UF’s public awareness campaign is “The University of Florida is the foundation for The Gator Nation” and then sub-campaign taglines like “The Gator Nation is everywhere.” While it does sound a little sci-fi overlord-esque, it’s actually true in that UF does have land everywhere and does have projects conducted all over the state and all over the world. UF is also one of the largest public schools and has alumni everywhere. If Gator fans are counted, then this becomes even more validated because Gator fans are everywhere. I’m not a sports person, so I only know about any of the sports when people tell me or when my students are on the teams (the students work so hard that it’s almost an ethical imperative to keep up as a teacher). However, I’m so often on phone calls or emails with someone and they hear/read “UF” or “Gainesville” and I hear/read “Go Gators!” in return. It happens so often that it almost no longer seems strange, even when they’re in California or Texas or Canada or wherever. What had seemed strange was not that the recognition of UF and the general friendliness of the response, but that the people were actually Gator fans.
Looking at the image from Puerto Rico, with the grounds keeper in a Gator shirt seems so fitting for UF’s presence across the globe and for Halloween (Dia de Los Muertos).