I read where the University from where I graduated has grown from a student body of around 11,000 when I departed to the sixth largest single campus enrollment in the country. The number is somewhere near 47,000 and somewhere along the way I feel like I got lost in the crowd. Founded in 1963, Florida Technological University (aka ‘FTU’) was constructed on a very large parcel of land well (over 1400 acres) well outside (at the time) of Orlando, most of which was still covered with pine trees and palmetto thickets in 1978.
But things change, the first of which was the name – immediately after I graduated. The new incoming president didn’t feel that our name accurately reflected our purpose so he convinced the Board of Regents and the state legislature to come up with something more appropriate with our image. (I was in student government at the time and felt strongly the name should stay but if it did change my vote was for ‘Florida University at Cape Kennedy’ (smirk) in keeping with our original purpose of providing trained engineers for the nearby space program) FTU was also proudly known as “Florida Tech”. But ever since that name has been claimed by the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT)
When my diploma was sent they had the nerve to ask if I wanted the old or the new name. I have balked at any involvement in various alumni organizations until they change their names to include FTU and acknowledge their roots.
Note that I have not mentioned the new name. This is not an oversight on my part.
Sometimes I feel that those years weren’t just lost, they were stolen.
(part two later if I’m in the right mood)