‘I was born a landscape architect’
It was 1969 and Gloria Mayberry, who was 42 at the time, was eager to begin her collegiate career.
She pulled into a parking spot near the Administration Building in her little Volkswagen packed full with her belongings and proceeded to search for the building with the architecture classes.
“The woman at the admissions office told me, ‘they don’t take women in the architecture program,’” Mayberry said. “I told the woman, ‘I came up here from Miami to go to school and all my stuff is out in the car in the parking lot. I need to see the Architecture Building. I have a reservation with Herrick Smith.’”
The 88-year-old landscape architect still resonates with the same spirit as she did 46 years ago, as she glanced out her back window at the towering trees surrounding her home and recalled her first time arriving on campus.
“I walked over to the architecture building and was mesmerized,” she said. “It was beautiful. The building was surrounded by beautiful oak trees, and I was just in love with the atmosphere — The University and I fell in love, and I knew I was destined to be there.”
Mayberry said she met with Smith that day, who was the landscape architecture chair at the time, and remembers him encouraging her to enroll for classes, but also warning her that she would be greatly outnumbered by her male colleagues.
“He says to me, ‘you know you’ll be our only woman, right?’” she said. “But my time there was just great. I never had any misgivings, and I enjoyed learning and going on field trips.”
However, that didn’t mean she never received special attention.
“Of course since I was the only woman there, I got a lot of male attention,” Mayberry said with a gentle laugh. “I had no problem finding dates.”
There was a time when a fellow classmate advised her that others were taking note of her while she sat on a high stool in class wearing a dress. She said she went straight to the store that day and bought the most colorful pants she could find.
“And within that same year, women started wearing pants,” she said.
Although records are uncertain, Mayberry believes there may have been one woman in the program before she started, but also noted that many women started coming to campus towards the end of her school career.
Mayberry currently lives in Hawthorne with her husband, Maurice Mayberry, who founded the UF Career Resource Center, where he worked for more than 30 years.
After graduation, Mayberry served as a consultant for countless years, but still found time to tend to the wildlife surrounding her house, making sure that every plant in her yard was as beautiful as it was the day before.
“I always knew that I wanted to do landscape architecture,” she said. “I was born a landscape architect.”
- Turpin Chambers Bannister (1957-65)
- Robert Stephen Bolles (1967-1974)
- 1965: Loys Johnson becomes chairman of the Department of Building Construction. Then in March 1965, he invited representative of other schools of construction to meet at UF to form an organization, which would become the Associated Schools of Construction.
- 1966: Two teaching lines are established in Landscape Architecture
- 1966: Howard Sebold resigns as Program Director of Landscape Architecture and Herrick Smith is hired
- 1960: 313
- 1961: 304
- 1962: 330
- 1963: 318
- 1964: 370
- 1965: 520
- 1966: 639
- 1967: 770
- 1968: 815
- 1969: 846
- J. Wayne Reitz (1955-67)
- Stephen C. O’Connel (1967-73)
- 1960: 13,100
- 1961: 13,634
- 1962: 13,826
- 1963: 14,810
- 1964: 15,701
- 1965: 16,874
- 1966: 18,039
- 1967: 19,004
- 1968: 19,848
- 1969: 20,729
- 1960: Lasers are invented
- 1961: President JFK gives “Man on the Moon” speech
- 1963: First woman goes into space, JFK is assassinated and Martin Luther King gives “ I Have a Dream” speech
- 1964: Civil Rights Act passes in U.S.
- 1965: U.S. sends troops into Vietnam
- 1969: First man on the moon: Neil Armstrong