Commonly referred to as UCF, the University of Central Florida is located in Orlando, Florida and is currently one of the largest schools in the United States with an enrollment of 53,537 students. Interestingly the university is less than fifty years old and has far surpassed the enrollment of similar institutions that are three or four times older than the University of Central Florida.
The rapid rise in popularity and influence that UCF has experienced dates back to its founding on June 10, 1963 when the Florida state legislature passed Bill Number 125 that established the groundwork for what would eventually become one of America’s largest universities by the turn of the century. Then Governor Farris Bryant signed the bill into law and from that moment onward the wheels have been set in motion for the great prosperity that UCF has enjoyed to this day.
Initially known by the name Florida Technological University (a name given by the school’s first president, Charles Millican) the institution of higher learning was erected on what was at the time remote farm land. Legend has it that the future location of the school was so remote that the man tapped to be the school’s first president (Millican) could not even locate the parcel the first time he went out to examine it.
The first class was held at then Florida Technology University on October 7, 1968. At the time of the inaugural session no one could have predicted that a university of just 1,948 students would grow to about twenty five times that size in a span of less than five decades. Florida Tech was the nickname for the school during its first ten years until in December of 1978 when Governor Rueben Askew inked a legislative order that would change the name to the recognizable University of Central Florida name that alumni all over the world hold dear to their hearts.
In more recent history UCF has expanded enrollment through student increases at rates rarely seen elsewhere. During the last ten years the student population has grown by approximately 40%. This increase in population is particularly noteworthy when considering the fact that during this same time period the acceptance rate has decreased by 20% (from 60% to 40%). When you do the math it is clear that a rapidly increasing number of people are interested in attending UCF.
The increase in size and selectivity has afforded the University of Central Florida the opportunity to expand beyond its meager beginnings as a technical and commuter school. The influx in resources has fostered an environment in which UCF now stands as a mecca of research not just for the community it resides in but also to an increasingly greater extent the United States as a whole.