Guts & Ambition: 50 Years of the Alligator

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida will host a launch event for its digital exhibit, Guts & Ambition: 50 years of The Independent Florida Alligator, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Smathers Room 100 on UF’s campus. The event will be livestreamed.

The online exhibit incorporates artifacts from five decades of the Alligator, one of the nation’s largest student-run newspapers. The Alligator has been operating independently from the university since 1973.

The exhibit highlights important stories told by student journalists and the publication’s impact on the university and local community through the past 50 years.

The launch event will include an overview of the Alligator digital exhibit as well as the Alligator digital collection, an online archive of the newspaper from 1912 to the present. A panel discussion with Alligator alums from each of the past five decades also will be held.

UF librarians Melissa Jerome and April Hines have spent more than 18 months curating printed newspapers, photographs, old UF yearbooks and oral history transcripts for the exhibit.

“This digital exhibit celebrates 50 years of the The Florida Alligator becoming The Independent Florida Alligator, and the impactful student journalism that was made possible by that independence,” Hines said. “Noteworthy news clips, photographs, and oral history quotes will show a timeline of Alligator staffers over the decades, and the unique stories they were able to tell from 1973 to today.”