UF is strong in both athletics and academics

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 1:04 a.m.
I knew that many Floridians supported the University of Florida Gators, but I had no idea how many until our national championship victory in Arizona. From Key West to Pensacola, the expressions of enthusiasm for the team and for UF have been truly incredible.
On behalf of our Gator Nation, I want to say how much we appreciate and value this support. It affirms our belief in the benefits of maintaining a top-ranked athletic program, one that serves as a shining beacon for our institution. We have a long tradition of achievement in intercollegiate athletics, with previous national championships in tennis, golf, soccer, swimming, gymnastics and of course, football and basketball. But holding both the football and basketball titles at the same time is a history-making event of which we're tremendously proud.
I also want to restate our commitment to academic excellence. We strive to be as competitive in the classroom and the laboratory as we are on the playing field. Our 4,000-plus faculty members have outstanding reputations for teaching and research. Together, they attracted over $518 million in research grants last year, for the first time topping the half billion dollar mark.
Floridians deserve a university that is a national powerhouse in both athletics and academics. We are already there in many respects, but we are striving to do more, with the goal of becoming recognized as one of the nation's best public universities. With the continuation of support you have shown us since the national championship game, there's every indication we will reach our goal.
The game was certainly a Gator victory, but having a state university that embodies our state's values and ambitions is something all Floridians should be able to cheer about.

J. Bernard Machen,


University of Florida

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