The University of Florida traces its beginnings to 1853 when the state-funded East Florida Seminary acquired the private Kingsbury Academy in Ocala. After the Civil War, the seminary was moved to Gainesville. It was consolidated with the state's land-grant Florida Agricultural College, then in Lake City, to become the University of Florida in 1905 and the Gainesville site for the campus was chosen in 1906.
Classes began on September 26, 1906 for 102 students. In 1947, the first year that women were admitted on an equal basis with men, the student body numbered 8,177 men and 601 women. Today, the University of Florida is the nation's 4th largest university in terms of enrollment, which tops 48,000. UF celebrated its Sesquicentennial in 2003.