It is hard to discuss the history of Tampa, Florida without mentioning the University of Tampa (UT) as a major part of the city’s history. When Tampa was nothing more than a fishing village in the last decade of the 19th century, it was quickly transformed into modernity by the construction of the Tampa Bay Hotel in 1891. This structure thereafter became the symbol of Tampa’s new status. The hotel was one of a kind and would over the years be the natural boarding place for dignitaries and celebrities visiting the area.
UT began life as Tampa Junior College and was founded in 1931 with the aim of providing university education to Tampa’s high school graduates. The university later acquired the Tampa Bay Hotel which is today known as Plant Hall and is the university’s main administrative and academic building.
In addition to Plant Hall, the campus has another 48 buildings on a 100-acre area. Beginning with a student enrollment of 67 in 1931, the student population has grown steadily over the years.