125th Anniversary Update

From President Lewis Duncan






This spring, in this special anniversary year for Rollins, we also celebrated the College’s 120th commencement. In 1890, two proud graduates received their bachelor’s degrees. The members of the Class of 2010 numbered 768: 342 in the Arts & Sciences, 274 in the Hamilton Holt School (206 undergraduate, 68 graduate), and 152 in the Crummer Graduate School of Business. The College has grown larger, but our commitment to each of our students as individual learners remains as powerful as ever.

Our newest alumni join a multifaceted family that ranges from ambassadors to zoologists … and everything in between, including Nobel, Grammy, and Tony winners and Fulbright, Goldwater, Rhodes, Truman, and Udall Scholars. All of our alumni have reason to be proud.

Proud of Our Legacy. 1885-2010.

We enjoy a history that includes selection by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt ’36H to serve as Florida’s first and only instructional College Naval Unit—the source of our mascot, the Tar. We received national attention for implementation of John Dewey’s philosophy of pragmatic liberal education and introduction of a revolutionary curriculum that focused on students rather than faculty, and made them both partners in learning—a habit that continues in our current curricular experiment, The Rollins Plan. Our college distinguished itself with a commitment to principle that led to an honorary doctorate for Mary McLeod Bethune ’49H, making Rollins the first institution of higher learning in the South to award an honorary degree to an African American. Both before and since, a legacy of luminaries has engaged the Rollins community during campus visits, beginning with the Animated Magazine, which in turn inspired our Winter Park Institute. [Read about the Rollins of Hamilton Holt and Hugh McKean ’30 ’72H.]

As part of our recognition of this historic anniversary, we are honored and grateful to announce that all of the College’s trustees have united to establish the 125th Anniversary $1-million Trustee Challenge to multiply the impact of contributions to The Rollins Fund. In addition, we launched a new Rollins Fund recognition society for a new generation of committed leaders. The combined impact of the Trustee Challenge and The 1885 Society is a testament to how much the Rollins community can accomplish by joining together.


President Lewis M. Duncan

The culmination of Rollins’ 125th Anniversary celebrations will be Founders’ Day, November 4, 2010, the first of four days of events featuring faculty and student scholarship, notable alumni, family activities, civic engagement, and reflection on Rollins’ shared heritage with the Congregational Church and the City of Winter Park. This commemoration will honor “the little College we all so love—the struggles of its past, the achievements of its present and the promise of its broadening and ever-broadening future” (“My Commencement,” Hamilton Holt, June 2, 1949). We invite you to join us then for another milestone in Rollins’ extraordinary history.


Fiat lux,

Lewis M. Duncan
President