LAKELAND, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Florida's 12th state university officially opened for business Saturday with a launch party at its campus near Lakeland.

The school focuses its education on STEM programs - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Florida Polytechnic's top leadership joined dignitaries at the event including Governor Rick Scott and JD Alexander, the former state senator who fought a bare-knuckle funding battle with USF to get the new university. 

About a thousand people showed up for an opening house at the campus.

More than 500 students are part of the university's first class...

Classes begin August 25th.

Photo Credit 970 WFLA/G. Byrd

CLICK HERE to see photos of the event