Frederick M. Cole
Frederick Cole can remember the days when most of the students he taught at UNF were older than he was. "When we opened the doors, there was a great backlog of students in the region who had no way of continuing their education," he recalls.
The age difference was primarily because when UNF opened it was an upper division school which attracted students who had already completed junior college. "We had a philosophy that the region did not need a second-rate university. It needed a first rate university and we did just that," he says.
Cole came to UNF in the summer of 1971, one of five faculty members in the Department of Accounting and Finance. "I wanted very much to become part of a teaching university. I have been delighted with my choice," he says. Twenty-five faculty members were trained as career and academic advisors and Cole was among that group. He spent half of his time teaching and half helping students with career and academic plans. "It was a very rewarding time for us."
The University opened with about 150 accounting majors, or roughly 10 percent of the student body. An indication of the quality of the program was evident when the College of Business Administration under Dean James Parrish achieved accreditation from the
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business in the first year of operation. "That was unheard of," he notes.
Cole lists the COBA accreditation as well as the SACS accreditation of the entire university a few years later as among the most memorable experiences at UNF. "We all pitched in on the accreditation. It was a very exciting time."
The Florida native attended Davidson College for a time before joining the Army and completing Officer Candidate School which earned him a first lieutenant commission.
After the Army, he attended Stetson University where he completed his undergraduate accounting training in 1962. He joined Ernst & Young in Miami and in 1963 became the controller at the Harry-Anna Cripple Children's Hospital in Eustis, Florida.
In 1965 he went to work for the University of Florida as an accountant while going to school at the same time. He earned his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Florida.
He started his first teaching job at North Florida Junior College in Madison before joining the UNF faculty to help build what has become a very strong department. "We take a great deal of pride in our work and our students. They have been outstanding," he says.