Take a look at UNF through the years

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UNF Timeline


1965
Legislature authorizes construction of a university in Duval County. The state’s ninth public university is to serve only juniors, seniors and graduate students.

1969
The Board of Regents selects a 1,000-acre campus site midway between downtown Jacksonville and the beaches and names Thomas G. Carpenter as UNF’s first president (the Thomas G. Carpenter Library is named after him).

1970
UNF moves its offices from the Florida National Bank Building in downtown Jacksonville to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Building on the Arlington Expressway.

1971
UNF Foundation is established.

groundbreaking650 guests attend UNF’s groundbreaking, including Gov. Reubin Askew and local Regent J.J. Daniel, for whom Building 1 is named.

1972
UNF opens for its first quarter with 2,027 upper-division and master’s-level students attending classes. Campus consists of only four major buildings and three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Education and Business Administration.

The average age of the faculty is two years younger than the average age of the students.

The Library opens with 100,000 volumes on its shelves.

The total campus measures about 1,000 acres, most of which is unoccupied.

1973
The UNF Nature Trail opens.

35 students receive degrees June 10 at UNF’s first graduation.

1974
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools grants UNF full academic accreditation.

Three additional buildings open, nearly doubling the amount of available classroom and office space.

685 students in UNF’s charter class graduate.

1976
The country celebrates its bicentennial.

The University establishes the UNF Alumni Association.

The Small Business Development Center opens.

1977
UNF celebrates its 5th anniversary.

1978
Fire destroys UNF’s original Boathouse restaurant.

U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes UNF’s Nature Trails as a National Recreational Trail.

Classes begin at UNF Downtown Center.

1979
The Osprey becomes UNF’s official mascot by write-in vote, beating out the armadillo, seagull, manatee and shark in a campus-wide election.

1980
The new library opens.

Andrew Robinson, dean of the College of Education, becomes interim president.

Gov. Bob Graham vetoes proposed merger with the University of Florida.

1981
UNF renames the library the Thomas G. Carpenter Library after its first president.

The UNF theater, which eventually will be named the Robinson Theater in honor of Interim President Andrew A. Robinson Jr., opens for its first production, “A Raisin in the Sun.”

1982
UNF celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Student enrollment tops 5,500.

Curtis L. McCray becomes UNF’s second president.

1983
UNF’s intercollegiate athletics program begins competing in men’s and women’s cross country and track.

1984
UNF admits freshmen and sophomores for the first time.

1985
Osprey Village, UNF’s first on-campus housing, opens with space for 435 students.

1986
Women’s tennis team wins NAIA National Championship.

The library’s online catalog replaces card catalog.

1987
UNF celebrates its 15th anniversary.

The Aquatic Center with an Olympic-sized pool opens.

The UNF Downtown Center closes.

Nathaniel Glover receives his master’s degree in education. Glover later becomes president of Edward Waters College after a successful public sector career that includes two terms as Jacksonville’s sheriff and a mayoral bid.

1988
The University establishes the College of Health.

Moni que French becomes the first four-year student to graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

mascotBaseball becomes part of UNF’s intercollegiate athletics program.

The 1,000-seat baseball stadium is completed and named Harmon Stadium in honor of longtime boosters Linda and Doug Harmon.

The John E. Matthews Jr. Computer Science Building opens and is named in honor of the former state lawmaker who was instrumental in gaining authorization and funding to build UNF.

1989
Adam W. Herbert becomes UNF’s third president.

UNF establishes its fifth college, known as the College of Computer and Information Sciences.

Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Student Life Center opens and is named in honor of UNF’s first interim president.

Osprey Hall, a three-story, lakeside residence hall, opens with housing for 250 undergraduates.

1990
The first doctoral degree program begins in College of Education and Human Services.

Music professor Rich Matteson, founder of the jazz program, is inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.

1991
The golf team wins the NAIA national championship.

Building 1, the UNF administration building, officially becomes J.J. Daniel Hall in honor of the former newspaper publisher and chairman of the Board of Regents.

Todd_HaleyThe Athletics Department adds five varsity sports: men’s soccer, women’s softball, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball.

Todd Haley graduates. He goes on to become head coach of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

1992
UNF celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball, along with softball, begin varsity competition at UNF.

The College of Education and Human Services Building officially becomes Frederick H. Schultz Hall in honor of the former Federal Reserve vice chairman and state lawmaker.

Mark Vitner receives his M.B.A. He goes on to become managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo.

Sid Roberson, a member of the UNF baseball team, graduates. He becomes the first UNF baseball player to break into the MLB and signs with the Milwaukee Brewers.

1993
UNF joins the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division II.

More sports programs are soon added, bringing the number of varsity sports to 14.

The UNF Arena opens, which includes seating for 5,800.

The golf team wins its second NAIA national championship.

1994
Enrollment tops 10,000 during fall registration.

Osprey Landing opens in the fall with housing for 150 students.

The women’s tennis team wins NCAA Division II National Championship.

1995
The new College of Health Building opens.

The Osprey Fitness Center undergoes a $100,000 renovation and becomes the Dottie Dorion Fitness Center in honor of the first female president of the Osprey Club.

Research grants awarded to UNF through the Division of Sponsored Research top $5 million, bringing 10-year total to $47.4 million.

Osprey Landing Phase II opens with housing for an additional 300 students.

Ann Hicks, a Jacksonville civic leader and noted philanthropist, graduates with a bachelor’s degree. She becomes one of the University’s most generous donors and is awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2005.

1996
New College of Business Administration Building opens.

100 acres of land adjacent to campus is purchased for future athletic facilities.

A Board of Regents student concludes UNF has $188 million economic impact on the region.

The College of Education and Human Services initiates master’s degree program in Belize.

1997
UNF celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The College of Health Building becomes J. Brooks Brown Hall in honor of the retired physician and University benefactor.

Famed poet and author Maya Angelou comes to UNF as part of the Presidential Lecture Series.

Elie Weisel, Holocaust survivor and author of the book “Night,” speaks at UNF as part of the Presidential Lecture Series.

1998
UNF President Adam W. Herbert leaves to become chancellor of the State University System.

Osprey Cove opens with housing for 450 students.

1999
Anne H. Hopkins takes office as UNF’s first female president and fourth overall.

The University Center opens as a state-of-the-art conference and meeting facility.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu addresses a capacity crowd during a speech organized by the Presidential Lecture Series.

2000
More than 1,000 students graduate during spring commencement ceremonies.

UNF launches a $65 million capital campaign, the largest philanthropic drive in Jacksonville history.

Sara Walsh graduates as the women’s soccer team’s all-time leader in goals scored and points in a game. She goes on to become a broadcaster for ESPN.

Jane Goodall, the world’s foremost primatologist and expert on chimpanzees, speaks at UNF as part of the Presidential Lecture Series.

2001
The Fine Arts Center, with seating for 1,300 in the Lazzara Performance Hall, opens.

Gov. Jeb Bush appoints members of the first UNF Board of Trustees.

Osprey Crossings opens with housing for 470 students.

2002
UNF celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Lewis Black, of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” and Aisha Tyler headline the year’s homecoming festivities with a comedy show at UNF Arena.

Platinum-selling rockers No Doubt pack the UNF Arena for a sold-out show.

The Hayt Golf Learning Center, named in honor of benefactors John T. and Geraldine Hayt, opens.

The College of Business Administration becomes the Coggin College of Business in honor of Luther and Blanche Coggin, who donate $5 million to the college.

2003
John A. Delaney becomes UNF’s fifth president.

The Fine Arts Center begins its inaugural season with a performance by Kathleen Battle with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu arrives on campus to teach for one semester.

The Lady Ospreys capture the South Atlantic Region basketball championships, giving them a spot in the Elite Eight.

The Access to Excellence capital campaign ends, raising more than $100 million.

The Division of Sponsored Research sets record with more than $15 million in research gifts.

Atlanta rapper Ludacris lights up the UNF Arena for a packed show with opener Cee Lo Green, the frontman for Gnarls Barkley and vocal coach on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu returns to UNF to teach during the spring semester. Tutu’s classes focused on the struggle against Apartheid.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who oversaw the dismantling of the Soviet Union, speaks at UNF as a part of the program “A New Time, A New Beginning: An Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev.”


2004
The Science and Engineering Building opens.

President John Delaney recommends the move to NCAA Division I, and the Board of Trustees unanimously approves the measure.

2005
The School of Nursing becomes UNF’s first flagship program, which focuses resources to help transform existing excellence into academic programs with national prominence.

The University adopts a new logo and student-centered brand.

UNF begins playing against Division I competition and also initiates the SunTrust River City Rumble, an annual all-sport competition against crosstown rival Jacksonville University. Ospreys also begin play in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Thomas G. Carpenter Library renovation and addition is completed.

Martin Senterfitt receives his master’s degree in public administration. He is named Jacksonville’s fire chief in 2012.

Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and band leader for Conan O’Brien, jams with UNF’s Jazz Ensemble 1 during a live performance in the Lazzara Performance Hall.

Desmond Tutu returns to UNF an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree for his continued contribution to the University.

2006
The Social Sciences Building opens, setting the standard for future environmentally green campus buildings.

The College of Health officially becomes Brooks College of Health after Brooks Rehabilitation donates $5 million to the college.

The Princeton Review ranks UNF as one of the nation’s five best buys in public higher education.

George and Kernan Hodges donate $2 million to upgrade what is now Hodges Soccer and Track Stadium.

The Taylor Engineering Research Institute is established with $1 million endowment.

Two Coggin College of Business programs — International Business and Transportation and Logisitics — become UNF flagship programs.

Coastal Biology becomes UNF’s fourth flagship program.

2007
UNF celebrates its 35th anniversary.

UNF named Best Southeastern College and a Best Value College by the Princeton Review.

The University is awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the leading-edge system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, energy efficient, high performing buildings.

The Social Sciences Building received the Award for Excellence for University Building by the Southeast Construction Association for constructing the first LEED building on campus and in Northeast Florida.

The campus measures in at 1,300 acres.

2008
A $12 million, four-story addition to the Brooks College of Health opens and houses classrooms and administrative space for the School of Nursing, as well as office space and exam rooms for Student Health Services.

UNF again named Best Southeastern College by the Princeton Review.

The UNF Men’s Golf team wins the Atlantic Sun Golf Championship, marking the first A-Sun title in school history.

Comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan headlines the annual campus comedy show.

Russell Crowe, owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby franchise, brings his team to UNF’s Hodges Stadium for an exhibition match against the Leeds Rhinos. More than 1,000 tickets were sold online within the first 12 hours they were on sale.

2009

UNF named among Top 50 Best Value Public Colleges by the Princeton Review.

The UNF baseball team upsets the University of Florida 3-0 in front of a record crowd of 3,194 at Harmon Stadium.

UNF elected to Division I status in the NCAA, granting the ability to compete for conference and national championships in all sports.

UNF again named Best Southeastern College by the Princeton Review.

CoxwellUNF opens new Student Union building.

UNF golf team ranked No. 14 in nation.

UNF named Military Friendly School by G. I. Jobs magazine.
Ludacris returns to campus to christen the new J.B. Coxwell Amphitheater adjacent to the Student Union. The concert is the largest in UNF history.


2010

College of Education Building achieves LEED Gold Status.

Coggin College of Business is named a Best Business School by the Princeton Review.

A school-record 3,815 fans attend the UNF-JU basketball game at UNF Arena.

2011

UNF is named one of the nation’s 50 “Best Value” public colleges and universities, according to The Princeton Review. UNF was also named “Best Value” public college in 2009 and in 2007.

UNF announces the addition of Sand Volleyball and Women’s Golf as varsity sports.


2012

UNF celebrates its 40th anniversary.

cnnGOP chooses UNF as the site of CNN Republican Presidential Debate

The baseball team upsets No. 1 ranked Florida, 10-5, at Harmon Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,144.

The Biological Sciences Building opens.

The state-of-the-art Student Wellness complex opens with 75,000 square feet of exercise room and office space. The facility boasts a 32-foot climbing wall and enough workout equipment to keep any fitness buff occupied.

The new Student Dining Facility opens. The dining area in the four-floor building is twice as large as the previous facility.

The Osprey Sand Volleyball team becomes the first team in the country to win a conference championship in the sport. It marked the first year of play for the emerging sport.

UNF’s Hodges Stadium plays host to the 2012 NCAA East Track & Field Preliminary, one of just two qualifying meets for the NCAA Championships.

The Thomas G. Carpenter Library tips the scale at 864,706 volumes.

The campus measures about 1,380 acres.