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Description
The University of Florida (commonly referred to as Florida or UF) is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) campus in North Central Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida and traces its historical origins to 1853,[8] and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906.[9]
History
The University of Florida traces its origins to 1853, when the East Florida Seminary, the oldest of the University of Floridas four predecessor institutions, was founded in Ocala, Florida. On January 6, 1853, Governor Thomas Brown signed a bill that provided public support for higher education in the state of Florida.[19] Gilbert Kingsbury was the first person to take advantage of the legislation, and established the East Florida Seminary, which operated until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The East Florida Seminary was the first state-supported institution of higher learning in Florida.[20] James Henry Roper, an educator from North Carolina and a state senator from Alachua County, had opened a school in Gainesville, the Gainesville Academy, in 1858. In 1866,[21] Roper offered his land and school to the State of Florida in exchange for the relocation of the East Florida Seminary to Gainesville.[22] The second major precursor to the University of Florida was the Florida Agricultural College, established at Lake City by Jordan Probst in 1884. Florida Agricultural College became the states first land-grant college under the Morrill Act. In 1903, the Florida Legislature, desiring to expand the schools outlook and curriculum beyond its agricultural and engineering origins, changed the name of Florida Agricultural College to the University of Florida, a name that the school would hold for only two years.[23]
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