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Two colleges were named, one was formed and one moved into a new building. The University celebrated the opening of several new Centers and broke ground on new facilities and residence halls. UWF consistently ranked high in the Florida Board of Governors’ performance-based funding model. Find out more about these successes with UWF’s sixth and current president.

building 4


Science and Engineering Building

February: UWF opens a new science and engineering facility. 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.

First Multicultural Greek Council Organization

March: Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. is charted as the first Multicultural Greek Council organization at UWF.

Heritage Hall

August: Heritage Hall opens to offer housing that eases the transition from a traditional residence hall to living in an apartment. Programming in Heritage Hall is designed for students in their first year to senior year at UWF.


Baseball First NCAA National Title

June: The UWF baseball team wins the NCAA Division II national championship.

Military and Veterans Resouce Center Opens

October: UWF's Military and Veterans Resource Center was founded to provide active duty service members, veterans and military-affiliated students support throughout their educational experience.

Student Wellness Center

December: The Student Wellness Center, totaling 16,144 square feet, opens and houses Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services and Wellness Services.

College of Business building


College of Business Education Center

August: The College of Business opens a brand new facility, 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.

Presidents Hall

August: UWF opens its newest residence hall, Presidents Hall. The twin of Heritage Hall, Presidents Hall houses 250 residents in a suite-style building with both double and single rooms.

College Reorganization

August: The former three-college structure transitions 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 launches University College to concentrate on professional readiness and transformative learning experiences.

Women's Soccer First NCAA National Title

December: Women's soccer wins the NCAA Division II national championship.


UWF Center for Cybersecurity

April: UWF Innovation Institute launches the Center for Cybersecurity, providing a hub for research on cybersecurity and opportunities for students to move into high-demand career fields through collaborative partnerships.

Men's Tennis Third NCAA National Title

May: The men’s tennis team wins its third NCAA Division II national championship.


College of Health

August: UWF announces the formation of the College of Health, dividing the former College of Science, Engineering and Health into two separate colleges in order to position the University as a major player in the development of innovative solutions to substantial health care challenges.

Luna Settlement

December: UWF identifies the archaeological site of the Luna settlement in a developed neighborhood in Pensacola. The first multi-year European settlement in the United States existed from 1559-1561.

Hal Marcus with two students


Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering

January: Hal Marcus donates $5 million to the College of Science and Engineering. The college is named the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, becoming the first named college at UWF.

Pensacola Museum of Art

June: UWF takes ownership of the Pensacola Museum of Art. This agreement complements art education at UWF as the University assumes responsibility for nurturing an endowment and maintaining the museum’s art collection—including several hundred pieces of 20th- and 21st-century art on paper, as well as three-dimensional works.

Inaugural Football Season

September: UWF football kicks off its inaugural season under Head Coach Pete Shinnick. Argos beat Ave Maria 45-0 in their opener and proceed to sell out each of their five home games at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

50th Anniversary Capital Campaign Public Phase

November: UWF publicly launches its 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign with a fundraising goal of $50 million. This marks the largest capital campaign in University history. The quiet phase of the campaign started in January 2011 and the campaign lasts through the end of 2017.

President Saunders


President Saunders

January: Dr. Martha Saunders assumes the presidency after previously serving in a variety of roles, including provost and executive vice president. President Saunders’ vision for UWF is for it to grow beyond its beginnings as a regional comprehensive university. She plans to build on the University’s strengths and its undergraduate traditions while creating programs that will attract the faculty and research funding needed to make the leap to the next level.

Usha Kundu, MD College of Health

February: Dr. Usha and Mahadeb Kundu donate a gift in excess of $5 million to name the UWF College of Health the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health, marking the second UWF named college.

Division Changes

January: The University creates the Division of Research and Strategic Innovation to advance the state’s economy and strengthens its workforce by nurturing and applying innovative ideas in funded research, scholarship, business development, strategic partnerships and outreach.

July: The University merges the Division of Student Affairs and Office of Enrollment Affairs to create a new Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs to focus on student recruitment, admissions, strategic graduation initiatives, student life programs and high-quality services that support student success. The new Division of Academic Engagement supports students as they make the journey to graduation and entry-level employment.

Reubin O'D. Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies

April: In 2017, Pensacola attorney and community advocate Fred Levin donated $550,000 to establish the Reubin O’D. Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies, in honor of his late partner. The Institute is a place for possibility, where experts come together across disciplines to solve real-world problems and inspire important research. With an emphasis on STEAM integration, the Reubin O’D. Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies will increase the visibility of science, technology, engineering, arts and math initiatives to coordinate partnerships and research opportunities throughout the region.

Men's Tennis Fourth NCAA National Title

May: The men’s tennis team wins its fourth NCAA Division II national championship.

Ranked Top 3

June: UWF ranks in the top three public universities for the Florida Board of Governors performance-based funding model.

First Division II Football National Title Game Appearance

December: UWF's football team becomes an NCAA II 2017 National Finalist, in only the team's second year on the field.


UWF’s President’s Club at Timeless Tanglewood

January: Attorney and local community advocate Fred Levin gifted his multi-million dollar waterfront home and estate to the University. The donation included much of the renovated home’s contents, including works of art and collectibles, totaling more than $8 million to mark the largest gift by a living donor in the University's history. The property, previously known as Timeless Tanglewood, is now known as the UWF’s President’s Club at Timeless Tanglewood.

Reubin O'D. Askew Department of Government

January: In recognition of attorney Fred Levin’s continuous support of the University and in honor of the outstanding service and commitment of former Florida Governor Reubin O’D. Askew, UWF officially named the Department of Government as the Reubin O’D. Askew Department of Government in January 2018. Askew served as the 37th governor of Florida for two terms from 1971-1979 and was Levin’s personal friend and law partner. This marks the first academic department formally named at the University.

Successful 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign

January: UWF exceeds its campaign goal and raises $64.7 million by almost 20,000 donors, including 55 planned gifts and nearly $18 million in scholarships.

Louis A. Maygarden, Jr. Center for Financial Literacy

February: The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida donates $1.5 million to establish the Louis A. Maygarden, Jr. Center for Financial Literacy at the UWF College of Business. The center aims to improve the financial literacy of students and the citizens of Northwest Florida through counseling service and seminars.

Ranked Top 3 For Second Consecutive Year

June: UWF earns the highest score in University history and the third-highest score in the Florida Board of Governors performance-based metrics.

Inaugural Founders Week

April: UWF raises $115,000 from 900 people worldwide during UWF’s first-ever 24-hour fundraising initiative.

Inaugural Argo Athletic Band

July: UWF announces the Argo Athletic Band will play in the stands at UWF home football games.

University Park Center

November: UWF alumnus Darrell Gooden and his wife, Debbie, donate a major gift to name University Park Center the Darrell Gooden Center and establish scholarships for UWF students.

100,000 Degrees

December: UWF confers the 100,000th degree at its Fall 2018 Commencement on December 15, reaching a major milestone since the institution opened in 1967.



January: UWF becomes first University in North America to host parkrun, a series of free 5Ks offered on Saturday mornings throughout the year.

Museum Plaza

February: UWF Historic Trust celebrates the grand opening of Museum Plaza, a new multi-use and educational community space in downtown Pensacola that helps tell the story of Pensacola’s rich history.

New Communication Degree

March: UWF announces it will offer a new communication degree program at UWF on the Emerald Coast beginning in Fall 2019.

Student Body President

March: The first female African-American student body president is elected at UWF.

STEM Academic Programs

March: UWF addresses a workforce shortage in STEM fields with the announcement of three new degree programs beginning in Fall 2019: Master of Science in Cybersecurity; Master of Science in Engineering; and Bachelor of Science in Instructional Design and Technology.

Arcadia Homestead

March: The University of West Florida Historic Trust Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site hosts the grand opening of the Arcadia Homestead. The addition provides a new cultural resource and heritage tourism destination in Northwest Florida.

New Center for Cybersecurity Facility

April: The UWF Center for Cybersecurity celebrated its grand opening in the state-of-the-art Studer Community Institute Building, located in downtown Pensacola.

100th Conference Championship

May: The UWF women's tennis team earns the University's 100th conference championship.

Ranked Top Two

June: UWF ranks in the top two public universities for the Florida Board of Governors performance-based funding model, securing a spot in the top three for three consecutive years.

Football Wins First NCAA National Title

December: The UWF football team wins the NCAA Division II national championship, completing a run of four straight wins over undefeated teams in the playoffs.