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ALLIGATOR-OCONNELL-CENTER

  

Posted: Don’t Jump On Me

sandy felsenthal and dave hogerty

O’Connelling

Since its proposal, everything about The Stephen C. O’Connell Center was controversial. Its experimental, inflatable-roof design, its cost, and its difficulty to build. Maybe most criticized was it looking like a huge bounce house. The inflated roof proved to be a temptation that many, less-than-sober, late night revelers, couldn’t resist one last thrill before the night’s party came to an end. They just had to jump on it. 

As “streaking” had become a campus fad in the mid 1970s, “O’Connelling was a uniquely Florida variation on the theme. The “criminal” activity became so popular, that the cost of building the O’Connell rose again, enough to pay for overnight security.

Stephen C. O’Connell — UF’s sixth president (1967-1973)

Stephen C. O’Connell was born in West Palm Beach in 1916 (when the KKK were Democrats). When O’Connell attended UF, he was the president of Blue Key, a champion middleweight boxing letterman, 1940 graduate of the UF law school. Started a law practice in Fort Lauderdale in 1940. He joined the Air Force after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. After the war, O’Connell returned to his law office in Fort Lauderdale …

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