The David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership & Service (BCLS) provides the structure and resources to prepare students to become productive citizens and assume roles of leadership and service in a culturally diverse and increasingly complex society. The Brown Center fosters lifelong leadership, service, and civic participation by engaging the University with its greater community in action, change, and learning.


We provide the foundation for student organizations and their initiatives, facilitate activities and engagement opportunities, and advise, mentor, and educate students to maximize their University of Florida experience.


We commit to providing a setting that promotes experiential learning opportunities that:

  • Challenge students to understand the impact of their choices on the community
  • Foster an inclusive and welcoming environment that celebrates all students
  • Encourage students to make ethical decisions
  • Enhance students’ personal development by assisting them in clarifying their values and developing leadership and other skills.


The David & Wanda Brown Center for Leadership and Service has a longstanding history with the University of Florida. Founded in 1992, the volunteer student organization, Gators Involved in Volunteer Endeavors (GIVE) was founded in the J. Wayne Reitz Union’s Office of Student Activities. GIVE sent the first UF alternative break group in March 1993 to Miami, FL, to assist with disaster relief and recovery from Hurricane Andrew. GIVE’s mission to increase volunteerism at UF through group community service projects, resulted in a steady increase of service projects and student participants.

In 1998, the J. Wayne Reitz Union’s Office of Student Activities established the TreeHouse in 1998 to serve as the campus clearinghouse for volutneerism and service. In 2000, TreeHouse was renamed the Office of Community Service (OCS) to more accurately reflect its function as the volunteer service center on campus. In 2004-2005, the Office of Community Service transitioned into the Center for Leadership & Service, housed within the Dean of Students Office.

In 2015, the Center for Leadership & Service was renamed to the David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership & Service (BCLS) and in February 2016, moved into the J. Wayne Reitz Union. Later in the 2016-2017 academic year, the BCLS became part of the Department of Student Activities and Involvement. In its current structure, the BCLS connects broadly to the student body and focuses on promoting student engagement opportunities around leadership and service.

Connect with us




J. Wayne Reitz Union, Level 2 Suite 2015
PO Box 114156
Gainesville, FL 32611