The University of Central Florida, commonly referred to as UCF, is a metropolitan public research university located in Orlando, Florida, United States. UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, and it is the largest university in the United States by undergraduate enrollment and the countrys second-largest by total enrollment.
Following President John F. Kennedys September 1962 speech in which he described his goal of sending a manned space flight to the moon by the end of the decade, the space program grew in importance and scope across Central Florida because of its close proximity to Cape Canaveral and defense contractors. Prominent residents and local leaders began lobbying the Florida State Legislature to increase access to higher education on the Space Coast. With the help of former State Senate President William A. Shands and Senator Beth Johnson, the legislature passed and Governor Farris Bryant signed into law Senate Bill No. 125 on June 10, 1963, which authorized the The Board of Regents to create a new state university in East Central Florida. The university was founded as a non-segregated and coeducational university, with the mission of educating students for promising space-age careers in engineering, electronics and other technological professions.