Officially founded in 1960, the Rollins evening studies division has roots in the 1950s when a mathematics professor implemented adult education courses for returning World War II veterans. Back then the School of Continuing Studies was characterized as "the College that cares," and faculty vowed to provide responsive, individualized education while meeting a community need for higher education for adults.
History professor Jack Lane, now retired, recalls that about half of the students he taught in the 1960s were World War II veterans. Like today, the academic programs were offered in evening classes. Students obtained the bachelor of general studies degree with a concentration in humanities, social studies, business administration and economics, math and science, or teacher preparation.
In 1987 the School of Continuing Education was renamed the Hamilton Holt School in honor of Rollins' renowned eighth president, Hamilton Holt, who served as president from 1925 to 1949.
"Because of the quality, character, and importance of its educational program, the trustees named the Hamilton Holt School to carry forward the College's long-standing commitment to lifelong learning. Hamilton Holt is the towering figure in the history of the College, shaping its student-centered style of education and its reputation for academic excellence and educational innovation," said President Emeritus Thaddeus Seymour who was president of Rollins at the time of the renaming.
"It was Hamilton Holt who established Rollins as an institution of national significance, and I am proud that his high standards and educational vision are carried on by the school which bears his name."
Today the Holt School has 11 majors leading to the bachelor of arts and five master's degree programs in mental health counseling, education or teaching, human resources, liberal studies, communication and technology. Holt students range in age from 17 to 72 and about 63 percent of the 1,113 undergraduates enrolled this fall are female. There are about 330 graduate students at the Holt School and 12,827 living alumni.
"Rollins Evening Program serves the community through exceptional undergraduate, graduate, and outreach programs," said David Richard, dean of the Hamilton Holt School. "The Hamilton Holt School is training tomorrow's leaders today, and will become nationally recognized as an innovative leader in educating adult learners from all walks of life."
A Summary of Historical Highlights: