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Florida Cicerone Alumni Homepage

Did You Know?


A BRIEF CICERONE HISTORY

  • FOUNDING and THE 1970'S

    The Florida Cicerones were founded under the auspices of Mrs. June Stanley in 1968 to serve as the official hosts for the University of Florida. At that time, the organization was only open to female students at the university. The organization's name comes from the word "cicerone" - which is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "a guide who explains the history and chief features of a place to sightseers" and is derived from the name of the famous Roman statesman, philosopher and orator, Cicero. During the 1970's, members were required to sew their own uniforms and wore "spirit hats" and orange "Gator sashes" when hosting events.

  • THE 1980'S

    It was during the 1980's that the organization went co-ed, admitting male students for the first time. However, the organization still retains vestiges of its all-female origin, as membership typically remains around 2/3rds female (this 2 to 1 male to female member count is known tongue-in-cheek as "The Ratio" within the organization). Having male members necessitated a change in the official Cicerone uniform from the previous navy blue dress to the current formal (Khaki pants/navy skirts and dress shirts/blouses/sport coats) and casual (khaki pants/shorts and white polo shirts with Cicerone logo) uniforms. In 1987, the Cicerones partnered with the UF National Alumni Association (now called the UF Alumni Association or UFAA) and changed its name to the Florida Cicerones/Student Alumni Association. It was also at that time that the Cicerones became affiliated with the National Student Alumni Association/Student Foundation Network (NSAA/SF Network), an organization comprised of over 200 college and university organizations similar to the Cicerones. At the same time, the President of the Cicerones became an ex officio member of the Board of Directors of the UFAA. During the 1980's the famous "Barb Bucket" was born. The Barb Bucket was passed around during regular Cicerone meetings and members could anonymously drop notes and messages in the Bucket. Sometimes they were congratulatory notes or messages sending birthday wishes, but the "best" barbs usually centered on what members had been up to over the weekend and thought that no one saw them do. This period also saw the rise of the Spring New Member Retreat, which was conducted shortly after new members were selected each Spring, was held at various remote locations and became a very successful way of training new Cicerones and creating bonds amongst the members.

  • THE 1990'S

    During the 1990's the Cicerones became one of the most respected and prestigious students organizations on campus, even winning the Outstanding Organization of the Year Award and the Intramural All-Sports Team Champions. For most of the 1990's, Willa Howard, Associate Director with the UFAA, served as the organization's advisor. It was during this period that selection to membership in the organization became extremely competitive. In a typical year during this period, 55 to 75 new members were chosen each Spring from an applicant pool of 550 to 650 students. During Fall 1998, the Cicerone Alumni Email Updates were started by then President, Andrew Fussner. Over the course of 1999, the UF Alumni Association took over complete financial control over the organization and fully integrated an expanded UF Student Alumni Association with the Florida Cicerones. In 2000, UFAA discontinued the practice of the Barb Bucket at Cicerone meetings and eliminated the overnight Spring New Member Retreat.

  • TODAY

    Today the Florida Cicerones/SAA continue to serve as the official student ambassadors of the University of Florida and represent the university at various functions throughout the year. The Cicerones are best known as UF's campus tour guides (giving two tours daily M-F and one on Saturday) and as the President's Personal Hosts (hosting events at the President's house and in the President's Box at the Stadium). The Cicerones serve as the link between Gators past (the alumni), present (the students & faculty) and future (prospective students). Cicerone Alumni members stay in contact through a quarterly email that provides updates on what everyone is up to and through an alumni website created in 2001.

  • HOW THE CICERONES SERVE UF

    The Cicerones are involved in a variety of events and activities across campus. Through its relationship with the UF Admissions Office, the Cicerones lead walking tours of the UF campus - twice daily Monday through Friday and once on Saturdays. They also conduct special tours as requested from time to time, assist with the National Merit Phonathon, help host National Merit receptions and assist with the Freshman Phonathon.

    In its role as the Student Alumni Association, the Cicerones host or have hosted such events for the UFAA as Reunions, Back to College Weekends, VIP Tours, Graduate Receptions, the Senior Class Gift Project, UF Foundation Board of Directors meetings, UF Alumni Association Board of Directors meeetings, Corporate Leaders Weekend, etc.

    Across campus, the Cicerones are or have been involved in serving as the President's Personal Hosts, hosting at the Harn Art Museum, VIP Events hosting, UF Gymnastic Meet hosting, running the Student-to-Student-Athlete Forum, hosting in the Florida Field Skyboxes, Business Expo hosting, Career Expo hosting, walking in the March of Dimes Walkamerica, participating in the Dance Marathon, Building Dedications hosting, running the Career Connection program, Gator Expo hosting, Florida Blue Key Homecoming Banquet hosting, Exam Support Basket program, participating in UF Intramurals, participating in Homecoming events and the Homecoming Pageant, etc.

    If you have information to add to this history, please e-mail the site administrator.