The University of Florida
College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences

Fall 2000
In this Issue:

Note from the Dean
Interim Dean Neil Sullivan looks forward to the new century.

Memories of Dramatic Change
Anthropology Professor James Ellison writes about oral history and Seminole Indians in Florida.

UF Leads the Way
CLAS physicist guides the development of an ultra-powerful computer data grid.

Around the College
News and events from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Book Beat
A sampling of new publications from CLAS faculty, students, and alumni.

Thank You!
CLAS Donor Report, 1999-2000.

Gifts & Pledges to CLAS
From July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000.

CLAS Awards 12 Term Professorships

Former Astronomy Researcher's Bequest Will Provide Student Scholarships

Is There Method in This Madness?
Undergraduate Eli Chudnoff tackles metaphysics.

Alumni Notes
Updates from CLASmates and Grand Guard weekend.

Convocation Fall 2000

Alumni CLASnotes
Back Issues

CLAS Home Page

Alumni CLASnotes is published twice a year by the University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for its alumni and friends. Please send all correspondence to the Editor, 2014 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 or e-mail <>

Dean, Neil Sulllivan

Associate Director of Development, Amanda Delp

Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, Jennifer Denault

Editor, Alumni CLASnotes Laura H. Griffis, Coordinator of Information and Publications

Contributing Editor, Allyson A. Beutke

Copy Editor, Bill Hardwig

Print Design, Summit Design, Inc.

Additional Pre-press Assistance & Web Design, Jane Dominguez

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida is the largest college on campus, with nearly 700 faculty members and the teaching responsibility of more than 17,000 students. CLAS offers 36 degrees in 22 departments and is home to 33 centers and institutes including The Center for Excellence in Teaching, The Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research and The Center for African Studies. CLAS occupies more than 500,000 square feet in 21 buildings.


Women's Gym
to be Restored

Thanks to the generosity of a sociology alumna,"Kathryn Chicone Ustler Hall" will be the first UF academic building named for a woman

After years of contemplating the best way to express fondness for her alma mater, Kathryn Chicone Ustler found a perfect fit last month when she agreed to help fund the renovation of a historic UF campus building--the Women's Gym.

Gym"My family and I have always been interested in historic building preservation," said Ustler. "The more I thought about saving the gym and restoring it to practical use, the more excited I became about getting involved."

Built in Tudor Gothic style in 1919, the gym originally served as both an indoor basketball arena and an assembly hall. Through the twenties, thirties, and forties, the multipurpose facility was a center of Gator athletic activities--including gymnastics, fencing and boxing--but was also used as a chapel, dance hall, movie theater, and lecture hall. When the UF campus went co-ed in 1948, the building was labeled the Women's Gymnasium, and it has continued to bear that name despite subsequent changes in use.

UstlerFunding from Ustler, coupled with matching funds from the state of Florida, clears the way for the long sought-after renovation, which will complement the growing list of early UF buildings restored to their original beauty, including Griffin-Floyd, Keene-Flint, and Anderson Halls. With the necessary approval of the Florida Legislature, the renovated gym will be dubbed Kathryn Chicone Ustler Hall, making it the first UF academic building named for a woman.

Ustler learned about the significance of the naming only after she made her gift. "I went to Stephens College in Missouri [a small women's college] as a freshman before transferring to UF as a sophomore," Ustler explained. "At Stephens everything was named after women, so I was used to this and just assumed academic buildings were named for women at all schools."

When completed, the 14,700 square-foot, three-level Ustler Hall will house classrooms and faculty and administrative offices for CLAS Women's Studies programs. The redesigned building will also include a library, gallery, and garden. "The garden really struck me when I saw the model," says Ustler. "Transforming a parking lot into a park people can sit in and enjoy is a wonderful idea and will greatly add to the beauty and utility of the building."

Ustler, a 1961 graduate in liberal arts with a major in sociology, is a native of Orlando. In the early 1920s, Ustler's father, Jerry Chicone, Sr., relocated from New Jersey to Winter Garden, Florida, where he settled and started the citrus and real estate business his family still runs today (Chicone Groves/Properties).

Chicone, Sr. met his wife, Maude Lee of Sylvania, Georgia, while she was visiting relatives in Winter Garden. After a long distance courtship, Maude Lee moved to Orlando to teach, and soon after the two were married. The Chicones were together for 64 years until Maude Lee's death in 1994. Chicone, Sr. passed away in 1998 at the age of 96.

Kay and her older brother, Jerry, were raised in the Orlando area where she graduated from Edgewater High School before moving on to the University of Florida. "I wouldn't trade anything in the world for having gone to UF--I have many good memories of my time there," she says, adding, "It makes sense to me to give back to my college."

Ustler's gift is not the first Chicone family donation to the university. Chicone, Sr. was one of 30 organizers of the Gator Boosters program in the 1950s and a trustee emeritus of the organization. The North Endzone Gator Booster offices are named after him. Jerry Chicone, Jr., who graduated from UF in 1956, is also a loyal supporter of Gator athletics and is the president of Gator Boosters.

Ustler says her family's commitment to the university definitely influenced her decision to make a major gift. "I wanted to keep the tradition going. If my dad and brother hadn't done what they'd done for UF in the last few years, it may not have occurred to me to do something at this level. I met their challenge," she says, "and hopefully, when his time comes, my son will meet my challenge." Ustler's son, Craig, a CLAS economics graduate (1991), is a commercial real estate developer and urban planner whose projects center around the revitalization of historic downtown Orlando.

Ustler extends her challenge to all UF alumnae: "I would encourage other ladies to give serious thought to what they would like to do for the University of Florida. I think in too many instances, it is the husband or the man of the house who handles charitable contributions. I encourage women to read about what is happening on campus, to find out about UF's needs, to identify which of these needs interests them and touches their hearts, and then to get involved." Pencil

--Jane Gibson

Honoring Women in Florida
The Women's Garden

The Garden
A central goal of the Women's Gym project is to create a formal garden adjacent to the facility. This special garden space, slated to replace the parking lot that currently leads up to the structure, will serve both as a beautiful area for Ustler Hall students and faculty to convene, reflect, and relax, and as a greenway to connect this area to the heart of the historic UF campus.

"The garden really struck me when I saw the model. Transforming a parking lot into a park people can sit in and enjoy is a wonderful idea and will greatly add to the beauty and utility of the building."
--Kay Chicone Ustler


The Commemorative Wall

The garden has been designed to honor many women associated with UF and Florida. Enclosing the north and east perimeters of the Women's Garden, a granite wall will feature the inscribed names of many women who will be recognized and honored as an integral part of this project. Garden donors will be asked to choose a woman's name to add to the commemorative wall.

Although the project wishes to recognize those women who have won prizes and awards, CLAS also wishes to include women who are special to their nominators as mothers, wives, daughters, and friends. Contributions are still needed to complete the project.


For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Denault
University of Florida Foundation
Phone: (352) 392-5474
Fax: (352) 392-8736


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