History

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.

Savannah Gator Club History

In the early 1960s, long before the current Savannah Gator Club® came into existence, Bob Gunn and Eric Meyerhoff, who met as architecture students at UF and were partners in the architectural firm of Gunn and Meyerhoff, formed a local University of Florida Boosters Club.  After awhile, that club became dormant.

In the early 1990s, coinciding with the arrival of Steve Spurrier as UF's Head Football Coach, the University of Florida Alumni Association absorbed the Gator Booster Clubs, many of which had been created when Charley Pell became Head Coach in 1979.  It was during this time, in 1992, that the Savannah Gator Club was reborn.  The first organizational meeting was held at the now defunct First City Club in downtown Savannah, and Greg Kelley was named President.  In its first year, our club held several viewing parties at different bar/restaurants in town, but living "Behind Enemy Lines," we discovered that not many establishments wanted to have Gators present for games, especially for the Florida-Georgia game.  So in 1993, our club began holding viewing parties at members' homes.

 Throughout the 1990s and through the 2007 football season, members would actually vie to hold the viewing parties at their homes, with some members consistently hosting the same game, year after year.  In 1995, at the party for the Florida-Georgia game (the Gator blow-out in Athens), held at the home of former Gator WR Paul Ewaldsen (teammate of Spurrier), we gave away our first two $1500 scholarships, to Beth Ewaldsen and Raanon Gal.  Since Bob Gunn had passed away between the 1994 and 1995 football seasons, we named the scholarship in his honor.

Since 1995, our club has given away sixteen scholarships totaling $19,000 to local students to attend UF.

Starting in 1997, the Savannah Gator Club® began selling game and bus tickets to games against SC in Columbia, doing that four times, as well as bus/game ticket events to games in The Swamp.  Since we can no longer get block tickets to away games at SC, and members would prefer to drive themselves to games at UF, we now sell block tickets to one or more home games each year.

During the 2006 football season, including the SEC and National Championship games, our club started migrating toward holding our football viewing parties at local bar/restaurants.  By the 2008 Championship Season, we had totally committed to holding viewing parties at local establishments.  We've used several different locations, some of which have gone out of business (not OUR fault), and given the "Bulldog-centric" nature of Savannah, it's been a tough go.  However, we now have a location that wants to cater to Gators - PS Tavern, at 11 W Bay Street, owned by a BIG Gator fan who was a manager of the venue that the Rocky Mountain Gator Club in Denver meets at.  So we hope to see all Savannah Gators there on football Saturdays in the Fall.