Rollins College - History

History

Rollins was incorporated, organized, and named in the Lyman Park building in nearby Sanford, Florida on 28 April 1885,three years after Stetson University was opened, opening for classes in Winter Park on November 4th of that year by New England Congregationalists who sought to bring their style of liberal arts education to the frontier St. John's basin. A commemorative plaque listing the names of the founders was dedicated 28 April 1935 and is displayed in historic Downtown Sanford. Rollins College is Florida's oldest post-secondary institution, and has been independent, nonsectarian, and coeducational from conception. In March of 1936 during a visit to Central Florida, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was conferred an honorary degree in literature at the Knowles Chapel on campus. Other U.S. Presidents who have visited the campus include Calvin Coolidge (1930), Harry Truman (1949), Ronald Reagan (1976; prior to his 1980 election), and Barack Obama (2012)

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