Florida Southern College
The oldest private college in Florida, Florida Southern College was founded in Orlando in 1883 as South Florida Institute.
Soon afterward, it moved to Leesburg. In 1885, a college curriculum was added and the college was opened to male and female students. In 1901, the college moved to Sutherland, now Palm Harbor, and in 1906, it was renamed Southern College. The college temporarily moved to Clearwater from 1921 to 1922, and in 1922, it moved again to the shores of Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland. In 1935, the Trustees adopted the name Florida Southern College.
Despite changes in name and location, the College’s affiliation with the Methodist Church has remained constant, shaping its mission and traditions.
Mission and Vision
Florida Southern College is a place for doers and dreamers… for the involved and the invested… for those who consistently rise to the expectations set before them… for anyone who takes a risk… for everyone who says, "I'm in."
The mission of Florida Southern College is to prepare students through dynamic engaged learning to make a positive and consequential impact on society.
Florida Southern College will achieve national recognition for providing a transformational education for students through its distinctive synthesis of liberal arts and professional programs and focus on student development through co-curricular and service learning programs. It will become a national model for engaged learning in order to achieve the learning outcomes students need to thrive in a global society. As a result of its pragmatic approach to liberal learning, the global perspective of its academic programs, effective engaged learning pedagogy, and distinctive learning outcomes in all disciplines, Florida Southern will ascend to the top 25 comprehensive colleges/universities in its Carnegie classification. Maintaining its affiliation with the United Methodist Church, Florida Southern will serve as the preeminent mid-size institution within the denomination, always striving to foster students’ spiritual growth.
Florida Southern is a remarkable institution characterized by an unparalleled commitment to students and exceptional learning experiences.