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Florida Institute of Technology

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Title: Florida Institute of Technology  
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Subject: Robin Chan (soccer), Formula Hybrid, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, WFIT, Florida Institute of Technology
Collection: 1958 Establishments in Florida, Buildings and Structures in Melbourne, Florida, Education in Brevard County, Florida, Educational Institutions Established in 1958, Engineering Universities and Colleges in Florida, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Technical Universities and Colleges, Technological Universities in the United States, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Florida
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology University Seal
Motto Ad Astra Per Scientiam
"To the stars through science."
Established September 22, 1958
Type Private
Endowment $54.5 million[1]
President Anthony J. Catanese
Provost T. Dwayne McCay
Academic staff 664[2]
Students 8,985[2]
Undergraduates 5,582[2]
Postgraduates 3,403[2]
Location Melbourne, Florida, United States
Campus Small city[2]
130 acres (.53 km²)[3]
Colors Crimson      and Gray     [4]
Athletics NCAA Division II, Sunshine State Conference, Gulf South Conference (football only)
Nickname Panthers
Mascot Panther
Affiliations Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida

The Florida Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Florida Tech and FIT), is a private doctoral/research university in Melbourne, Florida.[5][6] Florida Tech has five academic divisions with emphases on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).[7] The university's 130-acre primary, residential campus is located near the Melbourne International Airport and the Florida Tech Research Park; it is about 50 miles from Kennedy Space Center and 75 miles from Orlando.[8][9]

The university was founded in 1958, as Brevard Engineering College, and has been known by its present name since 1966. In 2013, Florida Tech had an on-campus student body of 4,633, almost equally divided between graduate- and undergraduate-level students, with the plurality of them focusing their studies on engineering and the sciences.[3] Across the 2012-2013 academic year, the university served approximately 16,000 students in total.

Florida Tech is ranked among the best national doctoral-granting universities in the US [10] and the world's best universities.[11] The university has more than 60,000 alumni, including a National Teacher of the Year recipient, director of a NASA center, five astronauts, several astronaut candidates, the first female four-star general, two other four-star generals and nearly two dozen other generals, a 1992 Olympic medalist, a major league pitcher and others that serve as scientists, engineers, pilots, and managers in many high-technology enterprises.[3]


  • History 1
    • Jensen Beach Campus 1.1
  • Campus 2
    • Off-campus sites 2.1
  • Academics 3
    • Student demographics 3.1
    • Colleges 3.2
    • Rankings 3.3
    • Research 3.4
  • Athletics 4
  • Student life 5
    • On-campus housing 5.1
    • Student organizations 5.2
    • Greek life 5.3
    • Honor societies 5.4
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
    • Further reading 8.1
  • External links 9


Miller Building

The Florida Institute of Technology was founded as Brevard Engineering College by Dr. Jerome P. Keuper in 1958.[12] In 1961, the university moved its location to Melbourne, Florida.[13] During the 1960's additional classroom and laboratory buildings, a library, the Denius Student Center, Hedgecock Gymnasium, Gleason Auditorium and several dormitories were constructed.[12][13] The university was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1964.[13] The university officially changed its name to Florida Institute of Technology in 1966.[12]

Historic sign from Florida Tech Alumni Association and Florida Department of State.

In 1972, the university launched its first off-campus program at the request of the United States Navy.[12][14]

The Evans Library was completed in the early 1984.[15] The following year the original library was renovated and dedicated as the Jerome P. Keuper Administration Building.[12] In 1988, the Homer R. Denius Student Center was renovated, the student plaza completed and the applied research laboratory building was acquired.[13] The Claude Pepper Institute for Aging and Therapeutic Research and Skurla Hall, home of the School of Aeronautics opened in 1990. In 1997, the university received a $50 million grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation.[16] An engineering and a life sciences building were opened in 1999 in result of the grant.[17][18]

Seven new residence halls were completed in 2003.[12] Each resident hall was named after one of the seven fallen astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia disaster and dedicated to their memory.[12] In 2005, the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center center opened.[12] Construction on the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport began in 2008.[19] The following year, the College of Business became the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at the Melbourne International Airport, the Scott Center for Autism Treatment, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering and the Harris Institute for Information Assurance opened.[12]

The university established its football program in 2010.[20] The Panther Aquatic Center was opened a year later.[12] In 2011, the university partnered with the Brevard Art Museum and established it as the Foosaner Art Museum.[21][22]

Jensen Beach Campus

Florida Institute of Technology (Jensen Beach Campus), also known as School of Marine and Environmental Technology or (SOMET), was a specialized Florida Institute of Technology branch campus located on the former campus of Saint Joseph College of Florida on the Indian River Lagoon in Jensen Beach, Florida, approximately 50 miles south of the university’s main campus.[23] The campus attracted oceanography, underwater technology and other assorted marine biology students. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had more officers that are graduates of FIT in Jensen Beach than from any other campus or college in the country. The SOMET was transferred to the main campus and became the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences (DMES). The campus closed after the transition in 1986.


Florida Tech Panther

The university's 130-acre main campus is located in Melbourne, Florida which is known as the Space Coast of the Atlantic Ocean.[7] The university offers multiple student services, including tutoring, health service, and health insurance.[7] Florida Tech has six residence halls and three apartment style accommodations for on-campus living.[24] It also has five different dining locations.

Off-campus sites

Florida Tech offers specialized graduate degree programs through sites in Huntsville, Alabama, Fort Eustis, Virginia, Fort Monroe, Virginia, Fort Lee, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Quantico, Virginia, Dover, New Jersey, Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, Lexington Park, Maryland, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Kennedy Space Center, Rockledge, Florida and Orlando, Florida.[25]


Student demographics

In fall 2013, Florida Tech enrolled 4,633 students at the main campus; 1,160 at off-campus locations; and 3,466 online for a total of 9,112 students.[3] The male to female ratio in the student body was 73:27. 69% of all students came from the United States, representing 47 states; 38% of those were from Florida and 31% of all students came from 101 other countries. 92% of new full-time freshmen had 3.0 or above high school GPA; SAT I average for freshmen is 1150, compared to the national average of 1010.

2013-2014 On Campus Enrollment Breakdown[3]
College of Engineering 55.34%
College of Science 15.07%
College of Aeronautics 8.42%
College of Business 10.28%
College of Psychology and Liberal Arts 9.68%
No College Designated 1.22%


The university offers degrees in a wide variety of science and engineering disciplines, and is one of the few universities to offer an aviation degree. Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools(SACS). The Engineering programs are also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The Computer Science program is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. Florida Tech’s chemistry program is accredited by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. Aeronautical Science and Aviation Management programs are accredited by the Council on Aviation Accreditation. The Clinical Psychology PsyD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association, and the graduate Behavior Analysis programs by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The university is divided into five colleges: College of Aeronautics, College of Engineering, Nathan Bisk College of Business, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, and College of Science.


Times Higher Education ranks Florida Tech as one of the top 200 universities in the world, making it one of three universities in Florida ranked in the top 200.[11] U.S. News & World Report ranks Florida Tech a first-tier national university, ranking it the second best private university in Florida and #173 among all national universities.[10]

Florida Tech was listed as #3 of the 20 fastest-growing campuses, 2000-2010, among private nonprofit research institutions in the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac 2012.[26]

In 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek rated Florida Tech as the best Florida college in return on investment (ROI).[27] PayScale also rates Florida Tech highly in ROI, ranking it as the #2 best in Florida, with a 20 year net return of $492,000 on average.[28]

Barron's Guide rates Florida Tech a "Best Buy" in College Education.[3] Florida Tech is named one of the nation's top technological institutions in the Fiske Guide to Colleges.[3] In 2009, Washington Monthly ranked Florida Tech's ROTC program first in nation and rated Florida Tech as the top private university in Florida; listing research impact as one of the ranking criteria.[29]

University rankings
Forbes[30] 422
U.S. News & World Report[31] 173
Washington Monthly[32] 171
Times[33] 200


As of 2012, Florida Tech had research sponsored projects valued over $94 million.[34] From 2009 to 2012, the number of Florida Tech faculty who serve as principal investigators increased by 100% including four recipients of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Awards.[34] During this time period, five new interdisciplinary research institutes were initiated that are the focal point for Florida Tech undergraduate and graduate research. These new research university institutes include the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute, Human-Centered Design Institute, Institute for Energy Systems, Institute for Marine Research, Institute for Materials Science & Nanotechnology and Institute for Research on Global Climate Change. Other research facilities include the Harris Institute for Assured Information, Institute for Computing and Information Systems, National Center for Hydrogen Research, Institute for Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the National Center for Small Business Information.

In the college of engineering, faculty performs research as part of numerous departmental laboratories and research groups. These include Robotics and Spatial Systems,[35] Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory,[36] Wind and Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory,[37] Wireless Center of Excellence,[38] Information Characterization and Exploitation Laboratory,[39] BioComplex Laboratory,[40] Computer Vision Group,[41] Laboratory for Learning Research,[42] Software Evolution Laboratory,[43] Center for Software Testing Research,[44] and others.

Faculty and students in the Physics/Space Science department conduct research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, High Energy Physics (experimental particle physics), Lightning, Solid State and Condensed Matter Physics and Space and Magnetospheric Physics. In 2012, Florida Tech's endowment was approximately $49.6 million.


Florida Tech's athletic logo

Florida Tech's athletic teams are known as the Panthers.[45] The school fields 22 sports, 11 each for men and women, at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the Sunshine State Conference.[45] The sports include: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's crew, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, and women's volleyball.[46] The university added the men's and women's track & field team to the athletics program in spring 2011.[47] The men's and women's swimming & diving teams were added in fall 2011 and men's lacrosse in Spring 2012.[48] In 2010, the university announced plans to create a football program that held its inaugural season in 2013, and went on to win its first game, its first homecoming game and its first bowl game.[49][50] The football team plays in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference as an affiliate member.[51]

Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield attended Florida Tech and set the home run record in 1987 as a first baseman.[52][53] His number (3) was retired in 2006.[54]

Florida Tech won the NCAA Division II National Championship in Men's soccer in 1988 and 1991.[55]

Florida Tech's Daniela Iacobelli won the National NCAA Division II Woman's Golf Championship in 2007.[56]

Student life

On-campus housing

Florida Tech has seven traditional residence halls, an eight-building Southgate Apartments complex, the seven-building Columbia Village suites and the three-building Harris Village suites.

Student organizations

Student Union Building
Inside of the Homer Denius Student Union Building (1st Floor)

Florida Institute of Technology has 132 active student organizations on campus.[57] The university-sponsored student organizations, such as Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, the Homecoming Committee, FITV (CCTV Channel 99 on campus), and The Crimson (student-run university newspaper) operate in primary university funding.[57] Some organizations are run by membership dues, such as the many fraternities and sororities on campus, as well as certain professional organizations like American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), IEEE and AIAA. Other organizations are operated via Student Activities Funding Committee funding, overseen by the Student Government Association Treasurer. Organizations like Residence Hall Association, ACM, Anime Club, and others are operated by SAFC funding. Arts, media, and performance organizations include: Amateur Radio Club, Belletrist, College Players, Dance Association, Film Society, FITV, Florida Tech Pep Band, The Crimson and WFIT.[57]

Students at Florida Tech have the opportunity to participate in a number of club and intramural sports in addition to the varsity athletics programs.[58] The university offers intramural sports Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, martial arts, paintball, Disc Golf and Judo.[58] Sport clubs include ice hockey, soccer, table tennis, Collegiate wrestling and baseball.[57] The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level. The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level.[59]

Greek life

Florida Tech has a number of Greek life opportunities for students. The university's fraternities include [61]

Honor societies

The university offers a number of national and international Honor Societies including the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Chi Epsilon a Civil Engineering Students honor society, Delta Mu Delta business honor society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for freshman class academic achievement, Phi Kappa Phi general academic honor society, Psi Chi honor society of psychology, Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society and Upsilon Pi Epsilon computing and information systems honor society.[62]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowment Results. National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "College Navigator". U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "2013-2014 Fact Card". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Graphic Identity Manual". Florida Institute of Technology. February 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Florida Institute of Technology". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Florida Institute of Technology". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Florida Institute of Technology". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Florida Tech Research Park Overview". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Florida Tech Research Park Companies". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "U.S. News & World Report". Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Times Higher Education World Rankings". Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Florida Tech History". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Florida Tech History". March 12, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  15. ^ "History of the Evans Library (1984 - 2009)". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ William H. Honan (June 6, 1997). "Largest Gift Ever Endows a New College". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ Lynne Bumpus-Hoope (October 15, 1999). "Florida Tech Gets Ready To Show Off 2 New High-tech Buildings". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ Lynne Bumpus-Hooper (June 4, 1997). "$50 Million Gift Is Big Vote On Future Of Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ David Kearns (March 5, 2009). "FIT's Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training now open". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "GSC Adds Florida Tech To Its Football Membership". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Foosaner Art Museum History". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  22. ^ Brevard Business News. Florida Tech announces $1 million gift, renames Brevard Art Museum the Foosaner Art Museum (Melbourne, Florida: Brevard Business News, August 8, 2011), p. 15.
  23. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowment Results. National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Campus Life". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Florida Institute of Technology University College Site Locations". Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Chronicle of Higher Education 2012 Almanac". Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Best Colleges for Return on Investment". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2012. 
  28. ^ "2014 PayScale College ROI Report". PayScale. 2014. 
  29. ^ "2009 National University College Rankings". Washington Monthly. 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  30. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  32. ^ "About the Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  33. ^ "World University Rankings". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "Florida Tech Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Robotics and Spatial Systems Lab". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Wind and Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Wireless Center of Excellence". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Information Characterization and Exploitation (ICE) Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  40. ^ "BioComplex Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Computer Vision Group". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Laboratory for Learning Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Software Evolution Lab". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Center for Software Testing Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b "Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Florida Tech Athletics Grows with Addition of Six Teams". August 19, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Florida Tech Athletics Adds to its Sports Offerings". Florida Institute of Technology. August 3, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Florida Tech Adding Men's Lacrosse for 2011–2012". August 3, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Touchdown Florida Tech: Football Approved". Florida Institute of Technology. April 30, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Florida Tech Football 2014 Season Tickets Now On Sale". March 20, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  51. ^ DeCotis, M. (June 16, 2011). "Englehart Florida Tech Panthers' first football coach".  
  52. ^ "Florida Institute of Technology Baseball Players Who Made it to the Major Leagues". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  53. ^ Matthew Pouliot (February 17, 2012). "Tim Wakefield ranks with Red Sox legends". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  54. ^ "Fenway's Best Players". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Championship history". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  56. ^ Parsons, Mike (May 13, 2007). Iacobelli's eagles land NCAA title. Florida Today. 
  57. ^ a b c d "Student Activities". Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  58. ^ a b "Student organizations". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Hockey sticks with Florida Tech". January 31, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  60. ^ a b "Chapters at Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Student Organizations". Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  62. ^ "Honors Societies". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 

Further reading

  • Countdown to College: Launching Florida Institute of Technology by Gordon Patterson Florida Historical Quarterly – Volume 77, Issue 2, Fall 1998
  • Space University: Lift-Off of Florida Institute of Technology Florida Historical Quarterly – Volume 79, Issue 1, Summer 2000.
  • – September "Today in Florida History" – Florida Historical Society

External links

  • Official Florida Tech website
  • Official Florida Tech athletics website
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