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Administrative Policy Records of the University of Florida Office of the President (Andrew Sledd)

Identifier: Series P3

Scope and Content

This series documents the administration of Andrew Sledd as presidents of the University of Florida at Lake City (formerly the Florida Agricultural College) and the University of Florida at both Lake City and Gainesville. Also included in this series are a few letters of Sledd's predecessor, Thomas H. Taliaferro, written during the last months of that administration. The series contains letterbooks (outgoing correspondence), letters received, reports, financial records, and publications. Most of the incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Much of the correspondence is with the Florida Board of Control and, earlier, the University Board of Trustees. The Board of Control, predecessor to the Board of Regents, was formed on June 5, 1905 and was the governing board of the public universities of Florida. Sledd's struggle with opponents of his administration is well documented in the series. Other subjects include student and faculty recruitment and student life at the University. Record of an injunction against the move from Lake City can be found in the correspondence files of the business manager.

Correspondence received for 1906 is scant. The letterbooks end in August 1907 and many pages in volumes 1-7 are illegible. In all, the series provides incomplete documentation on the Sledd administration. Regardless, the surviving documents reveal the enormous difficulties encountered by Sledd as he attempted to build a state university.


  • Creation: 1904-1909



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Biographical/Historical Note

Andrew Sledd, first president of the University of Florida, was born November 7, 1870 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned his B.A. and M. A. from Randolph-Macon College in 1894 and did graduate work at Harvard in 1896. From 1897 to 1902, Sledd taught Latin at Emory College. While at Emory, Sledd wrote a critique of race relations in the South that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Although the article supported the continuation of the "separate but equal" doctrine, Sledd's condemnation of lynching was immediately assailed by many white southerners. Amid a hailstorm of controversy, Sledd resigned his position. He then enrolled in Yale's graduate school and received a Ph. D. in Latin in 1903.

After graduating from Yale, Sledd served briefly as Professor of Greek at Southern College in Alabama before being selected as president of the University of Florida at Lake City in 1904. Soon after his arrival in Florida, Sledd urged the state government to consolidate its institutions of higher learning. He quickly won the support of Governor Napoleon B. Broward, and legislation was passed in 1905 that endowed two universities, one for white males and one for white females. Shortly afterwards, Gainesville was chosen as the site for the men's university and Sledd was selected as the first president of the new University of Florida.

Sledd oversaw the transfer to Gainesville in 1906 and selected the initial faculty, most of whom had been instructors at Lake City. His tenure, though, was brief. Under pressure from the state legislature and the State Superintendent of Public Education, Sledd resigned in 1909 and was replaced by Albert A. Murphree.

Sledd went on to serve as President of Southern College and later had a distinguished career as Professor of Greek and New Testament Literature at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Sledd was also a recognized Bible scholar and a force in ecclesiastical circles in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He died March 6, 1939.


1.7 Linear feet (3 boxes, 10 volumes)

Language of Materials



Administrative records of the first President of the University of Florida, Andrew Sledd.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Related Material

Series P9 contains the personal papers of University of Florida President Sledd.

A Guide to the Administrative Policy Records of the University of Florida Office of the President (Andrew Sledd)
Finding aid created by Carl Van Ness
September 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
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Script of description
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Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America