Charlie Lane
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, University of Florida

I moved to Gainesville in 2014 after working in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California for more than 20 years. It was a big decision. Before moving here, I knew Gainesville was home to a great university but I didn’t know a lot about the town itself. After a bit of research and a few visits, my wife and I knew that it would be a great place to raise our two young daughters. Obviously, there are some

Obviously, there are some sharp contrasts between L.A. and Gainesville; my family and I love the change of pace and scenery. Where USC occupied a large city block just southwest of downtown L.A., the University of Florida – as a land grant university – boasts 2,000 acres of land, ranging from the historic and stately academic core on the east to the beautiful views at Lake Alice farther west. You don’t get that in L.A. The lush green

The lush green surroundings and outdoor spaces in Gainesville and the region are refreshing. Paynes Prairie, Devil’s Millhopper and numerous clear, cold Florida springs are only minutes from town. Amenities like these are not something you can reach with a 20-minute drive in L.A. Gainesville also boasts rich cultural offerings many cities of this size are not so fortunate to have. Between the Hippodrome downtown, the Harn Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the active visual art and music scenes, there are abundant opportunities to immerse yourself in culture. The growing tech community in Gainesville is

The growing tech community in Gainesville is also exciting. Not only are an increasing number of startups putting Gainesville on the map in the tech world, but UF is producing some of the most cutting-edge and exciting research in the nation. The city also scored a big win with our daughters with the opening of the fantastic Depot Park. The park not only

The city also scored a big win with our daughters with the opening of the fantastic Depot Park. The park not only provides a great place for families to spend time but injected a much-needed vitality to a valuable part of town that has been underutilized.

Unquestionably, Gainesville’s greatest asset is its people.

I spent much of last year working on UF’s Strategic Development Plan, which seeks to provide a framework for the university to thrive in the coming decades through a number of initiatives, from its physical infrastructure to partnerships with the city and county to help make this already great city even better.

The process was challenging in the best of ways, and I was able to interact with the community on a deeper level and saw that many Gainesville residents are passionate about this community, the well-being of their fellow citizens and the future of the city. My family and I are happy to call Gainesville home and the list of reasons continues to grow.

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