Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2003

A Brief Timeline of CLAS

UF Entrance
In 1853, East Florida Seminary opened its doors in Ocala. The University of Florida marks this as its founding date, since this school was transferred to Gainesville in 1866. Many courses were offered that can be traced to today's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, such as English, history, zoology and Latin.
In 1905, the Buckman Act created a new University of Florida.
Wilbur L. Floyd In 1906, the first master of science degree was awarded at UF to botany student Wilbur L. Floyd, who later became dean of the College of Agriculture and a professor of agriculture, biology and physics. Griffin-Floyd Hall is named partly in his honor.
In 1909, the College of Arts and Sciences opened as part of a reorganization of the university. The new college had a staff of 12 and offered degrees in 15 disciplines.
James Nesbitt Anderson In 1909, James Nesbitt Anderson was named the first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
First Grads In 1910, the College of Arts and Science graduated its first group of students. Five were granted bachelor's degrees.
Language Hall In 1912, Language Hall was constructed to house history, mathematics and the languages. It was later renamed Anderson Hall, in honor of Dean James Nesbitt Anderson.
In 1926, the Department of Speech was established. It was renamed the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 1997.
In 1930, the Department of Psychology was established. Elmer Hinckley served as its first chair.
Townes R. Leigh In 1934, Townes R. Leigh was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1934, chemistry student John Morrow earned the first PhD awarded at the University of Florida. His dissertation was titled "The Dielectric Constant of Benzene."
In 1935, President John J. Tigert created General College out of the concern that UF students were not getting a strong liberal arts education. It was later renamed University College and offered associate degrees to all UF students.
In 1937, UF opened its chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the US with the mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings In 1938, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize winner The Yearling, taught a creative writing course at UF for the Department of English.
In 1946, the Department of Religion was officially established by Delton L. Scudder, though the department can be traced back to 1911.
Dorothy Rethlingshafer In 1947, Dorothy Rethlingshafer became the first woman to join the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences when the Department of Psychology hired her.
Ralph Emerson Page In 1948, Ralph Emerson Page was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1948, the Departments of Geography and Geology were officially established, though geology can be traced back to 1909 and geography to 1926.
In 1948, a Department of Biology was established but was later merged into the Department of Zoology. After years of not having a biology major, CLAS is currently developing one.
Manning Dauer In 1949, the Department of Political Science was officially formed with Manning Dauer as the first chair.
In 1951, the Center for Gerontological Studies was established as the Institute of Gerontology. UF Vice President John Allen assumed the position of chair through the first four years.
UF Marine Laboratory In 1951, the UF Marine Laboratory at Seahorse Key was established by E. Lowe Pierce, who served as its first director.
Robert Frost In 1960, four-time Pulitzer Prize winning poet Robert Frost was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Florida. He lived in Gainesville, off and on, between 1938 and 1958, in the Duck Pond area. He came to campus regularly to work in the library and held poetry readings.
In 1962, the Department of Astronomy was established by merging it into the physics department already in existence, thereby creating the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The two areas were split into separate departments in 1978.
In 1962, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Sociology officially became separate departments, though anthropology can be traced back to 1936 and sociology to 1921.
William H. Mendenhall In 1963, the Department of Statistics was established. William H. Mendenhall served as its first chair.
In 1965, the Center for African Studies was established at UF as the first program of its kind in the South and the 11th in the nation.
In 1967, the Oral History Program was established by Samuel Proctor, who served as its first director. It has since been renamed the Proctor Oral History Program in his honor.
Marshall Nirenberg In 1968, biology and zoology alumnus Marshall Nirenberg won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work deciphering the genetic code.
Harry Hall Sisler In 1968, Harry Hall Sisler was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1969, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies was established. The first chair was Egbert Krispyn.
In 1969, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures was established. J. Wayne Conner was its first chair.
Ronald C. Foreman In 1970, English professors Ronald C. Foreman and Betty Ingram became the first black faculty hired in the College of Arts and Sciences. The African American Studies program was established at this time and Dr. Foreman served as its first director.
In 1970, the Linguistics program was established. John Algeo served as its first director.
Calvin Anthony VanderWerf In 1972, Calvin Anthony VanderWerf was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1973, the Center for Jewish Studies was established. Barry Mesch served as its first director.
In 1973, the Center for Studies in Criminology and Law was established as a joint effort between sociology, psychology and political science. Merle Alexander served as its first director.
In 1974, the Department of Classics was established. Gareth Schmeling served as its first chair.
In 1975, the Asian Studies program was founded under the leadership of Austin Creel. Due to the retirement of key faculty, the program fell into demise and suspended its BA program in 1993. In 2000, with the hiring of Michael Tsin as director, the program reopened and is currently reactivating its BA program.
Ruth McQuown In 1976, Ruth McQuown became the first female associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1977, the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research got its start, offering classes dedicated to exploring the perspectives of women.
In 1977, philosophy student Billy Kynes was named a Rhodes Scholar.
Turlington Hall In 1978, construction of Ralph Turlington Hall was completed.
Charles F. Sidman In 1978, Charles F. Sidman was hired as dean the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In 1978, University College and the College of Arts and Sciences were merged into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, instantly making CLAS the largest college on campus with 13,207 students and 510 faculty at that time.
Donald Justice In 1980, English Professor Donald Justice won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Selected Poems.
In 1980, the Center for Greek Studies was created.
In 1982, the Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures was established. Haig Der-Houssikian served as its first chair.
Charlotte Mather In 1983, political science student Charlotte Mather became the first woman elected student body president at UF.
Willard W. Harrison In 1988, Willard W. Harrison was hired as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
William and Grace Dial In 1996, the William and Grace Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication was created to prepare UF students to use effectively the conventions governing speaking and writing in their chosen disciplines.
Anderson Hall In 1997, Kenneth and Janet Keene donated a generous gift, allowing the college to start restoration of Anderson and Keene-Flint Halls. The newly refurbished buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Newman Nahas In 2000, English student Newman Nahas was named a Rhodes Scholar.
In 2000, the Land Use and Environmental Change Institute (LUECI) was established as a cooperative effort between the Departments of Geological Sciences, Geography, Anthropology, and the Center for Latin American Studies.
John Thompson In 2001, Mathematics Professor John Thompson was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Bill Clinton, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a scientist by the US government. Thompson was also a recipient of the Fields Medal in 1970.
Neil Sullivan In 2001, Neil Sullivan was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Gran Telescopio Canarias In 2001, UF partnered with Spain to develop one of world's largest telescopes, Gran Telescopio Canarias in the Canary Islands. The expected completion date is 2004.
Graduation In 2002, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences held its own commencement ceremony for the first time.
happy students In 2003, as the University of Florida celebrates its 150th anniversary, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrates 25 years as a college.

Courtesy University Archives: UF Entrance, Floyd, Anderson, Class of 1910, Anderson Hall, Leigh, Rawlings, Rethlingshafer, Page, Dauer, Frost, Mendenhall, Nirenberg, Sisler, VanderWerf, McQuown, Sidman, Justice, Mather, Dial
Jane Dominguez: Turlington Hall, Anderson Hall Restoration, Sullivan, Students
Courtesy Marine Laboratory at Seahorse Key: Seahorse Key
Courtesy News and Public Affairs: Harrison, Nahas
Courtesy National Science and Technology Medals Foundation: Thompson
Courtesy Department of Astronomy: Gran Telescopio Canarias
Simone Williams: Cap and Gown

[an error occurred while processing this directive]