VETERAN HISTORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Military service is a University of Florida tradition, one that dates to the early years of this university. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, 274 of the 434 men enrolled at what was then all-male UF, went to war. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 UF students served in World War II. Many faculty also joined up, so the war had a radical impact on campus. By the peak year of 1944-45, UF had just 740 students, down from 3,500 before the war started. We lost 401 students to World War II alone. Those who perished in WWII, included Gator football players, student government officials, and other leaders. We may not be aware that we remember their service to our country every day. For example, Corry Village is named after William Corry, one of two student body presidents who died in WWII. Many more UF students served in Korea, Vietnam, and every conflict since. If UF has been a ready source of men and women sent to fight overseas, it has achieved legendary status as a place for them to come home to. We had so many veterans enroll after World War II that we had to build three makeshift cities containing over 1,000 residences. The Flavet Villages went up so fast, they included travel trailers and reused military barracks! Today, we are proud to count approximately 2000 veterans, active duty members, and dependents among our undergraduate and graduate students. Many staff at the University of Florida are working hard to make the University of Florida the most veteran friendly and effective campus in America.