The main campus of 1,600 acres of rolling hills and natural woodland
along the Escambia River is ten miles north of downtown Pensacola.
Its facilities have been designed to complement the natural beauty
of this nature preserve. In addition, the University of West Florida
has waterfront property on Santa Rosa Island that is available
for recreational, academic, and research pursuits. The University
operates the Fort Walton Beach Campus, the Eglin Air Force Base
Center, and offices at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Hurlburt Field,
and Whiting Field.
In 1963 the Florida Legislature authorized
funds to establish the University of West Florida. The first president,
Dr. Harold B. Crosby, assumed office in July 1964. Ground was
broken on April 16, 1965, and the first students began classes
in the fall of 1967. Dr. James A. Robinson, the second president,
took office in 1974. Dr. Morris L. Marx was inaugurated UWF's
third president in 1988. Current president, Dr. John Cavanaugh,
joined UWF in 2002. As a result of a state reorganization, university
governance was transferred to a local board of trustees in 2001.