ALUMNI CLASnotes Semester, Year


A Note from the Dean

Campus Improvements

WILL HARRISONGreetings from Gainesville. So when were you last back to visit your alma mater? If the answer is 10 years or more, you really should return and look around. You would be greatly and pleasantly surprised by how the campus has changed. Even if you've only been away five years, things have improved noticeably. The University of Florida campus has now become one of the most beautiful in the country.

I arrived at UF in 1988, and while certain parts of the campus were quite nice, it hardly rated in my view as attractive overall. Too many obvious areas suffered from benign neglect. Common sights included tired, worn out "green" areas, inadequate landscaping, and numerous academic buildings in terrible shape, some boarded up and showing all the charm of derelict houses. To say the least, the UF campus was not at its best back then.

But UF administration and the physical plant department were already beginning at that time a concerted effort to better the campus. Over this past decade, the grounds have been greatly improved, including attractive new plantings and protected grassy areas. Brick walkways have been constructed and graceful brick walls have been built to guide foot traffic and simultaneously provide extended benches for students. Welcoming plazas and conversation areas have appeared. Most significantly, our formerly run-down historic buildings are being slowly transformed into arguably the most impressive buildings on campus today. This beautification has been an exciting transition, one that is still incomplete, but much progress has been made.

CLAS plays a significant role in the newly refurbished campus. We are the college that occupies much of the central, historic district, and we certainly see it as our charge to restore and protect these priceless original buildings. Early in the new millennium, Anderson Hall and Flint Hall (now Keene-Flint Hall) will join the other restored structures and regain their beauty and dignity. Please note, we still need more resources for remaining restoration needs, in case you would like to help or know someone who might.

The University of Florida campus has become an inviting, park-like setting, providing attractive ambience for students, faculty, and staff. If you have been here recently, you will know what I mean. If you haven't, Gainesville is worth the trip. Come by and see what UF and CLAS have become.

Will Harrison, Dean

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