R.A. Gray's University of Florida Diploma, 1929

R.A. Gray's University of Florida Diploma, 1929


State Archives of Florida: Collection M75-85, Box 05, Folder 1


Gray attended the South Florida Military Institute in 1903. He ranked fourth in his class in 1903, but before graduation, Gray and nearly every member of the senior class quit in protest over the State Board of Education’s handling of the resignation of General Law. Gray didn’t technically graduate from the South Florida Military Institute. The South Florida Military Institute was absorbed into the University of Florida with the passage of the Buckman Act in 1905. In 1927, the State Legislature passed a special act (1927 Laws of Florida, Chapter 12443) that authorized the University of Florida to confer degrees to those who had withdrawn, including Gray.


May 28, 1929


Florida. Board of Control

University of Florida




Depression Era Florida (1926-1940)

General Note

R.A. Gray graduated from the South Florida Military Institute in 1903. In 1927, the legislature passed a law requiring all graduates of the institute to receive an honorary degree from U.F. R. A. Gray's (1882-1975) affiliation with the state government of Florida began in 1903 when he served as a clerk for the 1903 legislative session. In 1910, he represented Gadsden County in the legislature. Except for his sojourn in Washington as Senator Park Trammell's personal secretary and his army service in World War I, Gray lived and worked in Tallahassee for the rest of his life. He worked alternately for the State Treasury, the Comptroller's Office, and the Motor Vehicles Division. When Senator William Igou resigned as Secretary of State, Gray was appointed on August 12, 1930, to serve out his term. He then ran for the job himself and won, eventually serving his state in this capacity for 31 years. He resigned in 1961, but remained active in church and social groups. R.A. Gray died in 1975.