University of Florida (UF) is Florida’s most famous university. Founded in 1853, it sits on a campus of 2,000 acres and has an undergraduate enrollment of over 32,000 students. It also has a number of acclaimed graduate schools on campus with world-class research. It ranked number 54 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Colleges edition in the Nationwide University category.
The University of Florida is located in Gainesville, Florida. Essentially in the middle of the state, UF is only a two-hour drive in any direction from some of the state’s most popular attractions. If you want to go to Disney World, Busch Gardens, or the beach, simply hop in a car and drive two hours to the east or west and you’re there! The location of the university makes it easy to see all of Florida’s attractions any time you have a day off. In fact, every weekend could be a beach weekend if you have transportation.
The city of Gainesville is largely a college town. There are plenty of things available for students to do locally. You’ll find cool places to eat, drink, dance, shop, and just about anything else you might do for fun within a short walk or drive from campus.
Greek life is pretty strong on campus. Nearly 15 percent of undergraduate students are members of a Greek organization. There are 25 fraternities and 16 sororities on campus. Some of these groups are older than the school! These very old groups were chartered by UF predecessors. There are also special multicultural Greek groups of mostly foreign or ethnic-minority students. Among these organizations are five fraternities and four sororities. Finally, there are two fraternities and two sororities for Christian students.
Approximately 23 percent of undergraduate and graduate students live on-campus. The other 77 percent live off-campus in nearby apartment complexes. There are 24 dorm buildings on campus (Hume Hall is for honors students only). Dorm styles include single, double, triple, quad, apartment-style, economy triple, and late application triple.
The memory of the murder of five students during the first week of fall classes in 1990 still looms large over the University of Florida. There is a memorial on campus for the four women and one man who were victims of serial killer Danny Rolling. Four of the victims were UF students while one attended nearby Santa Fe Community College. There is a memorial wall dedicated to them on 34th street, near the UF campus. Since then, campus safety has become a big issue and measures to protect both on and off-campus students have been put into place. Consequently, UF is a much safer place to be a student than it once was.
The university’s football team, the Gators, is extremely popular among all students and even professors. If you attend UF, you’re bound to love the Gators whether you care anything for football or not. Gator life and Gator pride permeates the campus and affects everyone there. Most alumni are proud to call themselves “Gators for life.” As such, most students take part in the numerous Gator-themed events held on campus throughout the school year. One of the most popular events is Gator Night, which is held every Friday night and includes free entertainment and a “midnight breakfast” for all students who join in the festivities.
When it comes to famous alumni, the University of Florida has an almost endless list. This is a very popular school and it counts some of the most famous and influential people in the world among its graduates. If you want to go to a school that produces people who have a huge impact on the world, then the University of Florida is the school for you. It boasts long lists of politicians of every kind, several astronauts, famous academic researchers, authors, judges, ambassadors, CEO’s, sports broadcasters and players, and even two Nobel prize winners! Famous actors such as Stephen Root, Buddy Ebsen, Darrell Hammond, and Oscar-winner Faye Dunaway are UF alumni, as is musician Stephen Stills. These are just a few! You’ll be in good company if you become a student here.
It’s not easy to get into the University of Florida. The average freshman has a high school GPA of 4.3. Students who enroll at UF are among the best and brightest in the nation and are expected to perform as such. Classes are taught by world-renowned professors and schoolwork is challenging. There is definitely time for partying and enjoying yourself here, especially with all of the festivities surrounding the school’s Gator football team. However, academics come first and the school is very clear about this fact. You’ll have to work hard in your classes, but it will be worth it. The quality of classes is far beyond that of most state schools and is rarely found outside of an Ivy League. If you’re really here to learn and excel at what you do, then you’ll be rewarded by your UF experience.
The school’s most popular majors are Business Management, Marketing, Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, and anything in the Health Care and Social Sciences fields. Approximately 55 percent of the school’s undergraduate students are enrolled in one of these majors. This is not to say other major programs at the school aren’t excellent. The popular majors at UF are very common career fields nationwide right now. The university has access to great internships for these majors through partnerships with surrounding businesses and institutions.
As one of the preeminent schools in the nation, UF has a lengthy list of famous professors. Some are famous only in their fields of specialty, while others are world famous. If you’re a student at UF, your chances of taking a class with a famous professor are exceptionally high. Here are a few of the most notable teachers on campus at the University of Florida today:
Leonard Beeghley–A world famous sociologist and author of 10 books on the subject.
Richard Adams–A world famous English novelist who teaches the occasional class at UF. He wrote Watership Down!, a novel beloved by millions around the world, and made into a cartoon movie.
Arthur F. Hebbard–A Physics professor, he lead the discovery of superconductivity in 1991 and has been awarded 10 patents.
Pierre Ramond–Another Physics professor, he was instrumental in the development of superstring theory.
Florida isn’t known as The Sunshine State for no reason. There is sunshine nearly year-round. In fact, Florida has more days of sunshine each year than any other state. If that isn’t enough, the weather is beautiful. It does get very hot and humid in the middle of the summer, but most students will be back home taking a break during the hottest months. The rest of the year is balmy, breezy, and just plain nice.
There is nearly picture-perfect weather during the spring and fall. The winters usually don’t get too cold, either. There may be a handful of freezing weather days each winter and every few years there is a dusting of snow that melts almost as soon as it lands. However, most of the winter is cool and comfortable. You will almost always have more days wearing shorts and t-shirts to class than days when you’re bundled up in jackets and gloves. Very few other places in the United States boast such beautiful weather.
UF has one of the most famous college football teams in the world. If you haven’t heard of the Gators, then you’ve been out of the loop for far too long. You’ll find Florida Gator gear in stores all over the country. There is a well-known rivalry between Gator fans and fans of the Seminoles from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Games between these two teams are explosive, with each side passionately cheering for their players. Even if you aren’t a sports enthusiast, the Gator culture is so pervasive at UF that you will soon be drawn into the drama and pageantry that goes with being a student at the home of this wildly famous football team. Soon, you’ll be calling yourself a Gator, too!
Approximately 55 percent of registered students at UF are women. The other 45 percent are men. This definitely gives guys the advantage in the dating game. Girls need to go out of their way to get a guy’s attention here, because there are simply more women than men. Guys benefit from the surplus by getting the pick of the litter in the dating pool. This makes UF an excellent place for them to hook up with girls galore and even form intense romantic attachments. Guys at UF can afford to be choosy about who they date and that seems to be just fine with them!
Former UF Gator football player Aaron Hernandez has had his All-American commemoration brick removed from campus in the wake of pending murder charges against him. Hernandez played for the Gators from 2007 to 2009 and won First Team All-American Honors in his final year on the team. He won the Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end that year, as well. An official statement from Florida’s University Athletic Association said the brick was removed and replaced with a plain black brick because, “We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez.”
As of Thursday, August 14, 2013, rabbits and guinea pigs are no longer allowed as pets in on-campus student housing at UF. The dorms at UF have long had a good reputation for being pet-friendly. The ousting of rabbits and guinea pigs was done because of a high incidence in recent years of students abandoning these pets when they went home for the holidays. Though the rabbits and guinea pigs must go, other pets are still allowed in the dorms. These pets include fish, hamsters, gerbils, small lizards, frogs, chinchillas and small, caged birds. “This policy change was not made without thinking of the impact it may have on staff, residents and pets,” said Sharon Blansett, assistant to the associate vice president for student affairs. “Most UF campus residents are responsible pet owners.”