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University of Central Florida Office of the President: H. Trevor Colbourn Presidential Papers

Identifier: UA02C

Scope and Contents

Many of the materials in this collection were created by Dr. Colbourn's predecessor, Dr. Charles N. Millican. This situation occurred because the same executive secretary, Miss Mildred Kennedy, served the first three presidents. First retiring during the tenure of the third president, Kennedy returned to serve as Dr. Colbourn's secretary. Materials, therefore, remained with the creating office until it was finally closed when they both retired in 2006.

Series I: State University System, 1965-1995 contains materials that document the broad scope of the State University System, the entity governed by the Board of Regents from 1965 to 2001. It shows both Dr. Colbourn's and Dr. Millican's work with the State University System. Most of these records were created in connection with audits or by the Chancellor's office.

Series II: Academic Affairs, 1967-2003 holds records concerning the academic life of the University. This series includes documents about individual colleges, branch campuses, faculty, research, Undergraduate Studies, Extended Studies, the library and WUCF. Materials of interest include individual department files, the Sinkhole Research Institute, Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers (CREOL) and the Florida Solar Energy Center.

Series III: Student Affairs, 1967-2003 contains materials that relate to aspects of university life that fell under the auspices of the Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs or that directly interested students. This series includes information about housing, health services, recreational services, orientation, financial aid, Homecoming, and international students. Information on Student Government, Greek life and other student associations may also be found here.

Series IV: University Relations, 1964-2003 holds materials concerning the university's relationships with outside individuals and companies. Many of the materials in this series relate to the Foundation that raises money for the University. Other materials document alternative sources of funding and ways of marketing the university including relationships with alumni, community members and leaders.

Series V: Administration and Finance, 1966-1996 contains material that shows the variety of subjects monitored by this division. It oversaw such diverse matters as personnel, physical planning, policing, and safety as well as the university's finances.

Series VI: President's Office, 1948-2005 holds materials relating to matters in which the president was directly involved. Within the university, the name change, strategic planning, construction, commencement, Central Florida Research Park and the football program are all major topics. In the community, the president was involved with the chamber of commerce, local donors, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and built relationships during many special events. Statewide, the president necessarily dealt with all aspects of government as well as state associations and other universities and colleges. Nationally, the president was involved with educational organizations. Finally, this series documents Dr. Colbourn's research interests and his activities after his tenure as president. A few files were also created by Dr. Millican.


  • Created: 1948-2006



Some files are restricted. Access to UCF Facilities drawings, documents, and sensitive data is available to authorized university staff and approved consultants only, per university policy, and under lawful exception to Florida's Public Records Law.

Copyright Statement

Unpublished records are protected by copyright. Permission to publish quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

H. Trevor Colbourn was born in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia on 24 February 1927, but moved to England as a child. Known by his second name, Trevor Colbourn earned his BA at the University of London then moved to the United States of America in 1948 to further his education at the College of William and Mary; finally earning his Ph.D. in American History at Johns Hopkins in 1953. In 1949, Colbourn married Beryl Evans and they eventually had two daughters.

Dr. Colbourn taught at Penn State and Indiana University in Bloomington before moving into administration. In 1967, he became Graduate Dean at the University of New Hampshire. In 1973 he was appointed Academic Vice President of San Diego State University and eventually served as Acting President from 1977-1978 before becoming President of Florida Technological University in 1978.

As President, Colbourn's first action was to implement the university's name change to the University of Central Florida. During his tenure, enrollment increased sixty percent to more than 18,000 students, and the university implemented one of the first telephone registration systems in the country. Dr. Colbourn established the College of Arts and Sciences, the Undergraduate Studies Office, the Football program and the Honors Program. Under his guidance, the university gained its first stand alone doctoral programs in Computer Science, Business Administration and Psychology (Human Factors). New programs were implemented in Hospitality Management, Special Education, Aerospace Engineering, Information Systems Technology and Computer Technology, and master's degree programs were also expanded. Research increased with the creation of the Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers, the Institute for Simulation and Training, the Sinkhole Institute and the Central Florida Research Park. Unusually for a university president, Dr. Colbourn tried to teach one course per year.

The campus increased in size with the building of the Wayne Densch Sports Center, the establishment of Greek Park, the extension of the library, an increase in the numbers of dormitories, and the construction of new buildings for the Fine Arts and the Colleges of Business Administration and Engineering. Additionally, the Arena, the Student Union and the Barbara Ying Center were planned. Regional Campuses gained the Lifelong Learning Center at Brevard Campus and the Daytona Beach Joint Use Facility.

After retiring as president, Dr. Colbourn returned to teaching history full-time at the university. In 1990, he earned the title President Emeritus and assumed the role of University Historian in 1991. As part of the latter appointment, he compiled an oral history of the university. Dr. Colbourn wrote extensively on the American Revolutionary period and his books may be found in the university library. Among his many appointments, Dr. Colbourn served as State Representative for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities from 1983 to 1986, President of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities in 1985, Chairman of the Air University Board of Visitors, and Chairman of the Douglass Adair Memorial Prize Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida, United Way of Orange County, Florida Endowment Fund for Higher Education, and the UCF/Orlando Shakespeare Festival. Despite his third retirement from the university in 2006, Dr. Colbourn continues to support the university of which he has been a vital part for almost thirty years.


36 boxes (34.75 Linear Feet)

Language of Materials



H. Trevor Colbourn was the second president of Florida Technological University and the first president of the University of Central Florida because he was responsible for the name change. Dr. Colbourn served from 1978 to 1989, and during that time, he established the football program, honors program, Institute of Simulation and Training, and Central Florida Research Park. The collection of correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs and pamphlets not only covers the period of his presidency but also his earlier research interests and subsequent service to the university as Professor of History and University Historian. Included in these materials are earlier documents created by Dr. Colbourn's predecessor, Dr. Charles N. Millican.

Arrangement Note

The records are arranged in six series following the main organizational structures of the university. To aid research, the series have the same names as those found in the Office of the President Records even though the titles of Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents changed over time. Folders are usually arranged in chronological order.

Method of Acquisition

M. Kennedy transferred these materials to the University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collection and University Archives in 2004 (CFU2004_01 and CFU2004_05), in 2005 (CFU2005_01; CFU2005_02; CFU2005_30) and in 2006 (CFU2006_27). Trevor Colbourn and Mrs. Colbourn gifted additional materials in 2006 (CFU2006_29) and in 2008 (CFU2008_09). Scott Kirkman transferred additional materials in 2007 (CFU2007_13). Linda De Inanis transferred additional materials in 2008 (CFU2008_07).

Accruals and Additions

Collection Identifier: CFU2006_33; Additions: CFM2003_15, CFU2004_01*, CFU2004_05, CFU2005_01, CFU2005_02, CFU2005_30, CFU2006_27, CFU2006_29*, CFU2007_13*, CFU2008_07*, CFU2008_09; *Transfer numbers that are indicated with an asterisk are add-ons and the material from these collections might still be in unprocessed. The CFU numbers were added from the Accession and Transfer Records in October 2010.

Related Materials

For more information on university archives, please see our website. Further information about this collection may be found in the University of Central Florida Office of the President Records, including the collections of the individual university presidents, the University of Central Florida Seal Collection, the H. Trevor Colbourn Oral History Collection, the Audio, Visual, and Multi-Media Collection, and the University Photograph Collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by and finding aid prepared by Judith Beale in 2007. A fading fax was retyped and printed on acid-neutral paper. Photographs were removed to the University Photographs Collection unless context dictated that they remain in the collection, and audio visual materials were removed to the Audio Visual Collection. News clippings were separated from other documents by acid neutral paper. Some publications were removed for cataloging. An oversize proclamation was scanned and printed and may be found in Certificates and Plaques with a digital file also available. Rusted paper clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. All materials were rehoused in pH neutral folders and boxes. Duplicates were removed and social security numbers were obliterated. Little rearrangement was required as the records were in good order. Only changes necessary to make the structure clearer were carried out. The finding aid was updated for consistency among all collections by Mary Rubin in 2012, resulting in edition 2. The finding aid was placed into Archon, with adjustments made for Archon and resulting in edition 3, by Mary Rubin in 2015. The acquisition method field and the subjects were updated by Kryslynn Collazo in 2018, resulting in edition 4. Data (subseries that were actually folders were split into subseries and folders) was cleaned up as well.

University of Central Florida Office of the President: H. Trevor Colbourn Presidential Papers
Judith Beale
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the UCF University Archives Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576