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Rollins College is a liberal arts college located in Winter Park, Floridamarker, United Statesmarker, a suburb of Orlando, Floridamarker. Its current president is Lewis Duncan. Rollins College is situated on the south side of downtown Winter Parkmarker, along the shores of Lake Virginia.

Founded in 1885 by New Englandmarker Congregationalist who sought to bring their style of liberal arts education to what was then the Floridamarker frontier, Rollins is the oldest university in the state of Florida. Today, it has more than 1,700 undergraduate students. Its campus contains a range of amenities, including a theater for performing arts, the Cornell Campus Center, and the Alfond Sports Center.

U.S. News & World Report has recognized its Crummer Graduate School of Business among the top 25 part-time professional MBA programs nationwide. More recently, U.S. News & World Report reported that Rollins College ranks number one among 121 Southern master's-level universities in the annual rankings of America's Best Colleges. Crummer is consistently ranked by Forbes magazine among the best business schools for return on investment. The Hamilton Holt School evening studies division offers undergraduate and graduate courses.

Rollins is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South. It is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top liberal arts Master's degree-granting educational institution in the South.

Schools and degree programs

Rollins has three schools that offer a variety of programs: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Hamilton Holt School, and the Crummer Graduate School of Business.

College of Arts and Sciences

Old Knowles Hall, 1886-1909, the college's first classroom building
The College of Arts and Sciences has approximately 1,770 students and a student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1. Ninety-two percent of the faculty possess a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field. The College offers twenty-eight undergraduate majors and a variety of interdisciplinary programs that allow students to design their own courses of study.

Like many liberal arts programs, the College of Arts & Sciences operates on the philosophy that students should receive a well-rounded education regardless of their chosen specialty. As such, completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree requires the 140 credits required for graduation to be approximately evenly derived from general education courses, major/minor courses, and elective courses.

Classes in the College of Arts and Sciences are typically worth four credits, in contrast to the traditional 3 credits per class structure of many American Universities. The college also requires 140 credit hours to graduate instead of the traditional 120.

Hamilton Holt School

The Hamilton Holt School offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in a variety of majors as well as several graduate degrees. Like the College of Arts & Sciences, the undergraduate program at the Hamilton Holt School requires a combination of general education courses, major/minor courses, and electives. Unlike its residential counterpart, however, the Hamilton Holt School targets adults seeking professional advancement and therefore schedules most courses in the evenings and on weekends. Students enrolled in the Hamilton Holt program pay tuition per credit hour and are not eligible for on-campus housing. The fall 2009 cost per credit hour is $375 ($1500 per course / 4cr.)

The Hamilton Holt School requires 140 hours to graduate; therefore, the tuition cost of a Hamilton Holt degree for a new student (not including textbooks) is $52,500. (This does not include yearly tuition increases.)

Graduate programs offered through the Hamilton Holt School include:
  • Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education (for new uncertified graduates)
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education (for established certified teachers)
  • Master of Human Resources
  • Master of Liberal Studies

In addition the college recently eliminated an MA in Corporate Communications and Technology and in 2004, after 53 years, closed a Brevard County campus due to lack of enrollment.

Crummer Graduate School of Business

The Crummer Graduate School of Business offers a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in four different programs:
  • The Early Advantage MBA Program is a 21-month full-time program designed for recent college graduates with little to no work experience.
  • The Corporate MBA Program (formerly Executive MBA program) is a 19-month program designed for current or potential senior executives with classes meeting on alternating Fridays and Saturdays.
  • The Professional MBA Program is a 32-month evening program designed for working professionals who wish to advance their careers to a management and/or executive level.
  • The Saturday MBA Program is a 19-month program designed for current managers, entrepreneurs, or executives with several years of work experience. Classes meet all day on Saturdays only.

The Crummer School also offers a Management and Executive Education program. This program targets organizations that wish to provide training and development to their current or future managers and executives. While courses in this program do not generally lead to a degree, they are tailored to the specific requests of the client organizations. Courses may be single-day training workshops or a long-term program of study, and the may be conducted on the college campus or another site selected by the client.

Special programs

Honors Degree Program

The Honors Degree Program allows the top students in each entering class of the College of Arts and Sciences to complete a series of special interdisciplinary seminars, which replace approximately two-thirds of the school's general education requirements. To earn an honors degree, students must also complete a thesis in their major field during their junior and senior years.

Accelerated Management Program (AMP)

The Accelerated Management Program allows selected students to earn both a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences and an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business in a total of five years. Students enrolled in this program must complete all general education and major/minor requirements prior to the conclusion of their third year. In their fourth year, students take courses from the Early Advantage MBA program, from which credits are applied to both their undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Upon completion of the fourth year, AMP students graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences and walk with their class at commencement. In the fifth year, students complete the MBA degree and graduate a second time.

Rollins College Conference (RCC)

The Rollins College Conference, taken in the first semester of a student's freshman year, is required of all non-transfer students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The course serves as both an orientation course and a topic course in a student's area of interest. The professor for this course will serve as the enrolled students' academic advisor until they select a major and choose a new advisor from the corresponding department. One or two peer mentors (upperclassmen with special training) join the course and offer counseling and support to the new students. The conference also contains a fourth hour time block each week where students participate in bonding and socialization activities.

International programs

All three schools at Rollins offer international courses to destinations such as Londonmarker, Sydneymarker, and Madridmarker, among others. Some programs are offered directly through Rollins, while others are offered through partnerships with other colleges and universities. Students may study abroad for a week or an entire semester.


The school's sports teams are called the Tars (an archaic name for a sailor). They participate in the Sunshine State Conference of the NCAA's Division II.

Sports sanctioned by the NCAA include basketball, baseball (men), softball (women), cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, rowing, volleyball, sailing, tennis, waterskiing (coeducational), swimming, and diving.

In 1974, the women's golf team won the AIAW national championship.

Notable alumni

Historic sites

Peace memorial

In 2000, a New York Times editorial took notice of Rollins College's Peace Memorial.

Erected in 1938 and dedicated on Armistice Day by college president Hamilton Holt, it consists of a German artillery shell, surrendered by Germany at the end of the First World War, mounted on a pedestal, bearing this inscription:

Pause, passerby and hang your head in shame

This Engine of Destruction, Torture and Death Symbolizes:
The Prostitution of the Inventor
The Avarice of the Manufacturer
The Blood-guilt of the statesman
The Savagery of the Soldier
The Perverted Patriotism of the Citizen
The Debasement of the Human Race

That it can be Employed as an Instrument of Defense of Liberty, Justice and Right in Nowise Invalidates the Truth of the Words Here Graven.

:—Hamilton Holt

The top half of the monument was stolen by vandals during World War II, but the bottom half survives and is in the stairwell leading to the second floor of the Mills Memorial building.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

The Cornell Fine Arts Museummarker is located on the school grounds and contains works of art and objects from antiquity to the 21st century. The museum was built instead of what would have been the Ackland Art Museummarker at Rollins; millionaire and amateur art collector William Hayes Ackland wanted to leave his fortune to a Southern university for an art museum and narrowed his choices to Duke Universitymarker, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillmarker, and Rollins, in that order. After Ackland's death, Duke refused the request and UNC and Rollins, excised from Ackland's final will, both brought suit to locate Ackland's museum on their campuses. In a case that went to the United States Supreme Courtmarker, Ackland's trustees sided with UNC, but a lower court ruled for Rollins; a higher court finally granted the bequest to UNC. Rollins was represented in the case by former U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings.

Knowles Memorial Chapel

Knowles Memorial Chapel

The Knowles Memorial Chapel is a historic chapel on the Rollins campus. On December 8, 1997, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Walk of Fame

The Rollins Walk of Fame consists of more than 500 stones taken from houses of historic people including Christopher Columbus, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others.


During the presidency of Hamilton Holt in the 1930s, Rollins abolished lectures and final exams.


  • In October 1994, the school made international headlines when the government of Japanmarker, per the request of Okinawa Prefecturemarker, asked for the return of a statue that was taken as war loot by Clinton C. Nichols, a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy and Rollins graduate after the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Nichols presented the statue of Ninomiya Sontoku, a prominent 19th century Japanese agricultural leader, philosopher, moralist and economist to then President Hamilton Holt who promised to keep the statue in the main lobby of the Warren Administration Building forever. At first, the school rejected the offer made by Okinawan officials, who suggested that a replica of the statue will be presented to the school if the original was returned to the island; however, after consulting both with State Departmentmarker and the school's board of trustees, then President Rita Bornstein accepted the offer and the statue was returned to Okinawa in 1995 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. In addition to providing the school with a replica of the original statue, the government of Okinawa and Rollins signed an "an agreement of cooperation" that pledges to develop additional cooperative projects between the college and Shogaku Junior and Senior High School, the Okinawan school where the original statue has been placed.

  • On March 31, 1998, the body of Jennifer Leah Kairis, a sophomore student, was found in her Ward Hall dormitory room by a residential assistant. At first, the assistant medical examiner at the Orange Countymarker coroner's office ruled Kairis' death as a homicide. However, that conclusion was quickly changed after Dr. Shashi Gore, the county's chief medical examiner ruled that she had died as a result of an accidental prescription drug overdose. Kairis' parents, who always believed their daughter was raped and murdered by her college boyfriend, requested a lengthy state investigation into their daughter's death due to their belief that the Winter Park Police Department botched the case. On March 4, 2004, Dr. Bruce Hyma, the Miami-Dade Countymarker chief medical examiner and expert toxicologist hired by Orange Countymarker State Attorney Lawson Lamar ruled that Kairis had committed suicide via a prescription drug overdose. The seven year investigation was officially closed on April 13, 2005. Regardless of the investigation's outcome, the Kairis family asked then Governor Jeb Bush, to bring in an outside medical examiner to take another look at the case and autopsy results and order an independent investigation of their daughter's death to resolve what they called the "Dueling Medical Examiners."

See also


  4. "A Question of Leadership," William H. Honanalso, The New York Times,January 26, 2000, p. 8; also online
  5. Image: Holt's Peace Memorial (as originally erected)
  6. Personal communication , Rollins College library
  7. Okinawa Seeks Return Of Statue from The New York Times, October 24, 1994.
  8. College Is Returning Statue to Okinawa from The New York Times, November 5, 1994.
  9. New Twist in Cultural Saga from The New York Times, May 27, 1996.
  10. Unsolved slayings may lack expertise: A Rollins case has been debated because some experts think a killer has gone free from The Orlando Sentinel March 28, 2004.
  11. Toxicologist Rules Death Of Rollins Student Overdose from WPBF March 5, 2004
  12. Death Of Rollins Student Ruled Suicide from WPBF April 14, 2005

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