History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 10

10 East Florida Seminary residence facility, is part of the structure of the present First United Methodist Church in downtown Gainesville. By Fall 1906, Andrew Sledd, the first UF President; twelve faculty; and 102 students moved UF from Lake City into two new facilities in Gainesville, Thom as and Buckman Halls. Faculty were in charge of all UF operations – academics, business operations, facilities, and student life. The President had the ultimate authority on all things. Who were the early UF faculty and students? All were white males. Most early faculty were from the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City, the land grant institution. Land grant educational institutions were established to focus on the teaching of practical subjects in addition to the liberal arts, specifically agriculture and engineering. UF was non-sectarian but attendance at public worship at least once each Sunday was required. Students were also required to attend daily morning services conducted by the faculty. Students were required to live in residence halls. From an early UF handbook: “Under the leadership of its Dean, the faculty forms the governing body in matters of instruction and Discipline in its college.” One of the first standing faculty committees was “Discipline.” Thomas and Buckman Halls were designed to be residence halls but housed the entire UF operations for a number of years. Thomas Hall housed administrative offices in the north section; classrooms, laboratories, an auditorium, a library, a dining room, and a kitchen in the center sections; and an agricultural experiment station in the south section. Buckman Hall housed students and had an infirmary, gymnasium, and living quarters for the Officer-in-Charge. The Officer-in-Charge was the faculty member who was the immediate supervisor of the general life of students. The incentive to take on this responsibility was free room and board, an attractive incentive to younger or unmarried faculty. President Sledd also lived for a time on the second and third floors of Buckman A, and Professor James Farr (Professor of English and later Vice President and Interim President) as well as Professor John R. Benton (Engineering) were Officers-in-Charge at various times. Professor L.W. Buchholz (Education) also lived on campus in Thomas Hall to provide counseling and guidance to students from 1924-1929, the time period leading up to the official appointment of the first UF Dean of Students. H i st o ry o f t h e U F D S A