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Increased enrollment in the Fall of 1957 placed the university in urgent need of additional classroom space. In the summer of 1956, 125 of the city's business and professional leaders joined together to form the University Council. Their mission was to: (1) inform the public of university activities; (2) advise the trustees and president on plans and policies for greater service to the citizens of the city; (3) consider financial needs of the university and make recommendations on how they could be met; and (4) meet from time to time with committees of the board and president to receive reports on the status of the university. At a joint meeting in the spring of 1957, the membership agreed to take on the project of financing the construction of a classroom building. The cost of the building was $294,000. When construction began the Council had raised $135,000. The balance was made up by a loan from Carl Swisher, with the Council embarking on another campaign to raise an additional $150,000 to repay the loan.
The building is a significant example of open courtyard building typical of Florida at the time. Ornamental ironwork adorns the covered porticoes on all four interior sides of the building.
The University Council Building was an important addition to the university not only because of the needed classrooms but because it also exemplified a successful effort to enlist the widespread support of the community. This structure provides an interesting historical fact in that it was built as a close twin to the first building on campus, Founders, and ultimately became, like the Founders, the second facility paid for by funding from the community. It was remodeled in 1999 and is still used for classrooms and faculty offices.
Bald, Ralph D. 4 Decades of Growth. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University Office of Public Relations, 1975.
Bald, Ralph D., Jr. A History of Jacksonville University, The First Twenty-Five Years, 1934-1959. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University, 1959.
Hallam, George. Our Place in the Sun, A History of Jacksonville University. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University, 1988.
"History of Jacksonville University. Descriptions of the University--Photographs." [n.d.] Carl S. Swisher Library, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL.
Middleton, Bill. "McGully's Gulch: Where It Began." Florida-Times Union, October 23, 1951.