Distinguished Alumnus: R. Howard Wiggs ’86

Sep 17, 2020

by FSC Staff
Originally appeared in Southern News Magazine

Trustee R. Howard Wiggs ’86, a native of Mulberry, has carried forward the virtues of hard work, service to community, and faith in God that he learned growing up in Polk County.

In addition to his degree in business administration from Florida Southern, Mr. Wiggs is a graduate of the Florida School of Banking, and the School of Bank Marketing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was a vice president for commercial lending and a branch manager for Flagship Bank, and following its acquisition, a vice president of marketing for SunTrust Bank of Central Florida. For many years, he and his wife, Linda Bagley Wiggs, were the owners of Bagley Advertising, a successful firm in Lakeland. They recently began a consulting firm, Bagley Wiggs CoLab, which offers collaborative services in business, politics, and life coaching.

Mr. Wiggs was elected to the Lakeland City Commission in 1993, where he served with dedication and distinction for 21 years as a commissioner, after which he was elected to a four-year term as mayor. Known for his tireless promotion of the city, he worked as mayor to create a more favorable climate for business in the city; formed a roundtable among the area’s college presidents to encourage partnership with the business community; and encouraged the City Commission to fund and support Lakeland’s arts and cultural organizations. He retired from public service in January 2018.

In recognition of his significant community government,civic,and social service within the Lakeland area, Mr. Wiggs received the prestigious Jere Annis Award from Leadership Lakeland in 2013. He has been named to the Mulberry High School Hall of Fame and is a Distinguished Alumnus of Polk State College.

Mr. Wiggs has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Florida Southern College since 2004 and is a former president of the College’s Alumni Association. He remains active in his church and his community. He and Mrs. Wiggs have four children, Johnny, Christopher, Scott, and Kimber, and two grandchildren.