Andrew Sledd, president of the pre-existing University of Florida at Lake City, was selected to be the first president of the new University of the State of Florida.The 1905-1906 academic year was a year of transition; the new University of the State of Florida was legally created, but operated on the campus of the old University of Florida in Lake City until the first buildings on the new campus in Gainesville were complete. Edwards designed the first official campus buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style.

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These events also opened up all of the colleges that comprise the University of Florida to female students.

African-American students were allowed to enroll starting in 1958.

The Buckman Act also consolidated the colleges and schools into three institutions segregated by race and gender—the University of the State of Florida for white men, the Florida Female College for white women, and the State Normal School for Colored Students for African-American men and women.

On July 6, 1905, the Board of Control selected Gainesville for the new university campus.

By the end of the 1946–47 school year, 954 men were enrolled at the Tallahassee Branch.

The following semester, the Florida Legislature returned the Florida State College for Women to coeducational status and renamed it Florida State University.

In their 111-year history, the university's varsity sports teams have won 39 national team championships, 34 of which are NCAA titles, and Florida athletes have won 275 individual national championships.

The University of Florida traces its origins to 1853, when the East Florida Seminary, the oldest of the University of Florida's four predecessor institutions, was founded in Ocala, Florida.

Before this, only the summer semester was coeducational, to accommodate women teachers who wanted to further their education during the summer break. Tigert became the third university president in 1928.