When the Florida Legislature authorized the establishment of the University of Central Florida,
it was without a definite plan for the location of the university other than “East Central Florida”.
Several sites were proposed and the selection was quickly narrowed down to Orange or Seminole
Fran Adamucci, a New Jersey contractor, offered to donated half of his property, if the state
would purchase the other half. With additional land purchases, the total area for the campus
would be 1,227 acres. In 1965, 89 Central Florida citizens collectively guaranteed a bank loan
of $1 million for the purchase of the land and this historic occasion is celebrated at UCF’s
annual Founders Day, usually held in early April.
The groundbreaking ceremonies for the University of Central Florida campus were held on March
19, 1967 and construction had begun that January. Signifying the new university’s importance
to the Florida community, the groundbreaking ceremonies were attended by state and local politicians,
as well as members of the Central Florida community. Over 3,000 attended the event, including
the class of the Little Princess Kindergarten — all potential members of UCF’s class of 1984!
of land in east Orange County that would eventually became the UCF campus.
When the University was founded in 1963, FTU, or Florida Technological
University, as it was then named, was envisioned as a leading technological
university to rival MIT or Cal Tech. Although the University quickly achieved
excellence in its engineering and computer science programs, at the close of the
university’s first decade, it was apparent that there was more to the University
than just technology. In 1979 President Colbourn, the University’s second
president, worked with the BOR to change the University’s name. University
of Central Florida was chosen to reflect the broad scope of the University’s
Claude R. Kirk, Jr. does the honors during groundbreaking March 19, 1967 at the
sandy site that was to become UCF. On hand to lend their moral support are
Louis Murray, M. D., left; local members of the Florida Board of Regents; Chester
R. Ferguson, Regents chairman; and University President Charles N. Millican, right.