UF Named Facilities
Dr. Edward R. Flint was the University of Florida's professor of chemistry from 1905 to 1919. He was also the resident physician, the State Chemist for Florida and the Chief Chemist for the UF Agricultural Experiment Station. Flint came to UF in 1901, with impressive credentials including a bachelor's of science from Massachusetts Agricultural College, a Ph.D. from the University of Goettingen in Germany and a M.D. from Harvard. Science Hall was renamed Flint Hall in his honor in the late 1950s.
Kenneth Keene's relationship with the University of Florida began while he was still in high school, in the summer of 1942. Keene enrolled at UF's P.K. Yonge lab school, where he met instructor Hazen Nutter. Nutter was impressed with the young Keene and convinced his mother to leave her son with him in Gainesville, where he could continue his studies and help Nutter care for his elderly mother.
Keene graduated from P.K. Yonge and started college, but left UF after his freshman year to join the Navy. He served until the end of World War II (19 months). As the Navy put him through a special 11-month training program for radar technology, Keene was able to convince the registrar to give him 30 hours of Arts and Sciences credit upon his return to UF in 1946. To commemorate the man who so impressed him, Keene donated both a conference table for the Ruth McQuown Room and an endowed memorial scholarship fund in Nutter's name.
Kenneth and Janet Keene also created an endowed fellowship for graduate study in the mathematical sciences to be shared by the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics.
Originally called Science Hall, Flint Hall at one time housed the Florida State Museum. The Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Horticulture, Physics, Zoology and Bacteriology held classes on the first floor, while the museum occupied the second floor.
Renovations were made possible by a gift in 1997 from Kenneth and Janet Keene, whose support along with matching state funds also enabled the renovation of Anderson Hall. The name of Flint Hall was changed to Keene-Flint Hall in honor of the Keenes.
Narrative as displayed on the commemorative plaque:
First known as Science Hall, this building opened in 1910. It housed classes in physics, chemistry, botany, horticulture, zoology, bacteriology and pharmacy. In 1955 the building was renamed Flint Hall in honor of Edward Rawson Flint. Dr. Flint was the first professor of chemistry and resident physician at the University. He held a Ph.D. from the University of Gottingen in Germany and a degree in medicine from Harvard University.
The restoration of this historic building in 2001, with its new auditorium and service tower, was made possible by a generous gift from Kenneth and Janet Keene adding to funds from the State of Florida. Kenneth graduated from P.K. Yonge in 1943 and then enrolled at the University. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he returned to the campus and earned a B.S. degree with honors in 1947. The next year he received a master's degree from the University of Michigan and then launched a career as an actuary, holding a number of executive positions with large insurance related firms. Janet attended Brigham Young University and joined American Airlines as a flight attendant, a position that she held until early retirement. Ken and Janet share a strong interest in restoration and design, and their interest has led to the restoration of several buildings, including this one, now renamed Keene-Flint Hall.