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Whitney Labs-Lecture Endowment

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This fund was established in 1995 to support annual lectures, at the University of Florida and the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, presented by internationally recognized scientists in a field of interest to Whitney Lab and UF students and faculty.

The origins of the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience stem from the 1930s, when Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney’s long-standing interest in the natural history of marine animals provided the basis for his founding of Marineland, the world’s first oceanarium. This enterprise, launched in 1938, included a small research laboratory that immediately attracted the attention of many academic biologists.

When the UF College of Medicine opened in Gainesville in 1956, researchers from that institution came to the modest facility at Marineland to study physiological adaptations of marine animals – both fish and invertebrates.

In the early 1970s, prompted by the possibility that experimental studies of marine animals could bring about medical advances, C.V. Whitney donated to the University of Florida over three acres of land adjacent to Marineland, as the site for a new marine biological research facility. Whitney provided about half of the construction costs. The Laboratory opened its doors on January 30, 1974. Two years later a second building, Whitney Hall, containing dormitory rooms, apartments, and a conference center, was constructed with funds provided by Cornelius and Marylou Whitney.

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