the school closes and upon reopening is moved to Gainesville. In 1895, the Florida Agricultural College at Lake City is founded and changes its name to University of Florida by 1904. The 1905 Buckman Act creates the current University of Florida 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 in
to one campus at Gainesville. Andrew Sledd from the University of Florida at Lake City becomes the first president and architect
William A. Edwards designs the first campus buildings in the collegiate gothic style. The alligator is chosen as the
school mascot in 1911.The Buckman Act established the University of Florida as the only public school in Florida for white males. In 1947, UF began allowing women to enroll. Admission of African-American students began in 1958.Shands Hospital at UF first opened in 1958 along with the medical school. Rapid campus expansion began in the 1950s
and continues to the present. In 1985, UF's status as a major research institution was
confirmed by its admission to the presigious Association of American Universities. Current efforts at UF continue to focus on
expanding the university's role in research in all fields.