Rollins

Rollins Through the Years

September 01, 2009

By Lorrie Kyle Ramey

The path from Rollins College’s opening celebration to the 125th Anniversary festivities planned for 2010 has not been smooth.

Rollins’ founders were trailblazers—literally and figuratively—as they struggled to preserve Florida’s first college. At times, the College’s growth was phenomenal; at other times, it stood on the verge of total defeat. But the founders and supporters of Rollins never lost their faith, and the College survived.

Rollins’ first four decades were years of building a foundation and establishing direction. They were followed by periods of expansion and experimentation, reevaluation and rededication.

Beginning in this issue, Rollins Magazine will present a three-part history of Rollins through its first 125 years. We invite you to collect all three issues for a complete College history. In the following pages, we focus on Rollins’ early years, 1885-1925, and the people—administration, faculty, and students—who believed in and were Rollins’ future.

They are our roots ... The Pioneers.

1885

Edward Payson Hooker presents paper to Congregational Association proposing founding a college in Florida (Jan. 15) ... Rollins College incorporated (April 28) ... Hooker named first president ... Rollins, Florida’s first college, opens (Nov. 4) ... the Library is composed of a Bible and a dictionary, scientific instruments total a ruler and a thermometer ... tuition, room, & board: $164.00 ...

1886

Knowles Hall dedicated; Pinehurst Cottage occupied ... Collegiate Dept. offers Classical Course or Scientific Course ... dining hall (on site of Chase Hall) dedicated ...

1887

“Each student boarding in the institution is required to bring two pairs of sheets, two pillow cases, two blankets, a comforter, towels and table napkins” ... faculty increases to 10 members … Lakeside Cottage completed … Dinky line opened …

1890

Gentlemen may call on ladies in the reception room on Friday evenings ... first graduates, Ida May Missildine and Clara Louise Guild, receive BA degrees; they present Rollins with U.S. flag at graduation ceremonies (May 28) ...

1891

Students not allowed to “loiter at billiard saloons or similar places of resort” ... tuition, room, & board: $181.50 ...

1892

President Hooker retires; Frederick W. Lyman takes over as acting president for three days, followed by John Howard Ford ... dedication of Cloverleaf Cottage ...

1893

Charles Grandison Fairchild becomes president ... Rollins boasts seven departments, including music and art ... students may enter at any time, though the beginning of the term is preferred ...

1894

The year’s improvements include dock with spring board, no studying in chapel, and “improved good looks of the girls”; suggested improvements: electric lights, telephone communications between cottages, moveable sidewalks ... first canoe regatta ... first issue of The Sand-Spur ...

1895

Freeze wipes out entire endowment ... President Fairchild resigns; John H. Ford resumes as acting president ... free one-way railway transportation available to students on Florida’s railroads ...

1896

George Morgan Ward becomes Rollins’ third president ...

1897

BA only degree offered ... new departments: moral & political science, natural sciences, modern languages ...

1898

Rollins College Alumni Association founded (May 25) ...

1899

Students play golf at Winter Park Country Club—free ... student body includes members from Cuba, Spain, the Philippines ...

1900

Two Rollins men ring in the 20th century with 1900 peals of the Knowles Hall Bell …

1901

First wedding on campus: two former students, President Ward officiates ... Winter Park Golf Club championship won by Rollins student ... tuition, room, & board: $190.00, plus $1.50-2.00/month for laundry expenses ... Latin and Greek no longer required ...

1902

President Ward resigns; William Fremont Blackman assumes the presidency … the School of Expression offers study in “the interpretation of literature; the theme of every lesson, sanity, freedom from affectation” ... baseball returns! ...

1903

Panama hat craze hits campus ... Alumni Association presents flagpole to College ... hope to start football team—next year ... 10 feet added to each end of the Dining Hall ... first honorary degree awarded to ex-Pres. Ward ...

1904

Measles “epidemic” ... first Boat House—estimated cost: $750.00 ... Sparrell Cottage given to College; will act as girls’ dorm, President’s home (later classrooms and language lab) ... Cooking Class prepares dinner for trustees ...

1905

Extra charges include $3.00/semester for electric lights ... after abolishment of state military institutes at Gainesville & Bartow, Rollins has more men than women—“a very unusual situation,” comments Pres. Blackman ...   

1906

New art studio built ...

1907

Florida’s first Rhodes Scholar: Berkeley Blackman, [19]’07 ... Music Hall (current site of Hooker Hall) struck by lightning; pianos and School of Domestic Arts destroyed ... Rollins College Athletic Association adopts constitution and bylaws ...   

1908

Board of Trustees approves new College seal ... Business School drops Telegraphy Course … Carrie Nation speaks … Cloverleaf Cottage and dining hall moved ...

 1909

First tennis team ... Carnegie and Chase Halls dedicated ... Knowles Hall burns ...

1910

Florida’s first interscholastic athletic meet held at Rollins: 4 high schools attend ... Hamilton Holt addresses students ...

1911

Dedication of Knowles Hall II ...

1912

Dedication of “dinky” dock ... registration in School of Music doubles—to 69 ... “The College cannot undertake to furnish medical attendance or professional nursing to students gratuitously, in case of illness” ...   

1913

First women elected to Board of Trustees ...   

1915

Reorganization of Intercollegiate Prohibition Association ... President Blackman resigns; Arthur Delano Enyart, Dean, and William Russell O’Neal, Secretary/Treasurer, administer college … I-hoo-es-chay Canoe Club ...   

1916

Ward returns as acting president ... Rollins Tennis Club formed to maintain courts, assist in arranging matches ... students and faculty hold straw vote: Wilson, women’s suffrage, and national prohibition win ...   

1917

Business Dept. opens “The Co- Op,” co-operative store patterned after Harvard’s, selling everything “from chewing gum to tennis rackets”; all profits go to the College ... Calvin Henry French becomes Rollins’ fourth President ... baseball season cancelled: Rollins men begin drill sessions to prepare for military service in World War I ... Alumni Association votes to publish magazine: The Rollins Alumni Record ...

1918

School of Business opens night school ... thesis no longer required for graduation ... all students members of “Boarding Club”; dining room seats 150 ... Dinky derails behind Cloverleaf ... Class of ’18 largest to date: 8 students ... dining hall burns; meals are moved to the gym ...

1919

President French resigns; Ward returns as acting president ... enthusiastic students meet Pres. Ward at train with carriage and pull him home ... Young Women’s Glee Club changes its name to “First Liberty Chorus of the State of Florida” ... The Commons replaces original dining hall—called “the Beanery” even then ...

1920

Wireless station headquartered in gym ... Rollins girls take up riflery ... Rollins inaugurates annual statewide aquatic meet for high schools ...

1921

Acting President Ward resigns ...   

1922

Robert James Sprague takes Ward’s place ... “Fleet” Peeples comes to Rollins to coach swimming ... Rollins “undisputed” State swimming champion ...

1923

Winter Park and Rollins celebrate Founders’ Day Pageant on Lake Osceola—Rollins men appear as Indian braves ... Acting President Sprague named President ... tuition, room, & board: $450.00 ...   

1924

William Clarence Weir becomes Rollins’ seventh president ... “Station WDBO, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, broadcasting on a wave length of 240 meters will now begin their first program” ... The Tomokan announces plan to start beauty contest ... Girls’ Athletic Association founded ...

1925

Dept. of Business Administration offers course on Federal Income Tax, since “federal income taxes are with us to stay” ... season ticket on the Dinky—Orlando to Oviedo—$10.00 ... Jr. prom revived after three-year absence—classes had been too small … annual high school aquatic meet draws 150 entrants... Pres. Weir stricken by illness; Robert Sprague steps in as acting president …


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