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Records of the University of Florida J. Wayne Reitz Union Office of the Director

Identifier: Series 085

Scope and Content

Series 85 contains the records of William E. Rion, Director of the Florida Union, 1948-1966, and the J. Wayne Reitz Union, 1967-1987. The director's subject files include files on Union activities and programs for the years 1946-1984. Several university committees are documented here including the Committee on Public Functions and Lectures and the Committee on Student Organizations and Social Activities. There are also files on student protests in the 1960s. Of local interest are files on the management of recreation facilities at Lake Wauberg.

The main general file includes documents, scrapbooks, AV, photographs, slides, and various records related to the Florida Union and the planning and construction of the new Reitz Union.


  • Creation: 1914 - 2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1953-1984



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Biographical/Historical Note

The first student union at the University of Florida was completed in 1936 and was named the Florida Union. (Today, it is Manning J. Dauer Hall and houses offices and classrooms for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.) Fundraising for a union began in 1921. The original plan was for a student religious center and a campus YMCA. $40,000 had been raised when the emphasis was shifted to general student activities. A local court ruled that the money raised could only be used for a student union if the second floor of the structure was devoted exclusively for religious purposes. Construction of the building started in 1935 after the federal government offered a matching grant of over $100,000 to the University.

Informal meetings to consider a new student union began in 1948. In 1952, the New Union Planning Committee was created. After a brief hiatus, the committee was recreated in 1956 and chose a site by a campus sinkhole for the location of the new union. In 1962, the Florida Development Commission appropriated money to begin designs and construction. Groundbreaking occurred in 1964 and the new student union was completed in 1967. It was named in honor of J. Wayne Reitz, the university's fifth president.


9 Linear feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



Records of the Director of the University of Florida's student union, the J. Wayne Reitz Union, and its predecessor, the Florida Union.

Physical Location

Please note that this collection is housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.

A Guide to the Records of the University of Florida J. Wayne Reitz Union Office of the Director
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
January 2007 (Updated April 2021)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
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