On Wednesday, the Central Florida Future went back to the Future — no, really.

Wednesday was Back to the Future Day, and we surfed the John C. Hitt Library archives to find out just what the UCF paper reported on during the week of Oct. 20 to 26 in 1985.

Cartoonish line drawings brought advertisements to life, and simple block text contrasted with today's full-color, tabloid-style Future.

A cover featuring Homecoming week reads, "Homecoming is an attitude; an emotion that sweeps the campus with the realization that the Fighting Knights are real." Back then, Homecoming was just as festive and essential an aspect of the campus culture as it is today. The next page boasts the South Orlando campus, with a map showing the campus off of U.S. 441. A headline states that "SOC is closer than you think!" and encourages students to enroll for Spring 1986 classes at the campus — which would save an average commuter from Altamonte Springs 10 minutes.

Though many of the photos are without captions, a spread delves into the profiles of '80s musicians who visited the campus — "Raccoon & friends to perform in gym" and "Busboys bring working class rock 'n' roll to UCF." And what events kept the campus alive that week? Not quite like any at today's CFE Arena, but a sand castle-building contest and "Life's a Beach" party set the tone for that Friday's Homecoming Parade.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi presented a "Surfin' Safari" talent show, and a tailgate kickoff was scheduled for the UCF Knights vs. Stephen F. Austin game. The UCF ski team was also featured, finishing second place at nationals that year.

That week in 1985, the 18th Student Senate had just elected two new members; today, the UCF SGA is in its 48th Student Senate.

The ads peppered throughout the issue deserve a comment, too — such as the page-long ad for UCF Marketing Club's "Monster Hash" event, or a restaurant called Charley Brown's ad for prime ribs, which told students to "Let us rib you a bit."

Also, a telephone poll that week asked students, faculty and staff if they "engage in sexual activity at least once a month."

Other notable stories included those telling of graffiti artists who kept the library's study rooms closed, and construction on University Boulevard that sought to widen the road, but caused some businesses to slump in sales.


Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at

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