A Note from the Dean
CLAS Campaign Going Well
Greetings from Gainesville. El Niño has made for a very wet North Florida winter, filling the lakes and streams, but bringing no real freezing weather to deprive us of the lovely Florida flowers. The university has survived with only minor flooding through all the intense rainstorms. So far.
Among the good news to report at this time is the great progress made by UF and CLAS in meeting the projected schedule for the $500 million Capital Campaign. At about the halfway mark, we show our gifts and contributions in good position to meet or exceed our goals. As you may read elsewhere in this issue of Alumni CLAS notes, we have benefited from the extreme generosity of our alumni who believe strongly in the College and UF. Many of you have been contributing regularly for years, and we really appreciate your loyalty.
An area of great interest and concern when I came here almost 10 years ago was the condition of our historic buildings, so many of which had fallen into disrepair. Many people have helped turn this problem around. In fact, we are now proud of the renovations that have upgraded Leigh Hall, Floyd Hall (now Griffin-Floyd), Rolfs Hall, and Peabody Hall to state-of-the-art facilities. We also have funds to renovate a section of Dauer Hall and nearly all of Rolfs Hall. And we’ve recently received the exciting news of a $3 million gift from Ken and Janet Keene that will provide leverage, along with other funds, to completely renovate Anderson Hall and Flint Hall (now Keene-Flint). These restored buildings will be the two major jewels along University Avenue when they are completed in 2000.
Our next major target in the Capital Campaign is the Women's Gymnasium, a 1919 building that we need to restore to house the rapidly growing Women's Studies program. We also will assume responsibility for the revitalization of Newell Hall in the future, as Agriculture moves to the outer campus. With the eventual Newell project, the historic part of UF's campus will have been brought back to full use and original beauty.
We are not restoring these marvelous old buildings as museum pieces. Indeed, we need them as working buildings to help us handle the crush of students wishing to attend the University of Florida. You will see when you return to campus that the historic buildings are full of students, faculty, and staff, resounding with classes, meetings, and lively conversation, just as the originals were designed. Please stop by and see how the campus is being transformed and beautified, even as we are pressed so hard to grow and meet Florida's needs.
Finally, let me thank you all for your constant and kind support of CLAS departments and programs. We look forward to seeing you on your next trip back to Gainesville.