Florida Agricultural College
Lake City, Florida
The Alachua County Library has provided the 1901 Pinakidias, the Florida Agricultural College yearbook, to Internet Archive. Photos of campus buildings appear in Florida Memory.
Florida Agricultural College was established at Lake City in 1884. It was the first land grant college in the state of Florida, and as such it received federal as well as state funding. Connected to the school was an agricultural experiment station. In 1902 the name of the school was changed briefly to the University of Florida. In 1905 the Buckman Act reorganized higher education in Florida, separating students by race and gender. The Agricultural College and the East Florida Seminary at Gainesville were combined as the University of the State of Florida, located at Gainesville. The new University opened in 1906.
The Pinakidias shows a college enrollment of 51 students with a faculty of 19. Two members of the faculty were listed as preparatory school supervisors, and a third as a teacher of commercial subjects; therefore, the student numbers may have been higher. Over half of the students were from Lake City; about a third were females.
The social life of FAC came from three literary societies—Clutonian for females; Bema and Forum for males. Clutonian met each Friday evening; the male societies on Saturday evening and the Students’ Christian Association on Sunday evening. While the yearbook shows no school musical, forensic or drama groups, these activities were a regular part of the societies. These also hosted receptions and parties.
One of the provisions for the establishment of Florida Agricultural College as a land grant college was “that military tactics shall be taught at the said college.” Therefore, every male student was under military discipline. The school was justly proud of its drill units and sought opportunities to compete against other units in the state.
Members of the Junior Class in 1901. Image from the Pinakidias.
Bricks and Mortar
The central building on the FAC campus was Chapel Hall, a multi-story structure with a distinctive clock tower. Male students were housed in the barracks. Two added buildings were Flagler Gymnasium and the Science Hall. It was not until 1900 that female students had their own dormitory. The Pinakidias complained that it had only a one-story veranda, so there was not enough space for the male students who wanted to call around on Friday afternoons.
After FAC merged with East Florida Seminary, the campus was acquired by Columbia College. See that school for further history of the campus.
School Colors: Blue and White (The blue is now part of the school colors for the University of Florida)
The Pinakidias shows organized teams for both baseball and football. While FAC had an organized football team, the faculty initially refused to allow them to play games against other schools. This permission was granted in 1900, but it came too late for FAC to schedule games against Stetson. The 1901 team was able to schedule those games, dropping both. West Florida Seminary appeared on the schedule in 1902 and East Florida Seminary in 1903. The 1905 team played the beginning of a Southeastern Conference schedule with games against Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
While baseball was a favorite sport, the faculty was reluctant to allow the team to play games away from Lake City, as this would interfere with military training. The Pinakidias notes that when the team did travel, it gave a good account of itself even though both West Florida Seminary and East Florida Seminary allegedly recruited ringers to play against them.
Apparently there were no organized sports for women.
Florida Agricultural College football team (Pinakidias,
Chapel Hall with dormitory. Image from Florida Memory