UF Named Facilities
Harold C. Riker Hall
Harold C. Riker set foot onto the University of Florida's campus in the 1930s and left his mark forever. Riker earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in English history and literature from UF. He was hired as an Assistant Director of the Student Union in 1938 shortly after graduation. Riker joined the U.S. Navy and served in World War II for four years but later returned to become UF's Director of Housing.
Years of dedication in that capacity led to many revolutions in the area of student housing. Riker's experience and expertise positioned him as a leading authority in the student housing field, and under his guidance, on-campus housing capacity increased from 1,100 to 6,000. His vision for campus development resulted in long-range planning and astute decisions that included the purchase of the Lake Wauburg recreational area.
Riker left UF for doctoral studies at Columbia University in New York. Upon his return in 1955, Riker resumed his directorship and began his teaching career in UF's College of Education. He remained the Director of Housing until 1971 when he turned to teaching full time.
Riker became an advocate of elderly rights and a full-time professor in the Department of Counselor Education. He taught and developed courses addressing the needs of adults and the elderly while publishing many books and articles. Riker was instrumental to the formation of the Florida Council on Aging and was named to the council's hall of fame in 1986. He also served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Families and the White House Conference on Aging.
Riker retired in 1991 after more than 50 years of service to UF.
South Hall was renamed Riker Hall in 2000 in honor of Harold C. Riker. Riker Hall is part of the Tolbert Area, central to UF's baseball stadium, soccer field, track, indoor activities building (O'Connell Center), and Ben Hill Griffin Football Stadium.