⮩ Formerly known as the Dormitory for Women
The oldest building on the Florida Southern College campus is the Women's Dormitory built in 1922. The building was later dedicated as Joseph-Reynolds Hall during the 1937 Founders Week celebration to honor three generous contributors of the College: Professors Corydon S. and Louise R. Joseph as well as Mrs. Joseph's mother Louise Reynolds. The hall has been known as "JR" ever since and is home to first-year women. When JR was one of only a few buildings on campus, it also contained several offices, including that of the school newspaper, The Southern, and some administrative offices. Furnishings dating to the 17th Century were provided by the New York City head of sanitation William F. Carey. Some of these furnishings are still in the drawing room. In 1945, the drawing room was dedicated to Eleanor Searle Vanderbilt Whitney McCollum, a donor and Trustee for many years. She had enrolled as a freshman in the music program but left to find success as a singer, allowing her to become a donor to the college. By the 1960s, decades after the building's construction, the lobby of Joseph-Reynolds Hall was closed in. Prior to that, the area had been open to the outside.
⮩ Formerly known as the Social Hall
The second oldest building on campus was also constructed in 1922 and named the Social Hall. On March 12, 1935, it was renamed in honor of E.E. Edge, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for many years and one of three generous donors to the then named Southern College. This building has served many purposes over the years including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and a dining hall. In 1998, the film The Waterboy featured Edge Hall during the medulla oblongata lecture scene with actual Florida Southern students serving as extras in the scene. On September 25, 2000, Edge Hall was rededicated after undergoing renovations.
⮩ Formerly known as Southern Athletic Fields, Pipkin Athletic Field
Southern College's first athletic field opened on October 23, 1926 and hosted events such as football games until the 1930s. On March 25, 1954, George M. Trautman, President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, posthumously dedicated the field to longtime donor and Trustee L.N. Pipkin. A softball field was added in 1980, and in 1990, the complex was renamed to honor a longtime supporter of the Florida Southern Athletics Department: Hoyt W. Barnett. While not a graduate himself, Barnett had multiple other connections to the College as he was the son of Honor Walk Recipient and Trustee Rev. R. Ira Barnett (Class of 1899) as well as the father of alumnus and Trustee Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965). In 2018, the Barnett Athletic Field was completely overhauled and became the Barnett Athletic Complex.
⮩ Also known as the Laboratory School, Beta Mu House
In 1926, a men's dormitory was completed for Southern College and was designated as the Beta Mu fraternity house in 1933. A year after Allan Spivey Hall was constructed in 1936, the dormitory was repurposed as the Laboratory School. In 1943, the purpose of the building was re-altered towards the Eleanor Searle School of Music as a temporary location while Frank Lloyd Wright designed a music building that would never be built. Due to extensive development on campus in addition to changing codes and standards for residence halls, only the shell of the building remains from which the Marjorie McKinley Music Building was constructed in 1963.
The groundbreaking for Southern College's first gymnasium was on March 3, 1927. Completed later that year, the gymnasium was not only a home to athletics, but also to the Art Department and the Department of Expression. The building featured six classrooms alongside the auditorium. In 1936, it was torn down, and in 1937, the new structure built in its place was named the Ruel B. Gilbert Gymnasium.
⮩ Formerly known as the Pi Kappa House
Located on Mississippi Avenue, the house was acquired by Florida Southern College in 1928 and was originally used to provide housing for the Pi Kappa Greek fraternity. The fraternity itself was established at Florida Southern in 1925 and gained their house in 1928. The Pi Kappa House later became known as the Mississippi Apartments after the street it is on and provides another apartment-style housing option for Florida Southern College students.
The Honor Walk was created in 1931 by President Spivey to honor Florida Southern College students who showed achievements in leadership, student involvement, and overall academics while attending the College. Though created in 1931, the Honor Walk honors graduates from every class, including the first graduates dating back to 1887. The Honor Walk was originally located as part of the sidewalk that ran to the north of Joseph-Reynolds Hall. Years later, as part of Homecoming celebrations in 2013, the Honor Walk was rededicated in its new location - alongside Mr. George's Green. Once given as part of Founders Day celebrations, the award has more recently been given as part of the Spring Commencement ceremony.
After two years of construction, Allan Spivey Hall was completed in 1936. At the time, it housed the school's women; this stood until the early 2010s, when the hall began to house first-year men. The building was named in memory of President Spivey's son Allan, who died at the age of seven from rabies. Spivey Hall mirrors Joseph-Reynolds Hall, to an extent, as a horseshoe-shaped building with three floors and a basement floor. This basement housed the Southern Bio-Research Institute and A.P. Cooke Memorial Cancer Laboratory, headed by Director Dr. Boris Sokoloff, from the 1950s to 1970s. Allan Spivey Hall has seen multiple additions over the years. In 2007, Archie McQuagge (Class of 1942) and Betty Crosswy McQuagge (Class of 1946) dedicated the renovated lobby lounge to Annie Partin Burns, who lived in Allan Spivey for all three years of her time at the College. Five years later, on September 25, 2012, a veranda was added to the east side of the building and dedicated to Ebbie Sue Pou Doherty (Class of 1981), daughter of Trustee Maida Pou.
In 1936, the old gymnasium was torn down. When the new gymnasium was completed, it was named the Ruel B. Gilbert Gymnasium for Ruel B. Gilbert, Florida Southern Honorary Chancellor, Trustee, and donor to the College. In 1971, further remodeling to both the interior and exterior of the building occurred. After The Little Pentagon was torn down, Gilbert Gymnasium became the home of Florida Southern's ROTC program.
⮩ Formerly known as the Jackson Student Activities Building, Jackson Religion Building
Another brick building was built near the dormitories in 1937: the Jackson Student Activity Building. Nicknamed "the Jook" because of its jukebox, the building was named after Frank D. Jackson, an Honorary Chancellor and Trustee. The Jook was a place for students to socialize and have refreshments during the school year. In 1949, it was repurposed as a religion education building, and the classrooms were rededicated on March 10, 1980 after a donation by Frances and Alfred Shepard. After renovations in 2013, the building holds the offices of the Chaplain and Associate Chaplain, a kitchen, and a large meeting room where studies and gatherings are held. At the same time, it was rededicated to Trustee Bishop Robert Fannin (Class of 1958) and his wife, Faye Fannin (Class of 1959).
Construction for the President's Residence began in 1935 and was completed in 1937. The house, which overlooks a drive and lawn on Lake Hollingsworth, has hosted dinner parties, student meetings, and many presidents' families over the years.
⮩ Formerly known as the Chi Ro House
This building, located on Johnson Avenue, was originally deeded to President Spivey in 1937. President Spivey then gave the property rights to the College in 1941, and the building was used as a dormitory for the Greek fraternity Chi Ro. Soon after, in 1947, the building became the home of the Citrus Institute. When the Polk County Science Building was completed, the Citrus Institute moved out and the Communications Department took its place. In 1970, the building was named in honor of the College's eighth President Thomas Gelzer Lang. The Lang Building was demolished in 1979, and the William S. Chatlos Communications Building was built in its place.
⮩ Formerly known as the Fisher Garden, Hindu Garden
In 1938, Methodist missionaries Bishop Frederick Fisher and his wife Welthy came to speak at Florida Southern College. Impressed by the beauty of the campus, the missionaries, having recently returned from Benares, India, decided to donate their replica of a Hindu temple, which had been given to them by a converted village as a farewell gift upon their return to the United States. The temple sits just south of Joseph-Reynolds Hall adjacent to Edge Hall in front of a reflection pool. On March 14, 2009, the garden was renovated and rededicated as the Evelyn and Warren Willis Garden of Meditation by their son Dr. W. Waite Willis, Jr. (Class of 1970), the Pendergrass Chair in Religion and a professor at the College since 1978.
Soon after Allan Spivey Hall was completed, a large, bronze memorial urn dedicated to Allan that his father Dr. Spivey commissioned Jacksonville sculptor C. Adrian Pillars to create was placed in the garden between Joseph-Reynolds and Spivey Halls. Years later, on March 9, 1956, the urn was officially dedicated. The Allan Spivey Memorial Urn has had multiple homes throughout the years including outside of the Polk County Science Building and Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.
⮩ Formerly known as The Ark
One of the more versatile buildings in Florida Southern College's history was The Ark, which stood on part of what is now Mr. George's Green. Built in 1939, the structure doubled as an auditorium during special events and as a skating rink for students to enjoy in their free time beginning in 1943. In 1946, it was repurposed to hold classes for the Art Department; then, in 1951, it became the home of the College's ROTC program and earned the name "the Little Pentagon." It also served as temporary home to the Student Union as well as the Communications Department until the building was demolished in 1981.
On May 24, 1938, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the first Frank Lloyd Wright building at Florida Southern College, and in November of the same year, the College hosted the cornerstone ceremony. Three years later, on March 9, 1941, the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was completed, and a dedication ceremony was held with philanthropist Annie Merner Pfeiffer herself in attendance. Frank Lloyd Wright had designed the chapel to be both the physical and spiritual center of the campus. The chapel was primarily built by students in exchange for tuition and board and featured what would become recurring design elements of Frank Lloyd Wright. The floors were made with cantilevered Cherokee Red cement, and there were windows, skylights, and multicolor stained glass blocks in the walls to provide natural light. The unique wire structure at the top of the chapel later became nicknamed "God's Bicycle Rack." Several more ceremonies have been held in Annie Pfeiffer Chapel since its dedication, including rededications in 1991 and 1993 as well as the dedication of the MacGowan Room to the Dean of the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel Professor Robert MacGowan in 1993. In 2009, the Chapel Garden was added to the south side of the building. While the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was damaged during a 1944 hurricane, it was repaired and later restoration efforts in 1998 and 2016 have helped in preserving this historic landmark.
The same year that Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was completed, 1941, three seminar buildings were also completed. Each building is named after a different donor: Cora Carter, a retired school teacher; Isabel Walbridge, Dormitory Hostess for the Allan Spivey Hall in 1940s and 1950s; and Charles Hawkins, a professor at the College and author of the College's Alma Mater. The entire complex is named after Honorary Chancellor L.A. Raulerson. The individual buildings were later connected and combined into one building during the 1960s in order to house administrative offices such as the College's financial aid and business offices.
The L.N. Pipkin Bandshell was designed by Robert Wehr, Frank Lloyd Wright's construction superintendent and a Florida Southern faculty member, and was built by Florida Southern College students. It was named for L.N. Pipkin, Vice President of the Board of Trustees and one of the three donors who had been crucial in the College's move to Lakeland in 1922. When it was completed in 1941, the Pipkin Bandshell was the largest in the state. On October 25, 1941, the L.N. Pipkin Bandshell was officially dedicated and bands from across the state came to perform. Over the years, the bandshell served as a gathering place for students and members of the Lakeland community to enjoy musical, theatrical, and campus-oriented entertainment such as concerts under the stars. For several years, the Center for Student Involvement was also housed inside the bandshell. In August 2022, the L.N. Pipkin Bandshell was razed to make way for the Adams Athletic Performance Center.
⮩ Formerly known as the E.T. Roux Library
The E.T. Roux Library building began construction in April 1941 and was dedicated on March 17, 1945 to Edwin Timanus Roux, a donor and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. When fire destroyed the Sutherland campus in 1921, Roux let College use his hotel in Clearwater as a temporary location; Roux was also a key donor in the College's move to Lakeland in 1922. The E.T. Roux Library was constructed with two floors plus a basement. The reading room consisted of three tiers of desks for students with the circulation desk in the center - these desks are still present today. The book stacks were on both floors and were built around the light wells. In theory, these light wells were designed to bring light down to the first floor from the skylights on the roof; however, in reality, they proved to not be that effective in bringing light to the first floor. Similar to the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, the E.T. Roux Building was built using student labor; however, due to World War II causing a sharp decline in male enrollment, female students took on a much greater role during the construction process. Decades later, because of a growing student population, the current Roux Library building was constructed in 1968. The former library building was rededicated to Thaddeus G. Buckner, a donor and the husband of Loca Lee Buckner, Honorary Chancellor and Trustee, with the reading room becoming known as the Hollis Room after donor William M. Hollis, the Vice President of Publix. The Hollis Room remained a place of meeting for organizations like the Student Government Association and lectures, while the other half of the building was divided into offices for the Registrar, Provost, and Student Travel. Starting in 1992, the Hollis Room was also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor's Center until 2013 when the Sharp Tourism and Education Center opened. In 2022, after a donation from the Hollis family, the Hollis Room underwent renovations to update the space.
In 1946, Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings were connected by the Esplanade, a series of covered walkways. Atop foundation pieces inscribed with the name of someone significant to Florida Southern College are uniform columns. The edges of the roofs were painted green and the columns were evenly spaced apart; both elements were designed to reflect the citrus trees that used to cover the campus. The Esplanade runs more than a mile in length with ceilings no more than 7 feet in height because Frank Lloyd Wright designed the walkways based on his own scale, or 5 feet 8.5 inches tall. The Esplanade keeps students out of the sun and rain and runs between all of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings: the original Roux Library, the Watson-Fine Administration Buildings, the Raulerson Seminar Buildings, the Lucius Pond Ordway Building, the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, and the Polk County Science Building. In 2007, the Esplanade Quad Garden, located near the Polk County Science Building, was dedicated to Florida Southern's landscaping staff in "deepest appreciation for making the campus the most beautiful in the nation."
⮩ Formerly known as The SUMP and Anchor Park
In 1947, the College wanted to create a lakefront bandshell and amphitheater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the shore of Lake Hollingsworth. Unfortunately, as construction was to begin, the State of Florida claimed ownership of the lakefront property and development halted. For years, no major developments occurred aside from a large mound of earth added to the lake's topography in the 1950s. Despite the lack of development, the area gained several nicknames through the years. Early on, student nicknamed the location the SUMP, which stood for "Spivey's Ultra Modern Pool." When a large anchor chain was later added to the area, it then also became known as Anchor Park. In 2002, the City of Lakeland wanted to use the area for a stormwater treatment project that would help keep toxic stormwater out of the lake. Working together with the College, the City of Lakeland developed a beautification project that not only provided a wetland stormwater treatment area, but also a recreation area and research opportunities for Florida Southern students. The project was completed in 2004 and the area became known as Southern Landing. It features a boardwalk as well a small concrete plaza. Southern Landing occasionally hosts student events, but it is also fully open to the public, due to the popularity of Lake Hollingsworth for runners, bikers, and casual walkers. In 2010, part of the area was posthumously dedicated as Thomas B. Mack Park to Professor Thomas B. Mack, the former Director of Florida Southern's Citrus Institute and founder of the Florida Citrus Archives at the College. Mack had also been involved in several landscaping and beautification projects for the City of Lakeland.
In 1948, Florida Southern College's Cafeteria was completed as part of the East Campus development project. In 1961, the building was dedicated to Herbert E. Wolfe, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Honorary Chancellor. The building has undergone several renovations over the years, including adding areas such as the Student Commons and the College Terrace. The building would later became known as just the "Caf." In the 2000s, the upper floor of the building, a dining room, was dedicated as Wynee's Bistro, after generous benefactor Wynee Warden, and the original terrace was enclosed to create more seating areas. A restaurant shares the bottom floor with the mailroom and the college bookstore. At different points in time, this area has been the College Terrace restaurant, a Taco Bell, as well as a deli. The space has also been commonly nicknamed the "Undercaf" due to being located "under the Caf."
⮩ Formerly known as the J. Edgar Wall Plaza
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structure completed in 1948 was not a building at all, but a large fountain. Reflecting his organic architectural style, Wright designed this fountain for the College's highest point. This fountain when engaged would resemble a liquid dome of water in order to contrast the European Neoclassical domed concrete roofs of many North American college campuses at the time. When it was finished, the fountain was dedicated to J. Edgar Wall, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Unfortunately, the technology for Wright's fountain was unavailable when he was designing it. The pond stood and grew vegetation until 1968, when the College decided to pave over it and dedicate the new patio and smaller ponds as the J. Edgar Wall Plaza. It was not until 2007 when President Kerr's upgrade to the pond was finished that Wright's vision was finally realized. At full operating capacity, the Waterdome has all 75 jets blasting water 45 feet in the air into the shape of a complete dome. Despite swimming in the pond being typically subjected to a large monetary fine, graduating seniors are allowed in the fountain during Senior Splash at the end of the spring semester.
Florida Southern College experienced an explosive jump in enrollment in 1948, partly due to servicemen returning from World War II as well as the introduction of the GI Bill. With the rise in students came a need to house them on campus, so the College commissioned designs for a new complex from Miami architect Robert Law Weed. The plans included eight dormitories for men, three sorority houses, six apartment buildings for faculty and married students, and the Commons, which consisted of a large dining hall, a student lounge, and a soda shop. The men's dormitories, named Wesley, Emory, Trinity, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Asbury halls, stood between Columbia Way and Harvard Road. Ground was broken on the East Campus in 1948, and by the spring of 1949, all of the new structures had been completed. While only the cafeteria stands today due to updated building codes and technology, the creation of the East Campus stood as a milestone for the College in its development.
In 1949, another complex was finished on Florida Southern College's campus adjacent to Johnson Avenue. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the two buildings were named the Emile E. Watson and Benjamin Fine Administration Buildings. Emile E. Watson was an actuary who was a pioneer in workmen's compensation amongst other accomplishments. After he gave the commencement address in 1949, Dr. Spivey dedicated one of the new administration buildings to Watson in light of his accomplishments. Benjamin Fine was a Pulitzer Prize winning education journalist for The New York Times. He was awarded a plaque from Florida Southern for his "meritorious service in behalf of American education" as part of the Founders Week celebrations in 1949. Since their completion, the buildings have remained offices for administration. The president's office, co-designed by Dr. Spivey, is still housed in the Watson building. A unique design feature of the Watson-Fine complex is a large pole with lights on it jutting out from the north end of the building, and it serves as a beacon for that side of campus. While the original pole rusted and fell in the 1960s, it was later replaced in the 1980s.
After the end of World War II, Florida Southern College sought to commemorate those students who had gone to fight in the war and were killed in action. To memorialize the twelve fallen servicemen, twelve magnolia trees and a water fountain containing the plaque with their names on was erected. These magnolias and the commemorative plaque were located in the area that would later become the Beerman Tennis Complex and then Mr. George's Green. In 2018, Patriot's Plaza, a new memorial to honor Florida Southern's veterans through the years, was created.
In 1952, another Frank Lloyd Wright building was completed - an industrial arts building. It housed the Home Economics Department as well as industrial workshops. Originally, the building was named the J. William Horsey Building; however, after Horsey withdrew further financial support, the building was rededicated as the Lucius Pond Ordway Building in 1956 after Lucius Pond Ordway, one of the 3M corporation's initial investors. Also around the mid-1950s, the Zimmermann Lounge was dedicated to Trustee G. Floyd Zimmermann, Sr. The lounge was later changed to a testing area due to lack of student use. Ordway was remodeled in 1971 and serves as the home of Florida Southern College's Political Science, History, Sociology, Psychology Departments, several clubs, other classes, and the Honors Lounge. In 2008, the Rodda Family Plaza was constructed in the central courtyard area and dedicated to Trustee John Rodda. Another significant area of the Ordway Building is the Theatre-in-the-Round, officially named the William Fletcher Theatre after Professor William Gregory Fletcher (Class of 1900), one of the College's oldest alumni when he passed in 1952. Completely circular, the theatre serves as both a classroom space and a center for Florida Southern students to showcase their artistic talents. A unique facet of the theatre is that when one stands at the center of the circle, one's voice is magnified back. The William Fletcher Theatre was renovated in the 2012, due to funding from Dr. Mark C. Hollis, Sr. shortly before he passed away.
On March 4, 1955, a second chapel on campus was completed and dedicated. Named after William H. Danforth, the founder of Ralston-Purina Company who donated $10,000 for the building, the Danforth Chapel was designed as part of a series of nondenominational chapels on college campuses across the United States. Like the rest of Frank Lloyd Wright's "Child of the Sun" series on campus, Wright designed the building with organic architecture in mind. Influenced by nature, the Danforth Chapel has the same Cherokee Red floors as the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, a low entrance, and a unique west wall featuring a set of yellow and red leaded stained-glass windows. The chapel also has its own organ, a fireplace, classroom space in the back, and a second floor for seating. Through the years, students have also used the space for small musical events, poetry readings, and lectures.
Florida Southern College's first swimming pool opened in 1956 near the Wolfe Building on what is now Ingraham Avenue. It was a popular gathering place for students and was featured in many of the College's yearbooks (The Interlachen) through the years. The pool featured a large, bean-shaped swimming area with diving boards. In 1997, with the addition of the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center, the original pool was removed and a new rectangular one was built to accommodate Florida Southern College's swim team with regulation lanes for competitions. In a shallower area connected to one of the corners, students can enjoy pool volleyball or simply enjoy themselves in the water. Multiple pool parties are also held throughout the year as well as Wellness Center events like water aerobics.
In 1956, the Panhellenic Dormitories complex was constructed along Lake Hollingsworth with each dormitory housing a sorority. Designed by C. Dale Dykema from St. Petersburg, FL, the Panhellenic Dormitories were each shaped like an outline of a rectangle, with a small courtyard in the center of each building. Being built on a hill, the dormitories were two stories with a north entrance to the top floor and a south entrance overlooking a long drive, parking area, and the lake. In March 1960, a massive storm caused flooding that severely damaged the dormitories, the surrounding landscaping, and several cars. Fortunately, the College was able to make repairs to the complex, and the Panhellenic Dormitories were quickly restored. In 2006, the aging Panhellenic Dormitories were demolished to make way for the Barnett Residential Life Center, and the sororities were subsequently moved to the Publix Charities Commons and Greek Quad.
The Polk County Science Building, one of the last of Frank Lloyd Wright's original buildings, finished construction in 1958. Named for Polk County after the local community greatly contributed to its construction fundraiser, the Polk County Science Building is a complex of several connected buildings. It holds offices for STEM professors, laboratories for science classes, larger lecture rooms, and several computer laboratories, as well as storage for the materials used by these departments. One of the most unique factors of the Polk Science Building is that it features Frank Lloyd Wright's only planetarium. The first showing there was on April 7, 1960, and it has served as an integral part of the astronomy program at Florida Southern. Over the years, however, deterioration occurred to the original structure and equipment. Renovations with upgraded technology were announced in 1999, and the planetarium was rededicated to John Raymond Miller III and his wife Eleanor Honeyman Miller on February 9, 2001. In 2021, the College received a grant from the National Park Service to renovate the Miller Planetarium; this grant was matched by local philanthropist Gregory Fancelli, the grandson of George Jenkins. These renovations repaired water damage, updated equipment, and updated the paint on the walls and the Cherokee Red floors to be closer to Frank Lloyd Wright's original color scheme.
Florida Southern College's class of 1959 dedicated a memorial plaque for Frank Lloyd Wright to the College after Wright's death on April 9, 1959. Located near the south wall of the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, the memorial plaque was dedicated on March 17, 1960 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The plaque was later removed in 2009 when the Chapel Garden was installed.
During Founders Week, on March 13, 1964, a ceremony was held for the first completed building of the Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center: the Marjorie M. McKinley Music Building. The building was built on the original site of the Men's Dormitory and constructed from the shell of that building. The three-level building contained numerous individual practice booths as well as multiple teaching studios and a music library. The building is named after Marjorie McKinley, later Marjorie Van Antwerp, who was an Honorary Chancellor, Trustee, and donor to the College. At the time of the dedication, she was the wife of honorary alumnus Kent S. McKinley, also a donor to the College.
On January 16, 1959, Bishop John W. Branscomb passed away. For many years, he had been a member of the Board of Trustees and the Methodist community in Lakeland, so the College looked for a way to memorialize him and his years of service to the community. Five years later, on January 17, 1964, the Bishop John W. Branscomb Memorial Auditorium was officially opened and held its first event. The building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright-protégé Nils Schweizer, is famous for its acoustics and has even been compared to Carnegie Hall because of its natural audio reverberation of approximately 1.3 seconds. The auditorium is often used for events serving both students and the public, ranging from assemblies and Convocation to the Festival of Fine Arts and Florida Lecture Series. Beyond the main auditorium, the building features the glassed-in Honeyman Pavilion, dedicated to the men of the Honeyman family by Eleanor Honeyman Miller and her husband John Raymond Miller III, and the Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall, dedicated to Anne MacGregor Jenkins, the wife of George Jenkins and mother of Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979). Also part of the building is the Anne MacGregor and George W. Jenkins Imperial Symphony Orchestra Office Suite, given by their daughter Julie Jenkins Fancelli. The Branscomb Memorial Auditorium is a fully integrated part of the Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center, which began construction in 1963 and finished in 1971.
In 1964, Florida Southern College made a heartwarming addition for the holiday season: Dean Holiday, a 30-foot tall metal and canvas snowman who sat atop the Polk County Science Building every winter with his black and gold graduation cap. Conceived by former President Charles T. Thrift and then-Vice President David L. Readdick (Class of 1946), Dean Holiday was not only a decorative piece at the College, but also featured as a float in the Lakeland Christmas Parade. Through the years, Dean Holiday was edited, restructured, and then relocated to the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center, but he still stood every winter as the College's "Season's Greetings" to the city of Lakeland until Winter 2021 when he retired.
In 1965, the George W. Jenkins Field House was completed adjacent to what is now Mr. George's Green and the Fannin Center. The building is named after one of the College's most long-standing donor relationships - that with George Jenkins, founder of Publix Supermarkets, Polk County legend, and Honorary Chancellor. That very relationship continues to date with Mr. George's children and grandchildren. Also designed by Nils Schweizer, Jenkins Field House was constructed from three aircraft hangars that had been at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Inside was a large gymnasium for basketball games, and later volleyball games, as well as athletic facilities such as workout rooms and locker rooms. Throughout the years, the Jenkins Field House has undergone renovations such as the installation of air conditioning, improved lighting, and refinished floors. Two additions to the Jenkins Field House have been the Clayton and Mary Lee Lyons Conference Room, named for alumni Clayton (Class of 1951) and Mary Lee (Class of 1951), and, after renovations in 2012, the Chas and Susan Smith Lobby dedicated to Trustee Chas Smith and his wife in 2013. The Field House also hosts large-scale student events like BlastOff and Glowfest.
By 1965, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed E. T. Roux Library was unable to sustain the substantial growth to the College that was occurring at the time. Nils Schweizer was called to draw plans for a new library, and ground was broken for the new building on November 17, 1966. The building, still named for the Roux family, sits on the north side of the Waterdome opposite its predecessor on the southwest side. On March 24, 1968, the day Roux Library was formally opened, students made a chain to pass books from the original library to the current one and hand-over-hand transferred all of the library's materials over to their new home. As of 2022, Roux Library has over 175,000 volumes, more than 7,000 full-text electronic journals in over 100 electronic databases, access to 29,000 electronic books, a 15,000 item media collection that includes videocassettes, CDs, DVDs, and CD-ROMS, as well as a substantial microform collection of over 458,000 items. Roux Library also features a classroom, multiple workspaces, a computer lab, as well as Tûtû's Cyber Café, named for donor Wynee Warden. The café underwent an expansion in 2017 to add in a larger group study space.
In 1970, another section of the Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center was completed - the Loca Lee Buckner Theatre. The building was posthumously funded by Loca Lee Buckner, a Trustee and Honorary Chancellor, who had passed in October 1965 while on vacation in Italy. In passing, she had left to the College a total of around seven million dollars, which was delegated to several projects, including this theatre and the renaming of the Thaddeus G. Buckner Building. The Loca Lee Buckner Theatre still stands and is frequently used for theatrical productions.
Named for late College President Ludd M. Spivey, the Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center was finished in 1971 as a part of a five-year remodeling plan that also included the creation and remodeling of the Sigma Epsilon House, the Pi Kappa House, the Gilbert Gymnasium and the Ordway Building. While sections of the center had been previously completed, the Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center as a whole officially opened during Founders Week on February 19, 1971. The center contains multiple areas including the Marjorie McKinley Music Building, the Branscomb Auditorium, and the Loca Lee Buckner Theatre as well as the William H. Melvin Art Gallery, the Martin Family Garden, Hester Plaza, and the Amanda and Harry Heeb Performing Arts center. The Ludd M. Spivey Fine Arts Center provides a space for the Fine Arts Department on campus including spaces for theater, visual arts, music, and dance.
In 1975, Florida Southern College was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A dedication ceremony was held on February 16, 1977 to receive the honor and accompanying plaque. Today, the plaque is found outside Watson-Fine Administration buildings.
In 1976, development continued on campus with the addition of the Charles T. Thrift Building, named after retiring College President Charles T. Thrift, Jr. The building began as the College Center, with spaces for students and alumni to meet and enjoy each other, and later added the counseling center, health center, and the Thrift Alumni Room, which frequently hosts events for both students and staff.
The Miami railcar was given to Florida Southern College by the Seaboard Air Line in May 1976. The railcar had been built in 1930 and was the last of its kind built in the United States. The Miami was originally used as a private business car; however, Dr. Charles T. Thrift, Jr., after retiring as President and becoming Chancellor of the College, purchased and used the railcar as his personal office from 1976 through the 1980s. The railcar was placed near the current location of the J. Carlisle Rogers Building, but it was removed after Dr. Thrift's death in 1984.
⮩ Formerly known as the William F. Chatlos Journalism Building
On February 15, 1980, the College dedicated the William F. Chatlos Journalism Building, designed by Nils Schweizer, to the late founder of the William S. Chatlos Foundation with some of his family in attendance. One year earlier, on March 3, 1979, Honorary Chancellor Walter Cronkite, President Davis, and members of the Board of Trustees had broken ground for the complex. In conjunction with Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for the college, it was not one single structure with classrooms inside, but a set of three connected buildings centered around a courtyard with a live oak tree. One of the structures houses the studio, where students film talk, news, and sports shows. The second features two computer laboratories and a classroom. The third is the main office building but also contains The Southern newspaper lab, a fourth lab, and another classroom. These facilities, some donated by The New York Times Foundation, provide students with opportunities for hands-on learning as well as technology training. Another facility, the Doc Dockery Lab, was given by and named for alumnus C.C. "Doc" Dockery (Class of 1961). During the 2010s, the Chatlos Building was renovated to update equipment.
In 1982, the Charles Jenkins, Sr. Jenkins Residence Hall, another Nils Schweizer-designed building, was completed and on October 29, 1982, the hall was dedicated with College President Robert Davis and the primary donor Charles Jenkins, Sr., Chairman of Publix, present. Charles Jenkins, also a Trustee, was the brother of George Jenkins and, like his brother, an Honorary Chancellor. Three months later, on January 23, 1983, the student lounge in the dormitory was dedicated the Weems-Macbeth Lounge after Dr. Howard V. and Camilla Weems and Joseph O. and Verna Macbeth. Camilla Weems had been a member of the building committee for the Branscomb Memorial Auditorium, and her son-in-law Joseph Macbeth was a Trustee. Located on the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Way and Duke Place, Jenkins Hall is the home of several fraternities as well as independent men.
Located between the Ordway building and Roux Library on Frank Lloyd Wright Way, the J. Carlisle Rogers building was constructed to serve as the home for the College's growing Business Department. It was dedicated to J. Carlisle Rogers, Sr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife Ruth Rogers, both of whom were present at the dedication of the building on October 5, 1984. The Rogers Building served as the center for business and economics classes until the construction of the Becker Business Building in 2016, at which point the building became the home of the Center for Student Involvement and offices for student life administration. Within the Rogers Building was also the Jim Rogers Auditorium, posthumously named for the couple's son James C. Rogers, Jr. (Class of 1969). In 2021, this area was turned into the Snake Pit, which serves as the home for the College's E-Sports team. In March 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ashley Gibson Barnett '13 and Nick Barnett MBA '18 Outdoor Classroom was created to provide an alternative space for safer classroom instruction. The space was named after Ashley Gibson (Class of 2013) and her husband Nicholas Barnett (MBA Class of 2018), the son of Trustee Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965) and Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979). In 2022, the Peter C. Golotko '90 MBA '96 Office of Career Services was added to the Rogers Building. The center was named for Peter Golotko (Class of 1990, MBA Class of 1996), President and CEO of CPS Investments as well as the Chair of the Rogers Family Foundation.
⮩ Formerly known as the Centennial Plaza and Garden of the Presidents, Pearce Centennial Tower
The Pearce Centennial Tower was dedicated in 1985 to Mellie and William Pearce by their daughter Edna Pearce Lockett (Class of 1934), who had been the Honorary Chancellor for 1980. She made the announcement at the annual Alumni Luncheon in 1984 in honor of the upcoming College centennial celebrations. Like many other projects on campus at the time, the tower was also completed by Nils Schweizer. In October 1991, Rev. Robert J. (Class of 1937) and Charlotte R. Gisler dedicated the Campus Carillon to "ring out boldly reminding us of three FSC presidents who cared about students and patiently gave them help in their pursuit of an education: Ludd M. Spivey, Charles T. Thrift, Robert A. Davis." The area was rededicated after renovations in 2007 and was named for Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert L. Fryer (Class of 1970) and his wife Eleanor.
In the late 1980s, Florida Southern College began updating and replacing old dormitories to match the needs and desires of the students occupying them. The first in the series in this period of renewal for the College was the William M. Hollis Family Hall, located south of Duke Place between Harvard Road and Columbia Way. Hollis Hall was dedicated on January 24, 1987 and is a mirror to the later Dell Hall. This hall typically houses both male and female upper-level students on separate floors. The hall was named for donor William Mercer Hollis, former Vice President of Publix, and his family: his wife Nina, his daughter Trustee Dr. Marjorie Hollis Roberts, and his sons William Hollis, Jr. and Mark Clayton Hollis, Sr.
In 1987, the campus tennis courts located in the center of campus were officially named the Beerman Tennis Complex. The complex was named for Dave Beerman, who had helped to popularize the sport of tennis in the Lakeland area. Originally, the renovations and upgrades were to take place during the summer of 1987; however, the timetable was moved forward and construction was completed by January 1987 in time for the Women's Tennis season. As part of the renovation, three old tennis courts were resurfaced and two additional courts were added for a total of five courts. Lighting was also improved for all of the courts. By 2012, the complex had been torn down to make way for a new green space common area for students to be called Mr. George's Green after Publix founder George Jenkins. A new tennis complex was built to the northeast of campus and was named in honor of benefactor Wynee Warden in 2012.
⮩ Formerly known as Jack M. Berry Citrus Building
The groundbreaking for the Jack M. Berry Citrus Building was held on October 1, 1987 and was dedicated on November 4, 1988. The building was named for citrus businessman Jack M. Berry, Sr., a Trustee and Honorary Chancellor. Located adjacent to Edge Hall, the building accommodates Citrus and Botany studies as well as state-of-the-art laboratories for Florida Southern College's STEM fields. As part of Homecoming celebrations in 2016, upgraded science laboratories were named in honor of Trustee Dr. Keith Berend (Class of 1992). The building was also the original home of the Citrus Archives created by Professor Thomas B. Mack until the archives outgrew the space and moved to Callahan Court in 2002. Since the 2015-2016 academic year, this building has been known as the Jack M. Berry Science Building.
The Sam T. and Elizabeth Shands Dell Hall was dedicated on November 6, 1992 to Trustee Sam T. Dell and his wife Elizabeth, a member of the Shands family. The hall is an architectural mirror to Hollis Hall and houses both first-year male and female students on separate floors.
The Holmes House was originally owned by Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Holmes. Dr. Holmes was a long-time Trustee of Florida Southern College, and the couple gifted their home on July 29, 1992 to the College. Two decades later, the house was demolished and the site at 727 East Park Street was used to build the Wynee Warden Dance Studio in 2014.
On November 1, 1997, Florida Southern College completed the four million dollar Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center, funded by the William M. and Nina B. Hollis Foundation on behalf of their daughter Trustee Dr. Marjorie Hollis Roberts. The building, which overlooks Lake Hollingsworth, was designed by architect Wallis Murphey Boyington and completed by Rodda Construction. Despite the groundbreaking for the project only being less than a year before, on November 15, 1996, the new swimming pool, group exercise and weight rooms were completed and ready for student use on opening day. The Wellness Center offers various group exercise classes, such as yoga and water aerobics, as well as free bicycle rentals to students who want to bike around the lake or north to Downtown Lakeland. In 2021, the Hollis Wellness Center added two recreational rock-climbing walls, also donated by Dr. Marjorie Hollis Roberts and her husband Hal.
On February 12, 1999, the Publix Charities Commons and Greek Quad was dedicated. The complex, which today houses most students in Florida Southern's Greek Life organizations, replaced the East Campus, the series of 1940s-era buildings on the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Way and Ingraham Avenue. Groundbreaking was held for the Publix Charities Commons and Greek Quad on April 16, 1997, and construction of the $8.9 million project, funded in part by alumni Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965) and Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979), was completed by Marcobay Construction the following year in 1998. The structures, designed by architect Daniel Fowler of Lunz and Associates, are suite-style dormitories that house Greek Life organizations as well as their respective chapter rooms. Located in the center of the complex is the Judy and Joe P. Ruthven Beach Volleyball Courts, which was added in 2017 and is the home of Florida Southern's Beach Volleyball team.
On May 8, 1998, ground was broken for the Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center, which was named for retired College President Robert Aldine Davis. While projected to be finished in December 1999, the building was later dedicated on March 31, 2000 as part of the Ludd Spivey Fine Arts Center complex. Adding in more recital rooms and faculty offices, the Robert A. Davis Performing Arts Center allowed for the expansion of a growing Music department that had been running out of space in its previous facilities.
In 2002, the Citrus Archives moved to a house located on 901 Callahan Court as the archives had outgrown its previous location in the Jack M. Berry Citrus Building. Prior to the move, the house had been the former home of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and had also served as a faculty residence. Then, in 2005, the Citrus Archives were moved to the Roux Library for storage until the McKay Archives Center opened in 2009. In 2011, the Citrus Archives' former home on Callahan Court was torn down to make way for the new Wynee Warden Tennis Center complex.
Dedicated on February 6, 2004 to John Raymond Miller III and his wife Eleanor Honeyman Miller, Miller Hall is the third and final part of the residence hall complex on Harvard Road. Completed less than a year after its groundbreaking on April 15, 2003, Miller Hall connects Dell and Hollis Halls. Though each hall is stylistically unique, Miller stands out in the trio for providing students with units of two bedrooms and a Jack-and-Jill bathroom in a suite style, instead of a community bathroom. This design choice was the first of a new tradition, with both Nicholas and Wesley Halls following suit soon after. Miller Hall houses both upper-level male and female students on separate floors.
On May 18, 2006, the Mishalanie-Layton Garden Plaza was created in between the Joseph-Reynolds and Allan Spivey Residence Halls. The plaza consists of a small circular brick courtyard surrounded by benches with a fountain in the center. When the plaza was first installed, it was open to the sky, but trees have grown around and shadowed over the plaza; this shade provides a cool place for students to relax. The Mishalanie-Layton Garden Plaza was donated by Trustee Dr. Sarah M. Layton in tribute to her parents, Philip G. and Marion J. Mishalanie.
In 2007, the Badcock Memorial Garden outside of the Ordway Building was dedicated by Trustee Maida Badcock Pou in honor of her mother Evelyn Marie Clark Badcock (Class of 1925). The garden includes boxwood, white impatiens, and flowering red pentas plants and acts as an "outdoor living room" for students.
Located next to Joseph-Reynolds Hall, the Jane Elizabeth Jenkins Rose Garden was dedicated in 2007 and given in honor of Jane Elizabeth Jenkins (Class of 1980). Jane Jenkins is the daughter of the late Dr. Charles H. Jenkins Sr., a Trustee, Honorary Chancellor, and namesake of Jenkins Hall.
Lynn's Garden, located next to Nicholas Hall, is a popular place for students to gather to study outside, lie in a hammock, or enjoy the beautiful Florida weather. The garden was one of the many donations from the Hollis family and honors Lynn Hollis, wife of the late Dr. Mark Clayton Hollis, Sr. and mother of Trustee Mark Clayton Hollis, Jr. (Class of 1980).
In 2008, the Christoverson Humanities Building was completed soon after its groundbreaking ceremony on October 26, 2007. Two years later, on November 12, 2010, the building was officially dedicated to Trustee Dr. Marcene H. Christoverson and her husband Robert E., both donors to the College. The three-story building features classrooms, a computer lab, and the Wynee's Moc Theatre, named for donor Wynee Warden. It also houses the office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences as well as departmental offices. Located just outside the building is the Weinstein Family Entry and Courtyard. The Christoverson Building overlooks Southern Landing and Lake Hollingsworth along with the other buildings designed by Robert A.M. Stern.
Located alongside Allan Spivey Hall is the Robert E. Christoverson Memorial Garden that was given in his memory by his wife Trustee Dr. Marcene Christoverson in 2008.
Announced October 29, 2005 and fully completed in 2009, the Barnett Residential Life Center is another residential option for first-year Florida Southern College students. Comprised of two dormitories, Nicholas and Wesley Residence Halls, the center provides a suite-style bathroom layout to students as well as one kitchen per building. The center was designed by Robert A.M. Stern, who drew inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings, and the two halls were named for Nicholas (MBA Class of 2018) and Wesley Barnett, the sons of Trustee Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965) and Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979). Students in each of the four-story buildings are sorted to floors by gender and have a view of Lake Hollingsworth as well as a lounge on each floor that also overlooks the lake. Wesley Hall was the first of the two halls to be completed and was actually the second hall of its name on the Lakeland campus - the first Wesley Hall was constructed in 1948 as part of the East Campus.
The Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr. Archives Center was dedicated on February 20, 2009 in honor of donor Dr. Sarah McKay, the first Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees. The center provides a place for the College to preserve its history by collecting, organizing, preserving, and describing the institutional history and records of the College. These records include such materials as faculty papers and alumni papers. The archives also houses other collections such as those from Florida Politicians and the history of Florida citrus. The Florida Citrus Archives started by Professor Tom Mack was moved to the center when it opened after leaving its former home on Callahan Court in 2005. Through the Citrus Archives, the McKay Archives shares a close relationship with the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and houses the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Wall of Honorees. Also in the building are the Ruth K. and Charles T. Thrift, Jr. Florida United Methodist Conference Heritage Center and Archives, the Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History, and the Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning.
Located outside the McKay Archives Center is the R. Ira Barnett Plaza, which was named for Rev. Robinson Ira Barnett (Class of 1899), a member of both the Honor Walk and Board of Trustees, the brother of Henry Green Barnett, the father of Athletics supporter Hoyt W. Barnett, and the grandfather of Trustee Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965).
The Joe K. and Alberta Blanton Nursing Building opened in Spring 2009 and replaced the previous nursing building on Johnson Avenue. Alberta Blanton donated $2.5 million in funds for this building as a memorial to her late husband and to enhance the overall nursing program at Florida Southern College. In 2014, the building received further renovations including the installation of laboratory space, offices, and two new classrooms. The building was expanded again in 2015 with the opening of the second floor. In 2021, the Joe K. and Alberta Blanton Nursing Building became the home of the undergraduate program of the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences, named for the daughter of Alberta and Joe.
The Roberts Academy was created in 2010 with the goal of empowering students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities to achieve academic excellence. It was the first transitional school for children with dyslexia in the state and one of the only schools of its type in the country. The Roberts Academy was made possible through funding by Hal and Dr. Marjorie Roberts, who had previously provided funding to establish and endow the Roberts Center for Learning and Literacy. The Roberts couple saw how the right learning environment transformed the lives of their grandchildren and wanted to make similar resources available to children with dyslexia in Central Florida. The school also provides Florida Southern students in the Education Department the opportunity to become familiarized with a specialized teaching environment. Originally, the school only contained second through fifth grade, but in 2020, the Roberts Academy Middle School opened and now serves sixth through eighth grade as well.
In 2010, R. Al Glover (Class of 1971), dedicated a garden to his wife Marla Glover for their 40th wedding anniversary. The garden in located next to the L.A. Raulerson Seminar Buildings and Ruth's Rose Garden and includes many varieties of plants as well as a large fountain.
In March 2010, the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Technology Center opened its doors to Florida Southern students. The center provides students with a space to complete projects, collaborate with their peers, or just relax. It also serves as home to the College's Information Technology Help Desk. The building was named after Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker, the founders of the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Foundation, which has donated funds to multiple small colleges across Florida. Their son John Rinker was present at the center's groundbreaking in 2008.
Located next to the Rogers Building and Ruth's Rose Garden, the Dr. James P. DePass Grove was specially created so that it reflects the layout of modern commercial groves. For students majoring in Citrus and Horticultural Studies, this grove provides the opportunity to practice skills such as pest and disease management, grove management, and post-harvest practices. In addition, the grove contains both modern and historical citrus varieties for students to learn about. The Dr. James P. DePass Grove was given by alumna Lamar Louise Curry (Class of 1927) in honor of her grandfather Dr. James Perryman DePass, who was a Methodist Minister and head of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in Lake City from 1890 to 1893.
The Lake Morton Apartments were built in 1948 on Lake Morton Drive, and in 2011, this apartment complex was purchased by Florida Southern College to serve as an off-campus housing option. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, the College used the Lake Morton Apartments as a designated quarantine area to help slow the spread of the virus in the college community.
Once the location of the Beerman Tennis Complex, Mr. George's Green, located in front of Jenkins Field House, provides a wide space for students to gather, host outdoor events, and participate in wellness activities. The green was named after George Jenkins, founder of Publix Supermarkets, Polk County legend, and Honorary Chancellor, after a major gift from his daughter Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979) on behalf of Publix Super Markets Charities. Surrounding Mr. George's Green is the Honor Walk, which was added and rededicated in 2013.
In 2012, the Child of the Sun collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings was designated as a National Historic Landmark District by the National Park Service because the campus is the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. The commemorative plaque can be found near Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.
Ground was broken for the Wynee Warden Tennis Center on March 19, 2011, and the dedication ceremony took place on September 14, 2012. The center contains 10 U.S. Open style courts in addition to seating for 400 fans. Named for Florida Southern benefactor Wynee Warden, the Wynee Warden Tennis Center replaced the aging Beerman Tennis Complex that had been located in the center of campus.
The Evett L. Simmons Center for Multicultural Appreciation provides support services, educational opportunities, and cultural awareness programs for Florida Southern students as well as to promote multiculturalism, social justice, and inclusion for the College community. The center was named in honor of alumna and Trustee Evett L. Simmons (Class of 1979). In 2021, Brenda's Place was dedicated inside the building to Brenda Lewis, the Director of the Simmons Center and who had been part of the Florida Southern community for over 26 years until her retirement. Lewis was instrumental in forming both the Multicultural Student Council and the Simmons Center.
Opened in 2013, the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center provides a home for the permanent display of photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Frank Lloyd Wright's relationship with the College. Named for Trustee Dr. Robert Sharp and his wife Peggy, the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center provides tours of the Florida Southern College Historic District and replaced the former visitor's center that had been located in the Hollis Room.
Located next to the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center is the Usonian House, which was based on one of Frank Lloyd Wright's original plans. President Spivey had requested plans from Wright for a set of faculty homes to be built surrounding the campus, but those houses were never built. The Usonian House is based on these plans and was constructed in 2013 with the help of MIT engineers.
Located next to the Fannin Center is the Judi and Gene Roberts Garden, which was dedicated in 2013 to Judi (Class of 1960) and her husband Gene Roberts (Class of 1960).
On November 6, 2014, another addition to Florida Southern College's arts programs was completed - the Wynee Warden Dance Studio on Johnson Avenue. The building, specifically designed as a space for all dance classes at the College, was funded by Wynee Warden, a generous donor to the college. A dancer herself, she was present at the dedication of the facility, which was designed by Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects, the company also responsible for several other buildings on campus.
In 2014, the Buck Stop was created to provide another dining option for students on campus. The Buck Stop includes specialty brick oven pizzas and as well as the former Grill Master dining location. Due to Florida Southern College being a historical site, the architecture of the building was designed to reflect the surrounding brick buildings of the Fannin Center, Joseph Reynolds Hall, and Allan Spivey Hall. The building itself was donated by Trustee Steve Buck and his wife Lynda after the idea for a pizza dinning option came to them at a Florida Southern Board of Trustees party.
Ruth's Rose Garden was dedicated in 2014 in honor of Ruth King Thrift, wife of former President Charles T. Thrift, Jr., and was given by the couple's daughters Nell Thrift, Helen Sue Thrift, and Mary Thrift Chambers as well as their son-in-law Carlisle Chambers. Since its creation, Dr. Malcolm Manners, internationally renowned rosarian and Chair of Florida Southern's Citrus and Horticultural Science program, has utilized the garden as a hands-on learning opportunity for his students. The horticulture students are responsible for pruning, transplanting, mulching, fertilizing, and propagating the rose garden. Ruth's Rose Garden is home to approximately 350 rose plants from 250 varieties.
On November 5, 2015, the Bill '65 and Mary Ann Becker Business Building was dedicated to citrus businessman R. William "Bill" Becker (Class of 1965) and his wife Mary Ann. Inside, the building provides state-of-the-art learning experiences to students, from a trade floor simulator to computer labs geared towards investment and trading strategies. The Becker Business Building is also home to the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise, which was dedicated in 2011 to Trustee Dr. Barney Barnett (Class of 1965) by his wife Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979) as a birthday present.
Henley Field was initially built in 1922 as an effort to draw professional baseball teams to train in the area and was later named after Clare "Doc" Henley, President of the Lakeland Baseball Club, who helped bring the Detroit Tigers to Lakeland for spring training. In 2013, the Jenkins Clubhouse was added and named after David Jenkins, the son of George Jenkins, the owner of the San Francisco Giants, and a supporter of Florida Southern's Athletics programs. In 2015, Florida Southern College purchased the field to officially make it their own after the Baseball team had been playing there for over 50 years. In 2017, the stadium itself was dedicated as the John Rodda Stadium in memory of Trustee John Rodda, a longtime supporter of Mocs Baseball and former volunteer Baseball coach.
On March 31, 2017, the campus was designated as a United Methodist Historic Site with the commemorative plaque located outside of Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.
In 2017, Florida Southern College partnered with and acquired the Polk Museum of Art. As a result, the College's Art History and Museum Studies Department was moved and housed in the museum itself. In 2022, the College announced that the museum would be undergoing a six million dollar expansion and renovation that would triple gallery space and add classrooms and art laboratories. Ground was broken for the new project on October 26, 2022.
Named for Trustee Joe P. Ruthven and his wife Judy, the Judy and Joe P. Ruthven Beach Volleyball Courts allowed for the sport to officially begin at Florida Southern in 2018. The courts are located in the Publix Charities Commons and Greek Quad and are utilized by not only the team, but also by students as a unique exercise opportunity.
Completed in 2017, the MocDock at Lake Hollingsworth's waterfront serves as a base for students to enjoy watersport activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding. Multiple Wellness Center events are also held on the MocDock every semester.
In 2017, a new admissions center was constructed to serve the growing needs of the College and heightened enrollment levels. The building, designed by Jeffrey Baker of the Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker firm, was completed in January 2018 and overlooks Lake Hollingsworth. It serves as the central office building for the enrollment department and the admissions department, boht of which which oversee programs like Southern Ambassadors, Day on Campus, and Scholars Weekend. The building was named for alumnus and NASCAR CEO Jim France (Class of 1968) and his wife Sharon.
The Garden Apartments complex, located in and named after Lakeland's Garden District, mirrors the traditional structures of housing on Ivy League campuses and was completed in 2018 to accommodate the rapid growth of Florida Southern's student body. The apartments are located at the corner of Ingraham Avenue and Lime Street and offer housing for upper-level students.
⮩ Formerly known as Barnett Athletic Field
In 2016, Florida Southern College announced the renovation of its on-campus athletic fields, which serve the Soccer teams, the Lacrosse teams, and the Softball team. Completion was scheduled for the end of 2017, but weather complications, including Hurricane Irma, delayed the project. In February 2018, the fields and facilities were completed and inaugurated with a ceremony led by President Anne Kerr. The softball field is named Chris Bellotto Field after Chris Bellotto (Class of 1980) who was Florida Southern's first ever Softball coach and led the 1993 team to the College's first NCAA Division II National Championship title in women's sports. Bellotto was part of the inaugural class of Florida Southern Athletics' Hall of Fame and retired in 2020 after a long coaching career. Initially, the soccer and lacrosse field had been named Moccasin Field; however, in 2021, the field was dedicated to Trustee Dr. Keith Berend (Class of 1992). In 2020, the Barnett Athletic Complex also served as a training location for the USA Softball team in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. Team USA returned to train at the Barnett Complex in 2021 when the games were rescheduled.
Dedicated on April 12, 2018, Patriots Plaza serves as a place of honor and remembrance for Florida Southern alumni and community members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The plaza was given by alumnus John J. "Jack" Smith (Class of 1953), and members of the community are also able to purchase bricks to be placed in the plaza. Located near the Barnett Athletic Complex, Patriots Plaza is often utilized by Florida Southern's ROTC program for battalion formations and ceremonies.
The Jean and Sal Campisi, Sr. Academic Center for Physical Therapy building was dedicated on November 15, 2019. The building is located in Lakeland's historic Dixieland District, and its design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The building houses the School of Physical Therapy, which received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education in 2021, just two years after the program started. In the building are state-of-the-art research and training technologies such as ceiling-mounted cameras and monitors in the study laboratories, plastinated cadaver specimens, portable ultrasound units, and cutting-edge balance and gait analysis systems. The center was named for Sal Campisi and his wife Jean, local philanthropists and founders of Lakeland's Regal Automotive Group.
The Lamar Louise Curry Education Center opened in February 2020 adjacent to the Roberts Academy. The center, alongside the Carol Jenkins Barnett Early Childhood Education Building, provides a space for ongoing collaboration between all education programs at the College. The center is named in honor of alumna Lamar Louise Curry (Class of 1927), a long-time Florida educator in U.S. History who passed away in 2012 at the age of 105.
Florida Southern's Carol Jenkins Barnett Center for Early Childhood Education was created in 2020 to provide a unique interdisciplinary program connecting the School of Education to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The center extends into the community through providing services and education training for local families, teachers, and members of the healthcare community. The center was named in honor of Dr. Carol Jenkins Barnett (Class of 1979) who had dedicated her life to philanthropy, community and enriching the educational experience for all.
The Star Apartments complex, located at the corner of Ingraham Avenue and East Palmetto Street, follows the model of the Garden Apartments. The first building was opened in the 2020 Spring semester with the other two buildings following soon after. Like the Garden Apartments, these apartments are available to upper-level students.
On November 16, 2018, Florida Southern broke ground on the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Computer Sciences Center. The structure is Frank Lloyd Wright inspired and houses not only classrooms, but collaborative learning spaces, a Cybersecurity and Informatics Lab, a Logistics Center Suite, and student technology centers. The construction came after the number of students in the major doubled in five years and opened in Fall 2021 in time for the new academic year. The center was named for Trustee Carole Weinstein and her husband Dr. Marcus Weinstein.
Located next to Dell Hall is the Reynolds-Chope Outdoor Space, which was created in 2021 to provide students with a safe place to gather outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The space was named after alumni Charles L. Reynolds, Jr. (Class of 1965) and his wife Anne (Class of 1966) as well as William A. Chope (Class of 1971) and his wife Jennifer.
On July 15, 2021, Florida Southern College announced the newly named Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences and that the graduate programs would housed in the former St. Joseph's Academy, once owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando. The Joe K. and Alberta Blanton Nursing Building on the main campus remains in use for the undergraduate programs.
Plans for the Adams Athletic Performance Center plans were initially announced in the fall of 2019. The Adams Center will provide a 5,000 square foot varsity weight room, a 40-person theatre for film review, a conference room that overlooks Lake Hollingsworth, and an academic center. The facility will also include office suites for women's and men's basketball, as well as women's and men's lacrosse, while also providing a state-of-the-art women's lacrosse locker room. Named for Trustee Robert J. Adams and his wife Ginny, the center was designed by the architect and Frank Lloyd Wright scholar M. Jeffery Baker of the Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker firm. Baker has also been the lead architect for the College's restorations of Wright's historic structures. The Adams Athletic Performance Center is anticipated to open in Spring 2024 and takes the place of the former L.N. Pipkin Bandshell, which was razed in August 2022.
Page Last Updated: Spring 2023