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Dr. Anne B. Kerr, President of Florida Southern College.

A Message from Dr. Robert L. Fryer, Jr. '70 Chairman of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees

Feb 16, 2024

Dr. Robert L. Fryer, Jr. ’70, Chairman of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Anne B. Kerr as President Emerita, upon the announcement of her retirement. Dr. Kerr formally announced her plans to retire in 2024 at today’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“It has been an honor and great blessing to serve as president of what I consider to be the finest small college in the nation. I am deeply grateful for the unflagging support of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees, the untiring commitment to excellence of an exceptional faculty, and the dedication and tireless work of the staff in fulfilling the College’s mission to provide a learning community that enables students to realize their dreams and make a consequential impact on society," said President Kerr.

The 17th President of Florida Southern, Kerr has served for 20 years transforming the College academically and physically, achieving a trajectory that has brought national recognition for excellence in academic programs, engaged learning, NCAA Division II athletics, and preservation and stewardship of the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

“It is difficult to adequately express the depth of our gratitude for President Kerr’s two decades of unswerving service to Florida Southern College,” said Chairman Fryer. “The profound impact she has made on the College will ensure an even brighter future than we could have envisioned. Her visionary leadership and dedication are unparalleled.”

Under Dr. Kerr’s leadership enrollment has grown to over 3,300 total students.  She has led Florida Southern College through an era of unparalleled achievements, which have resulted in Florida Southern's recognition as one of the nation's top-ranked colleges.  During her tenure, 22 new buildings have been constructed and 20 building expansions and renovations have been completed; FSC is recognized as a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars; and Frank Lloyd Wright restoration and campus beautification resulted in the College being named the “Most Beautiful Campus” in the nation. The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise was created in 2011 and is accredited by AACSB; a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program was launched in 2019 and nationally accredited; and the accredited Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing was named in 2021. The Roberts Academy at Florida Southern College was founded in 2010 as the only transitional school in Florida for talented second through eighth grade students with dyslexia serving not only the students and their parents, but providing exceptional training for the College’s education majors. Florida Southern also became affiliated with the Polk Museum of Art in 2017, now the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College, which hosts the College’s Art History and Museum Studies program.

A world-class faculty has been assembled with 27 endowed professorships funded across many academic disciplines. The Hollingsworth Scholarship Program was funded to recruit stellar students; this program covers all expenses for tuition, room, board, and travel abroad.  During Dr. Kerr's service, the FSC Athletic Department has won six national championships, and now is one of the top three Division II programs in the nation. Campus ministries are thriving, with the College being named the Top Christian College in 2022 by EdSmart. Florida Southern College is also nationally recognized for experiential education, earning the nation’s top award for engaged learning, the William Burke Award for Experiential Education.  FSC has the highest enrollment in its history, along with the highest credentials of enrolled students in its history.  Dr. Kerr led the “Believe Campaign” for FSC, which has raised $308 million.

Dr. Fryer stated that the College is positioned well to attract an outstanding leader to continue the FSC trajectory and build upon the long history of excellence for which FSC is widely recognized.  Dr. Fryer is leading the search committee comprised of Trustees.  He indicated that the search process will begin in February and conclude when the 18th President of Florida Southern College has been selected by the search committee.  Dr. Kerr will continue as president until the successor arrives.

Dr. Kerr graduated from Mercer University with her bachelor’s degree and received her master’s degree and doctorate from Florida State University. Prior to coming to Florida Southern, she was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Richmond after previous executive roles as Vice President at Rollins College and Assistant Dean at the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Kerr is married to Dr. Roy Kerr, and the couple have one son, Edward B. Kerr, an attorney residing in Lakeland.