Florida Tech is 55 years old this month. We began Sept. 22, 1958, when, as Brevard Engineering College, we held our first classes at Eau Gallie Junior High School. Our enrollment was 154 students, including six women and three African Americans—quite daring for the time. In 1961 we moved to our permanent location, started to build and grow and, by 1966 we became Florida Institute of Technology.
And the rest, as we say, is history. We have experienced a remarkable transformation over the years, in physical infrastructure, endowment and quality. It is safe to say that no American university has grown and prospered as much as Florida Tech during the past decade. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, we are, in fact, the third fastest growing private university in the nation.
We continue to emerge as a leading research institution in engineering and science across a broad spectrum of fields. As a university firmly rooted in technology, we now reach many students at home through online education. A blossoming music program, textiles center and museum, however, prove our ability to develop and diversify.
Our students continue to excel while at the university and in their new careers. They also do us proud on the playing field in 22 sports, including one of the newest, football. We are intent on giving our students the total university experience while we become a global center for learning in our disciplines to train future leaders of the world.
In the beginning it was the fledgling space program and Founding President Jerome P. Keuper that gave birth to what we have become today, and we will continue to produce engineers and rocket scientists that are part of that mission. But our mantra remains: “High Tech with a Human Touch.”