National History

The University of Florida Alumni Association was organized and chartered in 1906 by the first group of graduates from the Gainesville campus. Today, alumni on record total nearly 350,000. We have alumni in every state and in more than 100 foreign countries.

The Alumni Association is responsible for a network of nearly 100 Gator Clubs® in Florida, across the U.S. and internationally. These clubs are composed of alumni and friends who represent UF in their communities. They hold a wide variety of programs and events in support of the university. The Alumni Association is also actively involved with the recruitment of superior students to attend the University and with financial assistance programs in the form of scholarships sponsored by the Gator Clubs®. In addition, we host outreach programs that bring faculty and administrators on the road to carry the University's message to alumni and friends.

Reunion programs are organized and conducted by the Alumni Association and have been successful in bringing alumni back to Gainesville, with activities that are designed to involve returning graduates with campus life. We host the Grand Guard reunion, which honors 50 year graduates of UF, and the Silver Society, which recognizes 25 year grads. In addition to these reunions, several annual events are held each year including Back to College, Spring Weekend and our Gator Nation Tailgate party before each football game.

Specific groups have been organized to represent the needs of special interests on the campus, including the Association of Black Alumni and the Association of Hispanic Alumni. In addition, Student Membership in the Alumni Association was developed to create networking opportunities between current students and alumni. With more than 11,500 members, this group offers career networking, social events and special programming. The Florida Cicerones, who are UF’s campus ambassadors, are also members of this group. These students, specially selected to represent the University, lead tours and host events across UF’s campus.

Northeast Ohio History

The Great Lake Gator Club became the Official University of Florida Alumni Club of Northeast Ohio, January first, 2000.  Originally founded as the Cleveland Gator Club in the spring of 1999, the search for UF alumni and friends in the Cleveland area began with a flyer.  Local Gators began surfacing rapidly as football season neared.  Alumni and fans of UF met to watch every televised football game during the 1999 season.  These meetings proved one thing; there is strong support for the Gators in Northeast Ohio.  With members from all over the Greater Cleveland Area, as well as Akron and Canton, a name change was in order.  The vote was taken, officials were appointed, and the paperwork was completed in time for the Great Lake Gators to become the first Gator Club of the 21st century.

In the years since our inception we have extended our club to over one-hundred members with a loyal base of dozens who attend nearly every event. We have filled Shula’s with over 50 people for nationally televised football games, outnumbered Duke and UNC alumni clubs during March Madness match-ups, and filled members Gator Dennis’ & Amy’s house with what was easily 100 people for FSU and Tennessee victories. Our members are so occupied with club growth that when it ever so minutely slowed during the past year several members took it upon their selves to grow the club through the creation of baby Gators.

Join the UFAA to become an official member.  Get added to our mailing list by submitting your address on the side of the site. Alumni, parents, friends, and fans living in the Northeast Ohio area are welcomed.

The information provided in the flyer sent out in mid-1999 is listed below.

Did you have to watch our beloved Gators fight their way through March Madness while you were surrounded by the scarlet and gray of the local favorite? Now you can cheer UF to victory in a sea of orange and blue. We are starting The Cleveland Gator Club and want you to be part of it.

The University of Florida Gator Club will be an official charter of the UF Alumni Association. In addition to spending Fall Saturdays watching the Fun N' Gun and winter evenings enjoying Billy Ball, the club serves as the community liaison for current academic and athletic information at the University of Florida.

We are looking forward to hearing from you - Go Gators!