Behind the Name: Charles T. Thrift Building
Charles Tinsley Thrift, Jr.
Thrift (1911-1984) served as President of Florida Southern College from 1957 to 1976. Dr. Thrift was born in Kenridge, Virginia and raised in North Carolina. He received the B.A., the M.A. and the B.D. Degrees from Duke University, and by age 25 completed the Ph.D. Degree at the University of Chicago. He joined the religion faculty at Florida Southern in 1940, and was named vice-president in 1946. At the unexpected announcement of Dr. Spivey's retirement in 1957, Dr. Thrift was named acting President. When Dr. Thrift was named President, December 16, 1957, he had been with the College 18 years.
During his 19-year presidency, the College received a multi-million dollar gift in 1966 from the Buckner Estate, the Jenkins Field House was built, the new Roux Library was constructed, the Ludd M. Spivey Humanities and Fine Arts Center and the Student Union Building were added to the campus. Inter-varsity sports gained national prominence and the international studies program was expanded. It was during these years that the College was called upon to negotiate the social and spiritual challenges of the campus "protest years," which included redefining "student freedom" and "academic freedom" for the campus family. At the time of Dr. Thrift's retirement on June 1, 1976, he had served the College for 36 years.
Charles T. Thrift Building - Florida Southern College