Fromer Senator Bob Graham

Bob Graham Center for Public Service at University of Florida Receives $1.5M From Graham Family Fund

December 5, 2007

Gainesville, Fla. -- A major gift to the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida will give the university greater opportunities to produce future public policymakers in Florida and on the national scene. 

Retired U.S. senator and former Florida governor Bob Graham, his brother William A. Graham and the Philip L. Graham Fund joined to give $1.5 million to the Graham Center. The donation will establish the Philip L. Graham Program Fund to provide support for graduate and undergraduate programs in public leadership. The fund will also support research, teaching and the advancement of civic education at all educational levels in Florida through programs at the Graham Center.  

“We have an opportunity and an obligation to provide the foundation for ethical and well-prepared civic and public leaders,” said Bob Graham, a 1959 UF political science graduate. “The Graham Center, and this newly established fund, will be a catalyst from which the University of Florida can do so.”

Bob Graham, a 1962 Harvard Law School graduate, served as governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, where he served three consecutive terms representing Florida. During his last term, he was appointed chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

William Graham of Miami Lakes, Fla. is the chairman of The Graham Companies and credited with developing Miami Lakes into a thriving, innovative, mixed-use community in the 1950s and 1960s. He is a 1949 graduate of UF.

The Grahams’ late brother, Philip, was publisher of The Washington Post and president of The Washington Post Companies until his death in 1963. The Philip L. Graham Fund was established the same year to support broad community-support endeavors as well as education, arts, health and journalism projects. The collective gift to the Graham Center was made to honor Philip Graham’s memory. Philip Graham also earned his bachelor’s degree at UF.

The Graham Center seeks solutions to public problems in the areas of public leadership, the Americas and homeland security. The center will address these issues by giving students opportunities to train for future leadership positions, to meet with current policymakers and to take courses in critical thinking, language and world cultures. These opportunities will allow students to confront issues that are important for the advancement of Florida and the nation.  

“This is the first major endowment the Graham Center has received and it is the absolute foundation for all of our programs,” said Walter Rosenbaum, interim director of the center. “In this day and age, it is important to ensure that students acquire the skills to tackle the issues in public policy because their decisions will affect us all.”

The Graham Center will be housed in Pugh Hall, which is in the final stages of construction in the heart of the historic district of the UF campus. The 40,000-square-foot facility will also be home to several humanities programs. The building will be dedicated in a ceremony on Feb. 9, 2008, followed by the inauguration of the Graham Center on March 4 and 5.

The gift to the Graham Center is eligible for matching funds from the State of Florida Trust Fund for Major Gifts. 



Ethel Moreno


Walter Rosenbaum, (352) 846-1575
Chris Brazda, (352) 392-1633

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