University of West Florida

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The University of West Florida is a mid-sized public university, located in Pensacola, it is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. UWF is a Doctoral/Research university, specializing in engineering and the humanities. It is a space-grant institution that was established in 1955, sitting on the third largest campus in the Florida University System, 1600 acres. The UWF main campus is a wildlife refuge that is bordered by two rivers and Escambia Bay. The University of West Florida is an exceptionally progressive university in terms of technology and environmental policy, as exemplified by their investment in the new Science and Engineering building, the BEST house and their investments in solar powered student housing. UWF is known for its small class sizes and its intimate, private school like educational atmosphere, which distinguishes it from the larger universities in the Florida SUS. The university's mascot is an Argonaut, and the school's logo is the Chambered Nautilus.


The University of West Florida is a public university, receiving most of its funding through state funds and tuition. A 13-member UWF Board of Trustees governs the University.[1] The undergraduate and graduate programs are divided into three Colleges, with the University of West Florida College of Arts and Sciences being the largest and most complex.


Graduate and professional


Currently, UWF enrolls nearly 11,300 students (2009/2010 AY head count) in its three colleges, and has conferred more than 59,000 associate, bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees. [2]

The official flag of The University of West Florida.
  • 49 degree programs, more than 117 specializations
  • 40% male, 60% women
  • Student population represents all 50 states and 92 countries
  • 20% of UWF students are minority, 1.6% are international students
  • 89% of students are Florida residents, 11% of students are non-Florida residents
  • Average class size is 29 students
  • Middle 50th Percentile ACT score is 21-25
  • Middle 50th Percentile SAT score is 970-1150
  • Middle 50th Percentile high school GPA is 3.1-4.0
  • Student to Faculty ratio is 20:1
  • 98% of classes (excluding some labs) are taught by faculty, of which 83% have a terminal degree
  • NCAA Divisions II Sports
  • Over 100 clubs and organizations

School of Science and Engineering[edit]

In February 2010 UWF opened a new multimillion dollar facility, the home of the new School of Science and Engineering. Some of the programs relocating to the SSE are Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, and Software Engineering.

The building includes prototype robot fabrication and testing laboratories, 3-D virtual reality simulators including a Holo-Deck, and a glass wall atrium that will help put science into the public view. This construction is based on Project Kaleidoscope, a national initiative project funded by the National Science Foundation and the Keck Foundation. The facility is one of the first of its kind to be constructed in the nation.

The building's mascot is a robot named PHLEN (PHenomenally Lifelike Eidetic Nerd) who is deployed to meet guests and give tours of the buildings more advanced features.


With rising enrollments and budgets, UWF has been favorably reviewed by outside observers, including the US News and World Report annual study of colleges and universities. The university was voted a "Best Southeastern College" by The Princeton Review.[3]


Main article: John C. Pace Library

The John C. Pace Library is an academic library and is the largest library in the Northwest Florida area. In addition to the main library on the main campus north of Pensacola, there is a branch library in Fort Walton Beach. It has 628,000 printed volumes, 1 million microfilms and microfiches, 3,000 serial subscriptions and nearly 2,000 online journal subscriptions.[4]

Tuition and Costs[edit]

  • Florida Resident-- $2,860 tuition and fees; $6,600 room and board; $1,000 for books
  • Alabama Resident-- $3,900 tuition and fees; $6,600 room and board; $1,000 for books
  • Non-Resident-- $13,702 tuition and fees; $6,600 room and board; $1,000 for books

(approximate costs for the 2006-2007 academic year from the official UWF webpage)[citation needed]

School Songs[edit]

The Alma Mater[edit]

Where learning's light sends forth its beam
Through darkness of our youth,
There you, West Florida, home of dreams
Prepare the way of truth.
You guide us toward tomorrow's shore
With knowledge of our past;
Your power in us rests secure,
And evermore will last.
Your stately mansions were our home
Where minds and hearts are free
And though we may far from you roam,
We'll always honor thee.

The Chambered Nautilus[edit]

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

The Chambered Nautilus is a poem selected by UWF founding president Crosby. It is the reason for the school emblem, which is the Nautilus shell.


Main Campus[edit]

The main campus of 1,600 acres of rolling hills and natural woodland along the Escambia River is ten miles north of Downtown Pensacola. Its facilities have been designed to complement the natural forest and waterways.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida[edit]

UWF shares a branch campus in Fort Walton Beach, with Okaloosa-Walton College, and has several centers and sites where academic programs and/or courses are taught.

Historic Pensacola Village[edit]

In 2001, the university acquired Historic Pensacola, Inc, the previously state-controlled group that manages the Historic Pensacola Village. A few years later, Dr. John C. Cavanaugh became the fourth president on July 15, 2002. Under his supervision the university has created several classes taught by and/or in conjunction with the staff at Historic Pensacola. The Clara Barkley Dorr House was also appropriated as a downtown home for the institute president.[5]

Other locations[edit]

In addition, the University of West Florida has waterfront property on Santa Rosa Island that is available for recreational, academic, and research pursuits. The University operates the OWC/UWF Fort Walton Beach Campus, the Eglin Air Force Base Center, and offices at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Hurlburt Field, and Whiting Field.

Student Life[edit]

Greek Life[edit]

North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternities[edit]

  • Alpha Tau Omega (AΤΩ) - Eta Psi Chapter
  • Kappa Alpha Order (ΚA) - Epsilon Sigma Chapter
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣAE) - Florida Sigma Chapter
  • Sigma Alpha Mu (ΣAM) - Delta Eta Chapter
  • Sigma Chi (ΣΧ) - Lambda Beta
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) - Tau Psi Chapter

National Panhellenic Conference sororities[edit]

  • Alpha Gamma Delta (AΓΔ) - Theta Lambda Chapter
  • Alpha Delta Pi (AΔΠ) - Zeta Epsilon Chapter
  • Alpha Chi Omega (AΧΩ) - Kappa Xi Chapter
  • Phi Sigma Sigma (ΦΣΣ) - Delta Psi chapter

National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternity/sorority[edit]

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) - Beta Gamma Chapter
  • Zeta Phi Beta (ZΦB) - Nu Eta Chapter
  • Delta Sigma Theta (ΔΣθ) - Nu Kappa Chapter
  • Phi Beta Sigma (ΦBΣ) - Beta Beta Phi Chapter

Local Greek organization[edit]

  • Zeta Psi Eta (ΖΨΗ)

Multicultural Greek organization[edit]

  • Delta Phi Lambda[6] (ΔΦΛ)

Professional Fraternity Association[edit]

  • Delta Sigma Pi (ΔΣΠ)- Eta Upsilon Chapter


UWF hosts many opportunities for involvement through student clubs and organizations. Registered Student Organizations, administered by the University Commons, include: academic clubs, Greek organizations, professional and honor societies, religious organizations and special interest groups.


Nearly 1,800 students choose to live on campus. UWF offers traditional residence halls, small community residence halls, and University-owned apartment complexes. Single-student housing is also available.[7]

Traditional residence halls[edit]

  • Southside Villages
  • Argo Hall
  • Martin Hall
  • Pace Hall
  • Heritage Hall (opened in the 2010-2011 school year)
  • Presidents Hall (opened Fall 2012)

Student apartments[edit]

  • University Village Student Apartments-East
  • University Village Student Apartments-West


UWF intercollegiate athletics compete in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference.

As of the Fall 2006, the UWF Men's soccer team ranked third in Division II.[8]

On August 18, 2011, UWF announced that they plan to organize a football team.

Men's intercollegiate sports[edit]

  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Sailing

Women's intercollegiate sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Track
  • Sailing

Students and alumni often joke that UWF stands for "University Without Football", due to the school's lack of a football program.[citation needed]


Fall 2009: New Athletic Mascot.

UWF's official mascot is the Argonaut, a mythical group of Greek sailors, who accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest for the Golden Fleece.

The official logo of the institution is the Chambered Nautilus. Dr. Harold Crosby, the university’s first president, selected the chambered nautilus to represent UWF because he was inspired by the poem The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes; it is "a symbol of growth, change and accomplishment."[9]


External links[edit]