Extra - History

1963 - Establishment of the University of West Florida

The Florida Legislature allocated funding to develop the University of West Florida, which became the sixth university in the State University System of Florida.

1965 - Breaking Ground

The groundbreaking for UWF took place on April 16, 1965. In the same year, the University adopted the chambered nautilus as the official UWF emblem.

1967 - Classes Begin

The first students enrolled in the fall of 1967. The first commencement ceremony was held in June 1968, and 58 students received degrees.

1969 - University Accreditation

UWF earned its accreditation for undergraduate programs from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1969. That year, the University also established its first master's degree programs.

1979 - Creation of Traditional Colleges

Initially, the University was organized into three resident colleges, Alpha, Gamma and Omega - all designed for upper-level and graduate students. In July 1979, the University organized into a more traditional structure by establishing three colleges - the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and the College of Education.

1983 – Establishment of a Lower Division

The University was authorized by the Florida Legislature to establish a lower division, and freshmen enrolled for the first time in the fall of 1983.

1988 to 2000 - Academic Realignment

In July 1988, the Department of Computer Science moved from the College of Business into a fourth college - the College of Science and Technology. In 1999, the colleges reorganized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Professional Studies.

1991 - Center for Fine and Performing Arts

In 1991, President Morris Marx dedicated the newly opened Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Home to the Departments of Art, Music and Theatre, the CFPA specializes in showcasing student work. The CFPA consists of three performance spaces: the Mainstage Theatre, the Music Hall and the Studio Theatre. In addition, the facility contains The Art Gallery, also known as TAG, a 1,500-square-foot setting for artists to display work.

1994 - University Joins NCAA Division II

After spending time as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the University transitioned to full membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Argonauts began competing in NCAA Division II and joined the Gulf South Conference.

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1995 - Library Renovation and Expansion

In 1995, UWF unveiled an expanded and renovated John C. Pace Library, with the addition of the east side structure, which includes distinctive, curved first and second floors and a four-story stairwell.

2006 - Opening of the Health, Leisure and Sports Facility

The new Health, Leisure and Sports Facility was dedicated in March 2006. The building included offices, classrooms and labs for use by recreation and academic departments, as well as a 10,000-square foot fitness center, racquetball courts, an indoor running track, multiple gyms and workout spaces, and a 36-foot climbing wall.

2010 - Opening of the Science and Engineering Building

In the spring of 2010, UWF opened a brand new science and engineering facility in Building 4. The $30.6 million, state-funded building embodies the principles of Project Kaleidoscope, an advocate in the U.S. for building and sustaining strong undergraduate programs in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

2010 - Opening of Heritage Hall Residence Hall

Heritage Hall, which opened in the fall of 2010, was specifically designed to offer housing that eases the transition from a traditional residence hall to living in an apartment. The Oracle Living Learning program started in Heritage Hall prior to being moved to Presidents Hall. Programming for students living in Heritage Hall is designed for students in their first year to senior year in college at UWF.

2011 - Opening of Student Wellness Center

The new Student Wellness Center opened in December 2011, combining services that were previously housed separately. The two-story building totaled 16,144 square feet and housed Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services, and Wellness Services.

2012 - College of Business Education Center

The College of Business opened a brand new facility in the fall of 2012, offering a state-of-the-art location for business students to gather, study and network on campus. The three-story, 44,380-square-foot College of Business Education Center provides modern, high-tech conveniences for engaging in interactive learning.

2012 - Presidents Hall

In the fall of 2012, UWF opened its newest residence hall, Presidents Hall. The twin of Heritage Hall, Presidents Hall is home to 250 residents in a suite-style building with both double and single rooms.

2014 - College Reorganization

In the fall of 2014, a year-long academic reorganization process began. The former three-college structure transitioned into four academic colleges: College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; College of Education and Professional Studies; College of Science, Engineering and Health; and the College of Business. Additionally, UWF launched University College to focus on professional readiness and transformative learning experiences.

2015 - College of Health

As a final step in the academic college reorganization, UWF announced the formation of the College of Health. The former College of Science, Engineering and Health divided into two separate colleges, the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Health, in order to position the University as a major player in the development of innovative solutions to substantial health care challenges.

2016 - Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering

In January 2016, the University received the largest gift from a living donor in its history. Longtime supporter Harold E. ‘Hal’ Marcus allocated $5 million to the College of Science and Engineering. The College was named the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering in his honor, marking it as the University’s first named college.

2017 - 50th Anniversary

The University celebrated its 50th Anniversary. After its first class included 58 graduates, student enrollment reached nearly 13,000 and the alumni count grew to more than 80,000 worldwide.

2017 - Usha Kundu, MD College of Health

The University announced a gift of more than $5 million from Dr. Usha Kundu and Mahadeb Kundu in February 2017. Dr. Kundu, a board-certified OB-GYN, opened her private practice in Pensacola in 1983. The UWF College of Health was named the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health in her honor, marking the second named college in as many years for the University.


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