High Tech with a Human Touch
Ray Work Building/Registrar's Office (1955, 1967, 1976)
Women activists played a fundamental role in the creation of Florida Tech. During the 1940s a group of progressively minded women founded Melbourne Village as part of their efforts to create the American Homesteading Movement. They believed in a system of grass roots democracy in which individuals and small communities would be responsible for their futures. In the early 1950s a handful of the leaders of Melbourne Village were involved in the effort to create the University of Melbourne.
In 1954, V.C. Brownlie, a local businessman and civic leader, made a gift of 40 acres to the fledgling university. Virginia Wood and Clare Borsodi donated $50,000. Ralph Borsodi was also a founding member. They envisioned a center for graduate studies that would focus on devising practical solutions for global problems. This building was the only structure ever constructed by the University of Melbourne.
President Jerry Keuper approached the University of Melbourne and in June 1961 was notified that the University of Melbourne would transfer its land and facilities to the Brevard Engineering College.
Two interesting bas reliefs remain from the original structure. The first is located at the northeast corner of the building. It depicts the Greek hero Bellerophon astride the winged horse Pegasus.
The second bas relief is located 20 yards to the west beneath the recessed stairwell. This relief is believed to portray the University of Melbourne founders' commitment to the search for world peace through education.
The original building is now surrounded by additions that were made in the 1960s and 1970s to meet the needs of a growing campus. It currently houses the Registrar's Office, Human Resources, and part of the division of financial affairs. In 1987, this building was dedicated to Ray Work, who served the university for 29 years as a teacher, administrator, and great friend. Ray Work was also instrumental in establishing Greek societies on campus.