UF’s historic Florida Gym celebrates 65 years this month

Published: October 16 2014


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida's College of Health & Human Performance is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the historic Florida Gym building this October.

Festivities will include a tailgate before the football game on Oct. 18 for all HHP alumni, faculty, staff and students.

"When J. Hillis Miller, president of the University of Florida in 1949 dedicated this building he spoke of the
impact the Florida Gym would have on the advancement of learning, health and well-being of our
students," said Michael B. Reid, dean at the College of Health and Human Performance. “It is with this
same conviction that we continue today. We are very aware that we are walking through the same halls of
so many great men and women who came before us and helped shape this University. We strive to
continue to teach, conduct research and serve as they have laid the ground work for us to do.”

Design work on the Florida Gym began by university architect Rudolph Weaver during World War II and
was completed by his successor Guy Fulton in 1949. Upon opening, the Florida Gym could hold up to
9,000 people and was considered to be “one of Florida’s wonders as a major state attraction.”

In addition to being the home to the Florida Gators men’s basketball team, affectionately known as
Alligator Alley, the Florida Gym also held the offices and classrooms for the College of Physical Education,
Health and Athletics, and the UF department of recreational sports. This multi-use building also housed
the University Infirmary and was host to all graduation ceremonies, concerts, including the likes of Johnny
Cash, many political appearances and university dances thus serving not only the college and University
but also the City of Gainesville and the State of Florida.

Today, the Florida Gym is home to the College of Health and Human Performance, where 52
faculty members teach more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students in the departments of
applied physiology and kinesiology, health education and behavior, and tourism, recreation and sport

Alumni and others can join the celebration of the Florida Gym by cementing their legacies with a personalized brick in the Florida Gym courtyard. Normally $100, bricks will be on sale for the month of October for $65 in honor of the Florida Gym’s 65 years. http://hhp.ufl.edu/index.php/about/giving/brick-program/


Contact: Christine Coombes, 352-294-1622, ccoombes@ufl.edu