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Florida Tech


Florida Institute of Technology. 💫

The chronicles of Dr. Jerome Keuper establishing a night school for the "misslemen" of the U.S. space program is not complete without talking about the locations Brevard Engineering College (BEC), now Florida Tech, had before finding its permanent home.

In 1959, 154 students enrolled in the first BEC classes at the Eau Gallie Junior High School (now known as Westshore Junior/Senior High School).

In 1960, now with over 500 students, Florida Tech obtained a second location for classes, the First Methodist Church off Strawbridge Avenue in Downtown Melbourne.

In that same year, our now permanent home was found at what was then the University of Melbourne. The university was a vision held by Ralph Borsodi, a philosopher and social reformer, and Virginia Wood, who launched the American Homesteading Foundation and established Melbourne Village.

Wood, who was a firm believer and advocate of BEC, granted a handful of acres on the corner of Country Club Road and University Boulevard to Keuper for just $1. But it was under the condition that he must preserve and maintain the natural Florida hammock, which is now Joy and Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden.

Leading up to the university’s 65th anniversary Sept. 22, we are sharing some of Florida Tech’s most noteworthy history. Learn more about our 65th anniversary celebrations: https://www.fit.edu/65/

Photo 1: Aerial view of Eau Gallie Junior High School
Photo 2: Permanent home found. University of Melbourne donated 40 acres and a building. Today, that first building is known as the R.A. Work building.
Photo 3: Brevard Engineering College has its home.
Photo 4: Brownlie Hall and various other classrooms were built in the 1960s.
Photo 5: Campus has taken shape with the construction of the performing arts center, dormitories and "Crawford Science Tower."
Photo 6: Entrance to the university.

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