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A Guide to the Grand Ole Gator Club Collection

Finding aid created by Dept. Staff

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2010

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Grand Ole Gator Club
Title: Grand Ole Gator Club Collection
Dates: 1987-1996
Abstract: Photograph album and video recording of the Grand Ole Gator Club at the University of Florida.
Extent: 1 Linear foot. 2 boxes.
Identification: Ms Coll. 108
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

The Grand Ole Gator Club was formed at the University of Florida sometime in 1988. Initially E. D. Manning, Jr. wrote a letter date January 4, 1988 in which he stated that he had asked seven prominent early Gator athletes to assist him in setting up the Gator Old-Timer organization. This seven member steering committee included Joe Hall, Jimmy Hughes, Billy Chase, Julian Lane, Steve O'Connell, Elmo Robinson, John Piombo, and E. D. Manning, Jr. The group made decisions about membership, the name of the proposed organization, the dues, the time the group would meet each year, and the number and title of the officers. Membership was inclusive of "all participants in Gator interscholastic sports programs prior to World War II" regardless of whether or not they received a varsity letter. The name decided on at that meeting was that of "The Grand Old Gator Club" although that name was later changed to Grand Ole Gator Club after the Second Annual Reunion on April 15, 1989. Dues were to be $5 a year and the club was to meet in the spring of each year. Three officers, President, President-Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer, were the to be elected each year. The Grand Ole Gator Club essentially was a social organization in which former University of Florida athletes and their spouses could meet once a year to reminisce while enjoying an afternoon and evening of a football game, cocktails, a dinner with speakers, special guests, and other events.

Scope and Content

The collection includes a photo album and nine VHS video tapes. The photo album consists of many color and some black and white photographs. Most of the photographs are in a 4 x 6-inch format. The beginning photographs show the 1935 Gator Freshman Football Team Reunion in April 1987. The team members are shown on Florida Field and at a reception later. This is followed by the Gator 1928 Football Team Reunion on October 10, 1987. The photos show the team members and in one of these General Van Fleet appears. Several pictures of the reunion dinner are included. On April 9, 1988 the First Annual Reunion of "The Grand Old Gator Club" took place at the Gainesville Hilton in Gainesville, Florida. Thirty photographs show the participants at the poolside cocktail party and then at the dinner. Photographs from the Second Annual Reunion (April 15, 1989), the Third Annual Reunion (April 28, 1990), the Fourth Annual Meeting (1991), the Fifth Annual Meeting (April 4, 1992), the Sixth Annual Meeting (April 3, 1993), and the Seventh Annual Meeting (April 9, 1994) follow. The rest of the album shows miscellaneous photographs made during the 1995 and 1996 meetings. However, some of these were also from earlier annual meetings. Former UF President J. Wayne Reitz, Mrs. Reitz, Steve Spurrier, and former UF President Stephen O'Connell are among those pictured.

One VHS videotape shows both the First Annual Reunion on April 9, 1988 as well as the Second Annual Reunion on April 15, 1989. At the start of each some scenes of the group attending the Orange and Blue game are shown. The segments devoted to each reunion are long and inclusive and show the many guests in attendance and include snatches of conversation.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Grand Ole Gator Club Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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