Sen. Bill Nelson papers go to University of Florida

Century Tower at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida. [Photo courtesy: UF]

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson announced Tuesday his papers are going to the University of Florida, where the "Nelson Initiative on Ethics and Leadership" is being established.

"I have deposited my extensive collection of papers and other historical materials with the George A. Smathers Libraries, establishing a significant archive spanning over four decades of public service," Nelson, a Democrat, said in an email.

As part of the initiative, Nelson said he will take part in a series of forums on ethics and leadership, with the first set for July 2. Nelson lost a bid for a fourth term in the Senate last year.

He initially attended the University of Florida before transferring to Yale University. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and entered the Florida House in 1972. Nelson moved to Congress in 1979.

While a member of the U.S. House, he was a payload specialist on the space shuttle Columbia in 1986. He was recently appointed to the NASA Advisory Council. Nelson also served as state insurance commissioner before getting elected to the Senate in 2000.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.