Florida Southern College

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Florida Southern College
FSC seal.png
Motto Lux Sapientia Lex
(Latin: "Light, Wisdom, Law")
Established 1883
Affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment US $55 million (2011)[1]
President Anne B. Kerr
Academic staff
116 [2]
Students 2,334
Undergraduates 2,200
Postgraduates 134
Location Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Campus 100 acres (0.4 km²)
Colors Scarlet and White ‹See Tfm›    ‹See Tfm›    
Nickname Moccasins
Website http://www.flsouthern.edu
Florida Southern College logo.png

Florida Southern College (commonly referred to as Florida Southern, Southern or FSC) is a private college located in Lakeland, Florida, United States. In 2013, the student population at FSC consisted of 2,200 undergraduate students along and 134 graduate students with 116 full-time faculty members. The college offers 50 undergraduate majors and pre-professional programs as well as graduate programs for nursing, business, and education.[2]

Florida Southern is the home of the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.[3] For its 2011 and 2012 rankings, The Princeton Review selected Florida Southern's campus as the most beautiful in the country.[4][5]

Florida Southern has won 28 national titles in NCAA Division II competition in several sports, most notably baseball, golf, swimming, and basketball. The college’s official mascot is Mocsie the water moccasin, but they are also referenced by their nickname, the Mocs.[6] The official colors of the college and its athletic teams are scarlet and white.


The college was founded as South Florida Institute in Orlando, Florida in 1856, and moved to nearby Leesburg in 1885 (some debate this to be the true establishment) under the sponsorship of the United Methodist Church and was open to both male and female students. It moved to Sutherland (now Palm Harbor) in 1901, and changed its name to Southern College in 1906. Due to fires in the early 1920s it was temporarily relocated to Clearwater Beach and then to Lakeland in 1922. In 1935 it was renamed Florida Southern College by the Board of Trustees.[7]


The present campus comprises some 64 buildings on 100 acres (405,000 m²) of land and is home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.[8] The campus itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, due to the historical significance of its buildings. In 2011 and 2012, it was selected as the most beautiful campus in America by The Princeton Review. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed it as one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States, and noted that it was recently put under watch by the World Monument Fund as an endangered cultural site.[9]

The College has undergone many changes to its infrastructure in the last few years. In 2009, the Robert A. M. Stern-designed Barnett Residential Life Center was completed. The complex includes Nicholas and Wesley Halls, and houses up to 235 students in lake-view rooms designed to complement Frank Lloyd Wright's existing architecture on campus.[10] Meanwhile in 2008, Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker bestowed to the school $1.5 million to construct a technology center. The 4,000 square foot Rinker Technology Center opened its doors in March, 2010.[11]

Besides improving the campus proper, FSC has also expanded outward by acquiring properties in adjacent neighborhoods. In 2011, the school bought, renovated, and furnished Lake Morton Apartments for $5.7 million. As part of the Pathway to Independence Program, upperclassmen and graduate students who are in good standing may be invited to live at this location.[12]

Collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture[edit]

Annie Pfeiffer Chapel
Main article: Child of the Sun

The collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College is called Child Of The Sun. This includes:[8]

  • Annie Pfeiffer Chapel – First completed Frank Lloyd Wright building, begun 1938, dedicated 1941, French-door balconies restored in 2007
  • Buckner Building (originally the Roux Library) – begun 1942, completed 1946
  • Ordway Building (originally the Industrial Arts Building) – begun 1950, completed 1952
  • Danforth Chapel – begun 1954, completed 1955
  • Polk County Science Building (commonly known as Polk Science) – begun 1952, completed 1958
  • Watson Fine Building (administration building) – begun 1946, completed 1949
  • Water Dome – partially completed 1949, fully completed and restored in 2007 to Wright's original plans
  • Three Seminars or The L A Raulerson Building (currently the Business Office) – begun 1940, completed 1942, and underwent renovations into one office building in 1958
  • The Esplanades – various completion times, currently undergoing restoration around the campus
  • Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, also known as the Usonian House, a visitor center and exhibition space being constructed according to Wright's 1939 designs for faculty housing

Residential Life[edit]

Residence Halls

  • Allan Spivey (Freshmen Men)
  • Joseph Reynolds (Freshmen Women)
  • Hollis
  • Miller
  • Dell
  • Jenkins
  • Publix Commons (includes all sorority houses and most fraternity houses)
  • Wesley Hall (first completed building of the Barnett Residential Life Center, completed Fall 2008)
  • Nicholas Hall (second building of the Barnett Residential Life Center, completed Fall 2009)
  • Colony Arms Apartment
  • Lake Morton Apartment
  • Lake Hollingsworth Apartment


Florida Southern College has over 50 undergraduate majors in a variety of disciplines and offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. At the graduate level, the school offers the degrees Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, and Master of Science in Nursing. The college has announced plans to offer Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degrees.

Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise[edit]

In 2011, the College announced an undisclosed contribution from Carol Jenkins Barnett ('79) in honor of her husband, Barney Barnett ('65). The funds would be used to establish the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. This gesture came shortly after Richard W. "Bill" Becker ('65) gifted $5 million to the School for the construction of a new undergraduate business building. Construction of the Becker Undergraduate Business Building and the Graduate and Executive Building is scheduled to begin late 2012 or early 2013. Like the Barnett Residential Life Center, these two buildings will also be designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern[13]

Undergraduate students at the Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise study in one of three programs: Accounting, Business Administration, or Economics. The School also allows students to focus on career tracks in Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Sport Management. The Barnett School also offers the Master of Business Administration to full-time students in its 16-month accelerated program, as well as part-time students in the form of evening and Saturday classes. The Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise was accredited by AACSB-International in 2013.

Natural sciences[edit]

Lectures and offices of the Department of Natural Sciences are held in the Polk County Science Building (Polk Science). The three primary divisions within the department are Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics.


The Division of Biology offers the Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB; in conjunction with the Division of Chemistry), and Environmental Studies. Research courses are required for upper division students, and give students the opportunity to conduct research and present their results at the semiannual Department of Natural Sciences Poster Competition.

Fine arts[edit]

The music department offers the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Music in performance, the Bachelor of Music Education, and the Bachelor of Science in Music Management. The department maintains several successful large ensembles, including the wind ensemble, symphony band, jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, and several choral groups. Each large ensemble is featured in concert at least once every semester on the Festival of Fine Arts. Smaller chamber ensembles include the flute choir, clarinet choir, saxophone choir, horn choir, trumpet choir, trombone choir, tuba choir, cello choir, viola choir, percussion ensemble, and vocal chamber ensemble. The opera theater usually produces one fully staged opera or opera gala every academic year. The music faculty are highly accomplished performers and teachers, and over the years have been joined by internationally acclaimed performers Beverly Wolff and Robert MacDonald.

The theater department puts on five mainstage shows a year in the Buckner Theater, including two musicals. A musical theatre major was added in Fall 2013.

The College's Festival of Fine Arts is the longest running in Polk County, and has hosted world-renowned artists Kathleen Battle, André Watts, I Musici di Roma, Jennifer Larmore, Sylvia McNair, and The Munich Symphony Orchestra.


Florida Southern Mocs logo

Florida Southern's athletic teams are known as the Moccasins, often shortened to Mocs. Prior to 1926, Florida Southern athletes were known as the Southerners. The official colors are scarlet and white, though athletes sport red, white, and blue uniforms. Florida Southern is a NCAA Division II institution, the college's athletic teams participate in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC). Florida Southern has won 28 NCAA Division II championships. In 2015, the Men's Basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship in Evansville, IN, with Kevin Capers named tournament MVP as well as first team all-American.[14]

Student life[edit]

As of 2015, Florida Southern College's student population consisted of 2,234 students, of which 2,200 were undergraduate students.[2] The college offers a number of ways to participate in student life options including fraternities, sororities, student organizations and honor societies.


Students are required to attend the monthly Convocation, held in the Branscomb Auditorium. Past speakers include: Conservationist Jeff Corwin, Herbert Fisk Johnson III of S. C. Johnson, Jamie Tworkowski of To Write Love on Her Arms, New York Times' best-selling author Da Chen, and author-businessman Stephen Covey.[15][16]

There are six women's sororities and seven men's fraternities on the Florida Southern College campus. Fraternity and sorority members are actively involved in various aspects of campus life and help support each other through attendance of social and philanthropic events.

Greek life[edit]



Student organizations[edit]

The college has over 80 student organizations on campus, including: Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary), Sigma Tau Delta (English honors society), Beta Beta Beta (Biology Academic Fraternity), Delta Sigma Pi (Business Fraternity), Circle K International (Service Organization, College branch of Kiwanis), Delta Omicron (Chapter Alpha Phi, International Professional Music Fraternity), Southern Heat (Dance Team), Interlachen (Yearbook), The Southern (Newspaper), Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Fraternity), Psi Chi (Psychology Fraternity), Sigma Rho Epsilon (Religious Community Service Fraternity), Theta Chi Beta (Gimel Chapter, Religion Honorary), and Phi Alpha Delta (Law Fraternity, International). FSC also has a number of Campus Ministries such as: Beyond, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Newman Club (former Catholic campus ministry), Sandwich Ministry (ministry to the homeless community), Upper Room Ministries, and Wesley Fellowship (United Methodist Campus Ministry).[17]

Florida Southern College in Media[edit]

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, Esplanades, and the Hindu Gardens appeared in an episode of seaQuest DSV, an American science fiction television series.[18] The Florida Southern campus was also featured in the Adam Sandler movie, The Waterboy (in particular, the medulla oblongata scene, which was filmed in Edge Hall).[19] Characters from the webcomic Shotgun Shuffle are shown enrolled in the school and feature drawings of buildings from the campus.[20]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni include Major League outfielder Matt Joyce, professional golfers Lee Janzen and Rocco Mediate, two bishops of the United Methodist Church, and numerous legends of the citrus industry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011" (PDF). 2011 NACUBO: Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "About FSC: Fast Facts". Florida Southern College. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ Rhodes, Russell (February 6, 2015). "Frank Lloyd Wright collection at Florida Southern". My Fox Tampa Bay. Fox 13 News. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ Harrington, Rebecca (August 11, 2011). "The 10 Most Beautiful Campuses". Huffington Post. 
  5. ^ "Princeton Review: WVU Beats Ohio U. for Top Party School". CBS News. April 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Florida Southern College". Forbes. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ https://www.flsouthern.edu/pubrel/history.htm
  8. ^ a b Allen, Greg (October 8, 2007). "Restoring a Campus-Full of Frank Lloyd Wright". NPR. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ "America's Most Beautiful College Campuses", Travel+Leisure (September 2011)
  10. ^ http://www.ramsa.com/projects-search/academic/barnett-residential-life-center.html
  11. ^ https://www.flsouthern.edu/news.asp?ACTION=view&ID=810
  12. ^ http://www.theledger.com/article/20110817/NEWS/110819516?tc=ar
  13. ^ https://www.flsouthern.edu/news.asp?ACTION=view&ID=910
  15. ^ https://www.flsouthern.edu/student_life/convo/attendance.htm
  16. ^ http://www.flsouthern.edu/KCMS/Student-Life/Convocation.aspx
  17. ^ "Student Life". Florida Southern College. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  18. ^ Namey, Rick (August 13, 1995). "Cattle Call On The Seaquest". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ Stuewe, Bob (February 6, 2011). "County Made Cameos in Several Feature-Length Films". The Ledger. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Shotgun Shuffle Archive". Shotgun Shuffle. February 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°01′53″N 81°56′51″W / 28.03138°N 81.94745°W / 28.03138; -81.94745