Rollins Magazine Fall 2021

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The Campaign for Rollins College

Where Will You Guide Your Light?

Helping a student land a life-changing internship. Providing hundreds of Tars with cuttingedge technology. Inspiring a new generation of dreamers and doers by investing in our unique academic model. There are many ways to give and to become part of Brighter Together’s powerful collective impact, but one thing is universal: When you support Rollins, you create opportunities for our students to lead meaningful change in the world. How will you join us in making Rollins brighter together? To help you answer that question, we’ve created this guide to the campaign’s five priorities. So dive in, discover the myriad ways to make an impact, and determine how you’ll help create a brighter tomorrow for Rollins and future generations of Tars.

Rooted in Rigor

I’m majoring in biochemistry, and because of your generosity, I have been able to conduct research with my professor. Your gift has made such a difference in my life. — Dania Ramos ’22

Fiat Lux isn’t just a random motto. At Rollins, our goal is to shed light on topics that touch on nearly every industry. It’s just one of the ways we’re fueling collaboration and innovation between expert faculty, staff, and the global leaders of tomorrow. When you support academics at Rollins, you give students like Dania Ramos ’22 the opportunity to conduct original research and forge close bonds with faculty mentors, an experience that will give her an edge when she applies to medical school next year. Academic Strength

Supporting academic strength means:

☐ I am fully behind Rollins’ reputation as one of the best places to receive a rigorous, well-rounded education. ☐ I want to ensure that Rollins has the resources to nurture and expand its signature interdisciplinary core curriculum. ☐ I want to invest in the recruitment and retention of an outstanding faculty, making Rollins a destination for the world’s brightest scholars, teachers, and mentors. ☐ I believe in the College’s mission to prepare every Rollins student for global citizenship and responsible leadership and to empower them to lead meaningful lives and flourish in productive careers. Turn to page 8 to learn more about how to support Rollins’ unique academic model.

Fueling an Engine of Opportunity

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Think of Rollins as a diverse incubator for talent regardless of socioeconomic status. Your gift of financial support directly impacts students like Chloe Mikolasik ’22, a communication studies major minoring in global health who recently made the Dean’s List.

Without your help, I wouldn’t be able to attend my dream school. I’m so grateful for your support. — Chloe Mikolasik ’22

Supporting scholarships and financial aid means:

☐ I want to provide a pathway to life-changing opportunities for Rollins students by helping alleviate financial burdens. ☐ I believe in paying it forward to help the generations that come after me have access to the full Rollins experience. ☐ It’s important that all promising students have the opportunity to attend Rollins, regardless of background. Turn to page 16 to learn more about how to support scholarships and financial aid at Rollins.

A Bridge to Everywhere

Applied Learning

Applied learning—the idea that doing is the best way to learn—is at the heart of everything we do at Rollins. Your support of engaged, interdisciplinary learning directly impacts students like Jayson Banton ’22, a music major minoring in secondary education who regularly performs with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park.

Supporting applied learning means:

☐ I believe that real-world experiences like internships, community engagement, and study abroad help students find their purpose and prepare them for professional success. ☐ I want to help ensure that students have the financial freedom to pursue professional development and service learning opportunities. ☐ I believe that empowering students to put their ideas to work in the world allows them to hone their skills and gives them a competitive edge after graduation. Turn to page 32 to learn more about how to support applied learning opportunities at Rollins.

My Rollins courses and experiences allow me to grow in knowledge and shift my perspective. I’m so grateful to you for the opportunity to make the world a better place. — Jayson Banton ’22

A Fund Fit for All

Being able to participate in athletics at Rollins on the sailing team has meant the world to me. — Angelina Khourisader ’22

Gifts to The Rollins Annual Fund go to work immediately by helping meet our students’ The Rollins Annual Fund greatest and most urgent needs, supporting everything from championship athletics to a campus that inspires creativity. Just ask students like Angelina Khourisader ’22, a member of the Rollins sailing team and computer science major who has grown as a leader both on and off the water.

Supporting The Rollins Annual Fund means:

☐ I want to ensure that Rollins has the best educational resources, including the latest classroom and laboratory technology. ☐ I’d like to support our students in a variety of ways, from advising to study abroad opportunities. ☐ I want to make sure that Rollins has the resources it needs to respond to unforeseeable challenges like a global pandemic. ☐ Rollins had a huge impact on my life, and I want to help enhance the power and prestige of a Rollins degree.

Turn to page 24 to learn more about how to support The Rollins Annual Fund.

Groundwork for Greatness

Rollins’ latest expansion project will co-locate three crucial hubs—the newly minted Rollins Museum Innovation Triangle of Art, an expanded Alfond Inn, and the Crummer Graduate School of Business—in downtown Winter Park, further strengthening the connection between campus and our larger community. These cuttingedge facilities will directly benefit students like Emelia Lonsdale ’22, an art history major who recently curated an exhibit at the Rollins Museum of Art.

Supporting The Innovation Triangle means:

Attending Rollins was a dream I never believed was possible, but with the help of generous donors like you, my dream became within reach. — Emelia Lonsdale ’22

☐ Rollins is a cornerstone of the Winter Park community, and I support any project that strengthens that bond. ☐ I am invested in the College’s continued growth as a vibrant hub of arts and culture. ☐ I’d like to support The Alfond Inn in its effort to provide full scholarships to the best and brightest students. ☐ I want to help create a new facility for the Crummer Graduate School of Business to encourage better connectivity of people, ideas, learning, and pedagogy. Turn to page 40 to learn more about how to support The Innovation Triangle. | 1

By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA

Living our Legacy As we launch a campaign for the future of Rollins, we do so with that same spark of philanthropy and vision that started it all.

On April 28, 1885, New England Congregationalists led by visionary Lucy Cross founded our state’s first college, bringing the light of education to the frontier of Florida. Ever since, Rollins has been on the forefront of progress, and at the center of that progress has always been a foundation of philanthropy. “Rollins would not be where we are today without the generous contributions of so many people who had a heart for this great institution,” says Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “Our history is filled with story after story of visionaries who helped us forge new eras of growth and progress.”

Taking Root

From exploring the universe to employing female faculty like science professor Eva Root (pictured here on campus in 1890), Rollins has been forging a path of progress from the very beginning. Photo courtesy Rollins College Archives

It all started with a $50,000 gift from Chicago textile magnate Alonzo W. Rollins to establish a college in Winter Park, Florida, a tiny resort town where he made annual pilgrimages. From there, the College went about laying the groundwork for the future, receiving transformative gifts from venerable names that remain prominent across campus and the local community. Names like Frederick Lyman, Frances Knowles, and Charles Hosmer Morse, who were instrumental to early building campaigns and financing the endowment fund. Winter Park co-founder Loring Chase bequeathed money for a men’s dormitory. Carrying the torch in subsequent years, a new generation of donors has included Francis Knowles Warren (Knowles Memorial Chapel and Warren Administrative Building), George and Harriet Cornell (Cornell Fine Arts Center, Cornell Hall, and Cornell Campus Center), Archibald and Edyth Bush (Bush Science Center and The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation), and many others. Rollins’ first century was marked by countless gifts—big and small— that created both the structural and | 5

programmatic foundation for the College. From establishing scholarships and endowing permanent department chairs to erecting athletic venues and constructing residence halls, the ethos of Rollins College began to take shape.

Gaining Momentum In recent history, Rollins has made great strides in creating an educational model rooted in academic rigor, relational learning, and hands-on experiences. This progress, combined with ongoing enhancements to the physical campus that allow us to meet the evolving needs of the 21st century, has been made possible by the generosity of alumni, family, and friends. For decades, the Alfond family has left an indelible mark at Rollins, with a legacy that includes, among other key pillars, an eponymous baseball stadium and sports center, endowed athletic and academic scholarships, a vast collection of contemporary art that’s drawing national recognition, and $12.5 million toward construction of The Alfond Inn. An avid supporter of the music program, Virginia Nelson, whose daughters attended Rollins, donated $10 million upon her death in 1992. Former trustee Thomas P. Johnson gave $3 million to create the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program and establish a student resource center. Three-time board chair Charles Edward Rice donated $1 million toward the bookstore. Today, thanks to the support of donations that cover a wide spectrum of amounts and causes, students are flourishing on a revitalized campus that features modern landmarks like Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, the new hub for applied learning and mentorship, and Lakeside Neighborhood, a stateof-the-art residential community. 6 | Fall 2021

More than a century after Eva Root and her pupils turned their sights to the sky, Rollins students now do the same. They look up at that same sky but with the knowledge that comes with progress are able to ask different questions of the stars. Photo by Scott Cook

Our graduates are heading out into the world armed with a competitive advantage thanks to new scholarships that elevate opportunities for studentfaculty collaboration, real-world experience, and purposeful mentorship. Thanks to donors like you, there is greater demand for a Rollins education than at any other point in our history, and the College, our academic and athletic programs, and our people continue to be recognized among the best in the nation.

Creating a Brighter Tomorrow More than 135 years after that first spark, our vision for a more brilliant future has never been clearer. Through an unprecedented $275 million campaign, we will create a brighter tomorrow—for our students and for the society they will lead—and you can be a shining light on this new path. To truly succeed, this historic endeavor requires collective commitment from every corner of campus and every member of our community. “By giving to the campaign,” says President Cornwell, “everyone has the opportunity to help shape the next version of Rollins, one that ensures our leadership in the marketplace for years to come. Through your contributions, we will be better poised to meet the challenges ahead and continue delivering on our mission to create the next generation of global citizens and responsible leaders.”

Read on to discover the many ways you can support Rollins’ next era of brilliance. | 7

Academic Strength

ROOTED in RIGOR By investing in the strength of Rollins’ unique academic model, we continue to embolden our position as one of the country’s best and most innovative liberal arts institutions.

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By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS | Photos by Scott Cook

If the large oak tables in Orlando Hall could talk, they’d tell a history of a college on the forefront of progress. They’d speak of the students and faculty who have gathered around them for nearly a century in pursuit of knowledge and connection. They’d tell the story of a liberal arts education at work—of the changes in teaching over time, yes, but also of the constant center: the spark that occurs when diverse minds and ideas converge. It is the story of rigorous learning in intimate environments where students develop broad-based knowledge alongside a suite of skills like creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative teamwork, and clear communication that are immune to the fastpaced fluctuations of our ever-evolving world. And it’s a story that’s being told far and wide—and garnering the recognition it rightly deserves. Phi Beta Kappa (PBK)—the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society—recently voted to establish a chapter at Rollins, making the College one of the less than 10 percent of U.S. institutions to host a PBK chapter. The membership will provide students the opportunity to join a notable group of scholars that includes 17 U.S. presidents, 42 U.S. Supreme Court justices, and more than 150 Nobel laureates—an accomplishment earned after a scrupulous three-year vetting process that examined every aspect of the College’s academic experience, from the rigor of the curriculum to the credentials and scholarship of the faculty. “Earning a Phi Beta Kappa chapter recognizes Rollins’ commitment to liberal arts education and acknowledges the academic excellence of the institution,” says political science professor Don Davison, who led the application committee. “Receiving a Phi Beta Kappa chapter is a collective achievement of Rollins’ faculty, staff, and students who embrace and nurture free inquiry, diversity of ideas, a life of the mind, and ethical citizenship.” But what’s drawing acclaim is not just what’s happening in isolation around those oak tables—or in Bush Science Center’s finely tuned labs or on the Annie Russell Theatre’s iconic stage. It is how students are putting the skills and knowledge they’re gaining in the classroom to the test. This combination of classroom learning and real-world application helped Rollins become the first liberal arts college to be selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering Scholars. And one of only 30 colleges around the globe chosen for the United Nations’

Millennium Fellowship in 2018. And a top producer of Fulbright Scholars as well as an incubator for some of the world’s most competitive scholarships, including Boren, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, and Truman. Building on the personalized learning environments that have fueled Rollins’ rigorous academic experience for more than 135 years, the Brighter Together campaign aims to make the hallmarks of Rollins’ educational program a national model for mentorship and engaged learning, which includes increasing opportunities for student-faculty research, investing in outstanding faculty, and developing and strengthening programs that best prepare students to address society’s greatest challenges and opportunities.


Since 1885, Rollins has held firm to the belief that a college education should do more than prepare students for their first job. It should prepare them for a lifetime of learning and outfit them with the knowledge and tools to thrive in an uncertain future. In a time where the careers of tomorrow have yet to be created, our innovative, interdisciplinary education—one created and nurtured by expert faculty deeply invested in teaching—equips students with the expertise to succeed as the world evolves. Future-Proof Foundation When faculty first began meeting in 2008 to update the College’s curriculum, they wanted to make sure students were able to do more than take courses in different disciplines. They wanted to empower students to make connections across multiple perspectives and be able to apply them in an increasingly complex and ever-changing world. The result? Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts (RFLA), a developmental, integrative general education curriculum that teaches students to think across barriers and work in diverse teams to design strategies to real-world problems. “More than ever, our students need skills like critical thinking, problem solving, group work, public speaking, being able to think about problems holistically, and looking at a problem from multiple different lenses to come up | 9

with a comprehensive solution—all of these are the things that the RFLA program really emphasizes and that we know employers look for,” says Ashley Kistler, professor of anthropology and associate dean of academics. In fact, when the World Economic Forum surveyed 350 top executives from nine leading industries about the skills necessary for future success, 10 rose to the top, among them complex problem solving, creativity, people management, service orientation, negotiation skills, and cognitive flexibility—exactly the kind of acumen students develop through our distinctive model of liberal arts education. “Rollins has this brilliant pragmatic liberal arts vision that’s completely aligned with our mission of educating students to be global citizens and responsible leaders, prepared for both a meaningful life—which is tremendously important—and a productive career,” says Susan Singer, vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We care deeply that students have this really rich, rigorous liberal arts experience, but it’s not isolated from the world. It’s in service of the world. And I think that’s really powerful.” The proof of RFLA’s success can be seen in Rollins graduates like Brandon McNichol ’19, a double major in biochemistry/molecular biology and music who is now in his third year of medical school at Northwestern University. “One of the reasons I felt prepared for med school is my experience in the Rollins general education curriculum,” says McNichol. “Medical schools are looking for team players and leaders who understand different aspects of the world through multiple lenses. They don’t just want scientists but rather a complete package. These kind of classes and Rollins’ emphasis on exploring a lot of different interests really allowed me to find my niche.” Mentorship, Mastered Those beloved oval tables in Orlando Hall—which have become symbolic of a Rollins education—were first introduced in the 1920s in response to a revolutionary idea from Hamilton Holt, the College’s eighth president, that would forever change the overall liberal arts approach to education. Holt was convinced that lecturing was “the worst pedagogical method ever devised for imparting knowledge.” Intent on finding a better solution, he introduced the Conference Plan, which Holt envisioned

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as “a joint adventure,” where both professor and student participated in the educational process together. These one-on-one interactions became the model for a liberal arts education in colleges across the nation and still inform Rollins’ commitment today to intimate learning environments, a low student-faculty ratio, and opportunities for mentorship. Research by Gallup continues to prove the efficacy of Holt’s grand idea, finding specifically that meaningful mentorship during college produces positive long-term outcomes for alumni after college, “including higher well-being, employee engagement, and more positive perceptions of their alma mater.” Take Tamer Elkhouly ’19, for example. He recalls fondly the countless hours he spent talking with business professor Richard Lewin, who influenced not only Elkhouly’s career as a contracts manager at Raytheon Technologies, but also his involvement as a mentor for student veterans. “Sometimes it’s hard being in the military and then transitioning into the academic world,” says Elkhouly. “But Dr. Lewin allowed me to open up to him about my experiences and what I wanted to do. He would thoughtfully explain every requirement and answer all my questions but was also vulnerable in telling me aspects of his personal life and how he got to his position as a teacher. I really connected with that.” The Army veteran and business management major has carried that example with him, especially now as he mentors other veterans during their transition from academia to careers in the professional world. As part of the Raytheon Veterans Organization, which falls outside his formal position, Elkhouly helps set up networking events and works on initiatives such as the Boston Red Sox’s annual fundraiser. But because of Lewin, he also takes the extra time to answer questions and be vulnerable and share his own journey. Elkhouly says that because of Lewin, he’s doing a lot more than he thought he could, including pursuing an executive MBA in aerospace and defense at the University of Oklahoma while working full time. “At the end-of-year awards ceremony, he gave me one piece of advice,” says Elkhouly. “‘Tamer, continue to pursue your education as it relates to aerospace and defense. Whatever you do, you have a gift and should pursue that knowledge and connect with people.’ Because of that, I actually ended up getting admitted into grad school, which I would have probably never done had it not been for that advice. I genuinely thank him for that.” | 11

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Through our Brighter Together campaign, we will build on the powerful partnerships between our expert faculty and industrious students by elevating the role of studentfaculty research, attracting and retaining some of our profession’s brightest minds; and bolstering the programs that cover everything from social entrepreneurship to the fine arts. In doing so, our students will take their next steps into the world better prepared to confront challenges and glean opportunities, drawing on a nationally recognized liberal arts education that demonstrates how all areas of knowledge are connected. Creating Research Opportunities A hallmark of Rollins’ undergraduate experience, the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program (SFCSP) empowers students to explore their curiosity while working alongside faculty to gain deep research experience typically only available at the graduate level. “When we’re doing research together, it stops being ‘I’m the teacher. You’re the student,’” says Chris Fuse, associate professor of physics and SFCSP program director. “It turns into we’re colleagues on this journey to figure out things we haven’t done before. I’m as important to this research as you are. We’re equals.” Jeremy Spitzenberger ’20, a physics major who is now pursuing a PhD in aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri, spent the summer of 2019 with Fuse examining how galaxies form, a project that earned him the Brennan R. Bennett B Kind Foundation award. They’re now working on writing up their findings for publication. “I was recently reviewing the analysis and going, shoot, I need to give him a call because he knows this better than I do,” says Fuse. Since its inception in 1999, more than 700 students have engaged in research and collaborative scholarship through this program, working alongside 200 faculty who represent nearly every department. These powerful partnerships have resulted in more than 100 publications, performances, and books in topics ranging from African art to X-ray astrophysics. Every year, the program funds around 40 projects from an annual program budget of about $300,000, consisting

of both alumni donations and institutional funds. The funding covers stipends for faculty and a $3,000 stipend for students, who can live on campus for free during the eight-week commitment. The College also pays for students to attend conferences and present their findings alongside professional academics. Support from generous donors will allow Rollins to offer that opportunity for more students. “We can pretty effectively handle 50 students now, but my dream goal is reaching 75 students a year,” says Fuse. The program recently received a boost for students interested in biology from Gene Albrecht ’69. Albrecht’s similar research experience—more than 40 years before it was an official offering at the College—inspired him to provide a legacy gift establishing an endowment to fund collaborative research in organismal biology, which has a projected value of $850,000. That research project fueled Albrecht’s curiosity and led to a PhD from the University of Chicago and his career as a researcher on primate morphology and professor of anatomy at the University of Southern California. It also led him to pay it forward, so more students could have similar world-expanding—and world-enhancing—opportunities. Investing in the South’s Best Professors For the past three years, U.S News & World Report has ranked Rollins among the nation’s best colleges for its uncommon commitment to teaching undergraduate students. It’s a distinction made possible because of faculty like Raghabendra KC ’13, one of many professors at Rollins making a difference in students’ lives— whether it’s in class discussing Google Analytics or during an impromptu chat outside the Rice Family Pavilion. After graduating from Rollins and earning a PhD from Cambridge University, the assistant professor of business could have gone on to work for a Fortune 500 company or a large public research university. But instead, he returned to his alma mater to make an impact on the next generation of Rollins students. “My life would be absolutely different had it not been for Rollins,” he says. “I came back to teach here because I wanted to be able to have the same impact on people that my professors had on me and give back to the institution that gave so much to me.” The self-described “lower-middle-class kid from Nepal” is a case study in the power of philanthropy. | 13

“There’s no way I could have attended Rollins had it not been for what was then called the Cornell Scholarship,” he says. “To leave my country for the first time to attend the scholarship weekend and be shown what is possible, and then to be offered the scholarship—it was a no-brainer then. It’s a no-brainer now.” In addition to the Cornell Scholarship—now the Alfond Scholarship—KC credits a donation that funded an internship in finance that showed him a career he didn’t want to pursue as well as a $500 gift to present a paper on portfolio optimization at Kennesaw State University, which he says launched his research journey. Returning to Rollins is as much a no-brainer as accepting that full scholarship more than a decade ago. “I honestly can’t think of another place where you can have as much impact other than, say, medicine, where you’re literally saving someone’s life,” he says. “I get to guide 22 students on their life journeys, three times a week, in three different classes. With 66 students a semester, that’s 132 people a year, and if I am here for 20 years, that’s almost 2,000-plus students who I can impact. If those 2,000-plus people impact just 10 more people in their life, my impact has reached 20,000 people, and that’s a lower estimate. Being able to impact 20,000 lives by just doing your regular job—that’s a dream come true.” But investing in students means investing in faculty. If Rollins is to continue to be a destination for the world’s brightest scholars, teachers, and mentors, the College needs to be able to provide them with the support and tools they need to flourish. “We’re preparing our students to be beacons of light, beacons of hope, and solution finders in a very complex world,” says Singer. “How do we do that and how do we continually do that better? We have to provide very rich, challenging experiences. We are able to do that through our fabulous faculty, which means it is imperative we support, strengthen, and recognize their contributions.” Strengthening Academic Programs Nancy Siebens Binz ’55, who traveled to Canada and Europe with her sorority while at Rollins, believes strongly that experiencing different parts of the world provides lessons you can’t get in a classroom alone. “Traveling internationally is an essential part of every person’s lifelong learning journey, no matter when it starts,” says Binz, who has established two endowments 14 | Fall 2021

that help integrate international perspectives and cultural fluency across the Rollins experience. “It teaches us to see the world through a wide-angle lens and to appreciate other cultures and learn from them. These experiences help create fulfilling lives and careers where we must relate to all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds.” Rollins’ work in communities across the globe tackling real-world problems inspired Ronald ’65 P’98 and Todd ’98 Benderson to create the Delta Sonic Car Wash Endowed Fund. After learning about chemistry professor Pedro Bernal’s field study focused on providing access to clean water across the Dominican Republic, they generously established a $1 million endowment through their company, Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems, Inc. The fund supports programs and service projects that promote and provide clean water for families around the world in addition to other water-related initiatives at Rollins, such as the recent effluent wastewater testing on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep our community safe. All of these endowments are part of a range of initiatives aimed at growing the reach and influence of a variety of programs, including everything from increasing international learning opportunities through the Center for Global Initiatives and creating more curriculum integration with the Rollins Museum of Art to expanding community partnerships for the Crummer Graduate School of Business and establishing a new Quantitative Skills Center to help students better analyze and interpret data, an initiative that’s risen to the top this past year. “Understanding how to work with and make sense of quantitative data is more important for everybody than it ever was before,” says Singer. “If you can’t think quantitatively, you can’t make sense of your world. That’s why we promise to graduate quantitatively literate Tars, and for many, a bit of extra help or practice is key to their success across our curriculum. The center will provide that support for a student in a beginning class or one wanting to try a new analytic approach for their honors thesis.” And it is that commitment to helping our students understand our world and how best to engage with it that lies at the heart of Rollins’ academic promise as we create the next generation of global leaders.

Rebecca Charbonneau ’16 is applying the liberal arts education she gained at Rollins under the close mentorship of art history professor Kim Dennis to combat white supremacy in astronomy as the co-leader of Harvard University’s Figures in the Sky Initiative.

Josephine Spiegelberg ’20 credits the early research she conducted with physics professor Chris Fuse as critical preparation for her graduate studies at McGill University in Montreal.

Brandon McNichol ’19 leveraged his double major in biochemistry/molecular biology and music to pursue an MD at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Brighter Together

By supporting academic strength at Rollins, you not only provide a brighter tomorrow for current and future Tars, but you also enhance the prestige of your Rollins degree. From increasing faculty resources to strengthening student-centric opportunities, visit to see all the ways you can ensure Rollins continues to deliver a cutting-edge academic experience. | 15

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Fueling Opportunity Supporting financial aid and scholarship opportunities at Rollins means that many more bright, promising students can join our community of learners.

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By Adrienne Egolf | Photos by Scott Cook


assine Acoine ’19 spent a lot of his time at Rollins looking at root hairs through an atomic force microscope. The physics major spent a lot of time in peer groups exploring questions about how the world works. He spent a lot of time volunteering with friends as the community-service lead for his fraternity. What he did not spend a lot of time doing was thinking about how he would pay for college. As the recipient of an Alonzo Rollins Scholarship, Acoine—now a data scientist at Siemens—is one of the thousands of Rollins students whose success would not be possible without financial support. Rollins is deepening our commitment to supporting standout students who are looking to make their dream of attending Rollins a reality. By reducing obstacles related to cost of attendance, our Brighter Together campaign aims to give talented Tars like Acoine life-changing opportunities to immerse themselves in the full Rollins experience and to continue to establish Rollins as a college that helps our students go farther faster, providing them the tools and resources to make an immediate impact in the next chapter of their lives. To achieve these goals, we need your support. Help us make the Rollins education—and the transformational benefits it provides— more accessible than ever.

Meeting the Need to Succeed

For many students, receiving a Rollins education would be impossible without some degree of financial support. Before 2020, close to 90 percent of Rollins students received financial aid, including loans. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, more students than ever are relying on financial assistance. Among the incoming class of students for the 2021-22 school year, for example, that number has increased to 96 percent. In the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), the average aid package for first-year students with demonstrated need is $35,000, and nearly a quarter of students in fall 2020 received federal Pell grants. The numbers speak for themselves. But for Steve Booker, associate vice president and director of financial aid, and his team of counselors who advise Rollins students on financial aid from

admission to graduation, the story of financial aid goes beyond numbers on a spreadsheet. “Each dollar that we can provide helps students reach their dreams,” says Booker. “We are able to recruit and retain an academically strong, diverse student body, which enables learning to occur both in and outside the classroom. Donors are providing the means for students to immerse themselves in the full Rollins experience, which makes an incredible impact on the Rollins community as well as globally as students graduate and go on to pursue meaningful lives and productive careers.” Teasa Mays, assistant director for diversity and inclusion in the Office of Admission, is passionate about the unique opportunities that stem from need-based financial aid, stressing the importance of Rollins’ commitment to this kind of student support. “Being able to walk away from a four-year education debt-free is super important for students from certain backgrounds,” she says. “Everyone should have access to college and higher education. The scholarships we offer are an opportunity to come to Rollins, a name that is known for rigor within the community. That’s an opportunity many wouldn’t have had without a scholarship.” That is certainly true for Acoine. He credits Rollins’ personalized learning environment and deeply caring professors for helping him chart his path to success. “There was a big focus on problem solving,” he remembers. “My professors were thoughtful about not just feeding us information but helping us develop critical thinking, which is something that helps me a lot in my position now.” But those are opportunities he nearly missed out on. “I got accepted to Rollins and two other larger, prestigious schools. The deciding factor was the scholarship I received.” Thanks to that financial assistance, Acoine proudly graduated from Rollins debt-free and now spends his days architecting cloudbased solutions in automation and data analysis at Siemens, one of the world’s largest technology companies. “I am grateful for Rollins,” he says. “It was a different experience from my peers at other colleges because of the networking and the people I met. The opportunities can be a lot more restrictive at bigger schools. Most colleges don’t allow freshmen to do collaborative research in the way that I was allowed to at Rollins.” | 17

I have transformed from a timid first-year student into a leader on campus who has been encouraged to explore outside of my comfort zone. Being a student at Rollins has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I’m so thankful to those who have played a part in my success here. — Carley Matthews ’22 | Psychology Major

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Freedom to Explore

For students like Acoine, whose path was permanently changed for the better thanks to his Rollins scholarship, financial aid is transformational. Kathleen Capdesuner ’17 grew up just 40 minutes from the Rollins campus, but the idea of actually attending Rollins was a fanciful notion until she earned a Priscilla Parker Scholarship to study theater. “I knew Rollins had a great study abroad program,” she says. “But it wasn’t something I thought about as an option for myself. It wasn’t until I went to school there that I realized it could be a reality.” Thanks to the financial support she received, Capdesuner studied abroad three times, completing semesters and field studies in both London and Edinburgh. Today, she lives in New York City pursuing her theater career as a writer and director fresh off a fellowship at the Roundabout Theatre Company. She says that without any financial help, she would have been severely limited in the opportunities she could have taken advantage of at Rollins. “The scholarships I received at Rollins helped me get the college career and experience that I wanted,” she says. “Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to get a full liberal arts education.” Thanks to Rollins’ premier Alfond Scholarship—which covers full tuition, room, and board for four years—Caleb Archuleta ’18 now sees the world differently. “[The Alfond Scholarship] gave me the financial flexibility to pursue my dreams that oriented around service,” he says. “I wasn’t worried about repaying loans or having massive debt hanging over me for decades.” Archuleta majored in international business and minored in Middle Eastern and North African studies. He had the freedom to pursue career-defining internships at companies like Boeing and an immersive language program in Morocco because he wasn’t burdened by financial woes. And those early successes set him up for additional scholarships: a Boren Scholarship to study Arabic and a Fulbright Scholarship to study international security at the University of Bristol. Archuleta is grateful for what he calls the “huge gift” of his merit-based scholarship. “It afforded me the opportunity to work with this highly crafted and motivated group of individuals,” he says, “to attend retreats, volunteer, train for a triathlon—to create my best self and contribute as much as I could.”

By the Numbers

Your gift has a compounding effect on the lives of our students, helping Rollins deliver the next generation of leaders and thinkers to create positive change in the world.


of students receive financial aid


annual aid available to Rollins students


average aid package for first-years with demonstrated need

Top 50 in the nation for merit-based aid | 19

Amplifying your Impact

Robert W. Campbell Jr. ’81 still remembers planting sunflowers in front of the environmental studies building as a Rollins student. “I did it because I loved botany and I loved planting,” he muses. But the flowers are just one small example of Campbell’s larger ethos: “I say to our kids all the time: Make your mark. I don’t care where, I don’t care when, but try your best to make a difference.” Campbell, whose own Rollins education was supported by financial aid, recently established a financial aid endowment. “A scholarship not only meets the financial need,” he says. “It can give you the keys to open doors that you can’t even predict, that you don’t even know exist. It can open up new areas of the world that you can’t even see.” Take Karina Barbesino ’19, for example, who earned a prestigious Boren Scholarship as a sophomore, a Critical Language Scholarship as a junior, and a Fulbright Scholarship as a senior. Barbesino’s Rollins journey gave her the opportunity to explore how cyber security relates to human rights, a passion she developed through Rollins’ interdisciplinary curriculum. Today, she’s a researcher at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs focusing on America’s policy with China. Scholarship dollars not only helped Sam Sadeh ’18 attend Rollins, but they also transformed the educational trajectory of dozens of fourth-graders who participated in the after-school coding program that he designed. Julian Grundler ’18 had the opportunity to conduct original research on nanoparticles alongside chemistry professor Ellane Park, eventually landing a spot in a PhD program at Yale researching potential cancer treatments. And Michael Gutenshon ’18, whose Rollins experience included three internships at NASA, is helping shape the future of computerhuman interaction at Apple. These examples all point to the personal impact of financial support, but they reveal another truth as well: In many cases, that personal impact is just the beginning. The focus on community-based learning and global citizenship at Rollins means that every dollar that goes to a student’s education also supports a globally minded mission that, like Campbell’s flowers, has the potential to bloom for decades after the first seeds are planted. That is partly why Campbell and his wife, Diana, set up their endowment to specifically support students in the science and engineering areas. “Our vision is that someone else who has passion about something that they love has the ability to learn and apply it to their life,” says Campbell. “The world needs some incredible insight and problem solving and passionate individuals for environmental research. Maybe somebody who receives this scholarship will be the next David Attenborough—sharing, informing, and educating the world and hopefully creating solutions to some of our biggest problems.”

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Without the Alfond Scholarship, my life wouldn’t look anything like it does right now. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to study in the United States, let alone at Rollins. This scholarship is both a compliment and a responsibility, and I feel a duty to give back. That sense has informed my time at Rollins, whether it’s in class, as the sports editor for The Sandspur, or welcoming students and families through my work with the Office of Admission. — Henri Balla ’22 | Physics Major | 21

Driving diversity

When Mays is recruiting students for need-based scholarships, she’s not necessarily thinking about building a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus—it’s simply woven into the work she does every day. “Diversity is a way of life,” she says. “In every facet of our lives, it’s important to hear different perspectives from different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds.” She stresses that this is core to the Rollins mission—creating global citizens who use diverse perspectives to devise creative solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Donna Lee, Rollins’ newly appointed vice president of student affairs, points out that this work also goes beyond the Rollins mission. “The work of creating true inclusivity on our campuses is what I would name as the moral imperative of this time,” she says, positing that in the wake of a global reckoning with racism and injustice, diversity and inclusion has never been more salient or urgent for a college like Rollins. Abby Hollern, director of Rollins’ Center for Inclusion & Campus Involvement, is also unequivocal when it comes to the value of diversity on campus. “What I know to be absolutely true,” she says, “is that living and learning with diverse perspectives and people with differences in life experiences, identities, and thoughts—you grow.” But for many high-performing students in marginalized communities, the opportunity to grow and learn at a school like Rollins is often unattainable. Ashley Williams ’18 ’22MPH was at her senior prom when she found out she’d earned a scholarship to Rollins through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.

Brighter Together

Williams, who was an International Baccalaureate student in high school, applied to Rollins without really knowing how she’d pay for it if she got in. Her older siblings had exposed her to different college experiences; one went to a large state university, and one attended an HBCU (historically black college or university). But at Rollins, Williams had the opportunity to thrive in a closeknit liberal arts environment. Her scholarship covered a study abroad program in London and a field study in the Dominican Republic. She also became one of the first student leaders of EMBARK, a cohort-based student development opportunity for students of underrepresented backgrounds. “I am so proud to see that program blossom,” says Williams, who’s now back at Rollins pursuing a master’s in public health. “Many people in communities of color don’t know that Rollins can be affordable. EMBARK and the Black Student Union have helped expand diversity and erase the fear that ‘maybe there will be no one there who looks like me.’” That is why increasing diversity is one of the chief goals of the financial support priority at Rollins. Trustee Rod Adkins ’81, who chose to set up a student-focused endowment centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion, explains the importance and potential compounding benefits. “Really, diversity is a mechanism to allow everyone a chance to have a higher quality of life,” he says. “We all have the same basic needs. We all want quality health care. We all want to live in safe communities, to have good jobs and access to support systems. The role I play as a donor to Rollins’ scholarship program is to help elevate people to be able to compete for access to that opportunity.”

Join our collective effort to support financial aid and scholarship opportunities for Rollins students in the College of Liberal Arts, Hamilton Holt School, or Crummer Graduate School of Business. You can choose to give through The Rollins Annual Fund, set up a Named Rollins Annual Fund Scholarship, or work directly with a development officer to create a Named Fund in an area of interest to you. Learn more at

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The scholarship support I’ve received at Rollins has allowed me to engage in a tight-knit community and immerse myself in all of the wonderful opportunities like studying abroad in Japan and serving on the Business Student Leadership Council that have led to my personal and professional growth. — Cristalle Choi ’22 | Business Management Major | 23


By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS | Photos by Scott Cook

From meeting urgent needs to supporting hands-on learning experiences, The Rollins Annual Fund is a key piece of the puzzle. While many students struggled during the pandemic and lamented the loss of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities from their first Fox Day to walking across the commencement stage, Logo Olagoke ’23 worried that he wouldn’t be able to finish his degree. The pandemic had devastated the economy in his home country of Nigeria, and as the exchange rate plummeted for the naira, Nigeria’s currency, so did his hopes of returning to Rollins. “I knew it was going to be hard for my family to support my education and that I would have to leave Rollins,” says the computer science major. Concerned about his future, Olagoke began applying to other colleges in between classes and, in a fortuitous twist, told his academic advisor what was happening. She was able to work with the financial aid office to secure the money he needed to continue his studies thanks to support from The Rollins Annual Fund. 24 | Fall 2021

The Rollins Annual Fund

No longer concerned about paying for college, Olagoke is thriving once again. He spent the summer completing a software engineering internship at Amazon in Seattle and is back on campus this fall, continuing his studies, serving as an RA in the new Lakeside Neighborhood, and contributing to the code that is powering the College of Liberal Arts’ website as a work-study student in Rollins’ marketing office. Rather than worrying, he’s back to pursuing his dream of becoming a software engineer for a company where his contributions can make a great impact on people’s lives. None of that would have been possible without donor support. Year after year, Rollins is able to provide lifechanging opportunities and career-defining experiences to students like Olagoke because of gifts to The Rollins Annual Fund. Unrestricted annual giving empowers Rollins to support all of the things that make Rollins unique—

from exceptional faculty mentors and immersive handson learning to championship athletics and a campus that inspires creativity, community, and collaboration. “Trends have changed as generations have changed. People like to know where their money is going, but there’s still a great need for that pure unrestricted giving,” says Andria Silva, senior director of alumni engagement and annual giving. “Giving to The Rollins Annual Fund provides the College the flexibility it needs to fund the greatest needs as they shift. Last year, that was financial aid and related expenses arising from the pandemic.” The ability to respond nimbly to unforeseeable challenges is among the chief reasons why the Brighter Together campaign is aiming to raise an additional $3 million for the annual fund, ensuring not only the financial stability of Rollins but that the College remains affordable— and can provide a range of experiences—for all students. | 25

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Adaptability in Action Eric Marshall ’91 recalls feeling anxious as he watched Rollins’ commencement from his couch beside his daughter, Grace ’20, in May 2020. “Grace had a really successful career at Rollins, and we were looking forward to watching her graduate, and at the time we felt like, ‘oh my gosh, this is such a terrible thing.’ The reality is that she lost the last few months of college and graduation,” says Marshall. “But one of the things that made it less difficult was the way she handled it. She was just grateful for her college experience, and she didn’t dwell on this one thing because she felt like she got so much out of her four years. That’s one of the things that we really love about Rollins.” Marshall credits the College’s ability to adapt quickly to the challenges of the pandemic as one of the reasons Grace— who’s now in graduate school at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies—didn’t focus on all that she missed. And for that, he’s thankful. “I was impressed with just how quickly the school established testing, established an on-campus plan, and adapted to, you know, a hybrid learning environment,” he says. “It was just extraordinary.” A big part of why Rollins was able to pivot so quickly and efficiently was the flexibility afforded from gifts to The Rollins Annual Fund. When the need arose, Rollins had a pool of resources readily available from which to pull to keep the community safe. Those unrestricted gifts enabled Rollins to hire an additional nurse for the Wellness Center. They allowed for on-campus PCR tests that provided results in 30 minutes—with separate sites for asymptomatic and

symptomatic individuals. They paid for contact tracers who reached out to anyone who had been within six feet of a person who tested positive for more than 15 minutes. They covered enhanced cleanings on campus and PPE for students. And they helped secure some of the digital technology that made the transition to remote learning possible, ensuring that the College was still able to deliver its signature brand of liberal arts education in the face of great uncertainty. And that flexibility is by design. As with any business, universities try to plan for all possible financial scenarios to ensure their longevity, but unforeseen circumstances such as a global pandemic or fluctuations in the economy will happen. In a typical year, some items are nice-to-haves but simply aren’t feasible within the annual budget. “As a result of the rapid pace of change in our society, there is always something,” says Deborah Crown, dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business. “We have to be adaptive and we have to be prepared. The annual fund really helps us pursue initiatives that are needed in real time and beta-test others so that we remain on the front edge. We are so appreciative of our alumni and other community leaders who support this fund, which offers that type of necessary flexibility.” That could be scholarships for students in need, such as Olagoke. But it could also be any number of items that boost the academic experience and help prepare students for meaningful lives and productive careers—from study abroad opportunities and library resources to mentorship programs and career services initiatives. | 27

Support What You Love If you’ve ever sat along the shores of Lake Virginia and watched the Rollins sailboats glide by, you have The Rollins Annual Fund to thank for that. Specifically, you have the athletics designation within the annual fund to thank. It is one of six primary impact areas where alumni and donors can direct their donations to the areas that matter most to them. “We are currently raising money for new sailboats for the sailing team, and money from the athletics annual fund allows us to buy equipment that attracts recruits and helps studentathletes become better, stronger, and faster,” says athletics director Pennie Parker. Past examples of equipment purchased through annual fund donations include squat racks and free weights. It includes the power tower, which helps members of the swimming teams train in the pool with extra resistance. And it includes shooting machines for the basketball teams, which the players call “the guns,” that allow team members to practice free throws and three-pointers whenever they want. The funds also make it possible for student-athletes to travel to compete against teams outside of the region and their division. “These trips expose players to different levels of competition, which always helps challenge us and makes us better,” says Parker. “But they also provide cultural experiences for students.” Whether it’s visiting the White House in Washington, D.C., attending a luau in Hawaii, or visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, these opportunities outside the classroom add dimension and perspective to a student’s repertoire of experience. Each of the program-focused designated areas— Athletics, Rollins Museum of Art, Crummer Fund, and Holt Fund—allows the program director or dean to support students and enhance the overall student journey. 28 | Fall 2021

For the museum, the financial support enables curators to cover the costs of programming that aren’t covered by the annual budget or to fund entire exhibitions, such as the upcoming From Chaos to Order: Greek Geometric Art from the Sol Rabin Collection—on loan from the Tampa Museum of Art—which showcases the culture, ideologies, and values of pre-classical Greece. “Ancient Greek sculpture is not part of our permanent collection, and we always try to show art that our students don’t get exposed to on a regular basis,” says museum director Ena Heller. “My vision for the next few years is to continue to solidify the museum’s growing role within a Rollins education.” For the Crummer Fund, Crown has used the resources toward everything from orientation experiences and the Five Factor Model personality assessment tests to scholarships and mentoring programs. The Hamilton Holt School uses gifts and donations primarily for scholarships for its adult working learners and hopes to expand the newly established Finish Line awards, which help these students—who are either considering leaving Rollins or recently had to drop out due to financial hardship—finish or resume their studies. “The cost of attendance should never be a barrier to coming to Holt, and the annual fund contributes to that overarching goal,” says Rob Sanders, dean of the Hamilton Holt School.

FIAT LUX SOCIETY By giving to The Rollins Annual Fund in the amounts listed here, you are eligible to become a member of the Fiat Lux Society, which celebrates the College’s most devoted and generous annual donors.

Honors' Circle $250+* Fellows' Circle $500+** Founders' Circle $2,500−$4,999 Scholars' Circle $5,000−$9,999 Benefactors' Circle $10,000−$19,999 President's Circle $20,000+ *Reserved for current students and recent alumni one year out **Reserved for alumni two to 10 years out

Compounding Value GIVING DAY

Rollins' annual tradition of Giving Day provides an opportunity to boost your giving power.

Here's how it works: Each year, lead donors pledge to give a certain amount as challenges are met. For example, this year, once 750 donors had given to Rollins, $10,000 was added to the overall total. Once 1,000 donors had, an additional $25,000 was added, and so on until $170,000 in challenge gifts was unlocked, bringing the day’s total to $481,288.

For the best chance to make your gift go further, be sure to add Giving Day 2022 to your calendar on february 22, 2022. 30 | Fall 2021

As a longtime donor to The Rollins Annual Fund, Marshall knows the benefit of every dollar. Even as he worried about the impact of the pandemic on his daughters’ experiences and as he paid for both their tuitions, he continued contributing. “One of the best things about being involved is that I still feel a part of this place that provided such an amazing experience for me,” says Marshall, senior vice president for resort sales and marketing at Universal Orlando Resort and co-chair of The Rollins Annual Fund. “The student body is so impressive now, and helping to give them what they need to be successful is just a really worthwhile endeavor.” He admits that for him it was never about making large donations, though he hopes to make more of those once his youngest daughter graduates. It was more about remaining connected to his alma mater. And there’s power that comes from banding together with other alumni. It’s in the overall collective impact. A gift of $100 may not feel like much, but combine it with $100 from four classmates, and the College can cover transportation for the basketball team to the White House. Combine it with $100 from 40 other alumni, and a Holt student, say, can get the $4,000 she needs to stay focused on her studies and graduate on time.

The reality is that the combined total is greater because some are able to give $5, while others can give $5,000 or more. And that’s because the collective impact of every gift—regardless of size—spans out across campus and beyond, positively improving the experience of virtually every student and the communities they will transform. “It’s not just about the amount that you give individually,” says Silva. “It’s about the cumulative impact of all the donations together that allow for success stories like Logo’s. And thanks to donors, every year we have more and more of those stories.” A self-described go-getter, Olagoke is focused again on his studies and working to secure another internship this summer, maybe at Amazon again or possibly Google. “I hope donors know that their investments aren’t in vain,” says Olagoke. “It meant a lot coming back to Rollins. I really didn’t want to leave.”



Gifts to The Rollins Annual Fund have broadreaching impact—from supporting academic and athletic excellence to increasing financial aid and building on Rollins’ reputation as the best college in the South. But don’t just take our word for it.

Visit to see your annual fund gifts at work in the lives of our students. | 31

A Bridge to Everywhere From the moment our wide-eyed students step onto the Rollins campus, they’re met by countless opportunities to put their learning into practice. The result? Confident, well-prepared citizens of the world ready to lead the future. By Robert Stephens | Photos by Scott Cook

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Applied Learning

When I first came to Rollins, I was unsure about my place in the world. Several hands-on learning experiences and campus leadership positions later, I couldn’t be better prepared to pursue a career in human resources management focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. — Hannah Jackson ’20 ’22MBA | 33

First-year students spying wildlife on a field study to Costa Rica before stepping foot on campus.


n summer 2009, Lucas Hernandez ’13 sent an email request from his home in upstate New York to his future home at Rollins. He hadn’t yet begun his first year. While his friends enjoyed one last summer together, Hernandez wanted to use the weeks between high school and college as a bridge into a world beyond home—both homes. It’s why he wanted to go to Rollins in the first place. “I’d been taught at an early age to appreciate different cultures,” says Hernandez, “so I sent the email to see about going on a field study. A few weeks later I was in Costa Rica. My first classes at Rollins hadn’t even started, but the trip set the tone for my college career.” In Costa Rica, Hernandez met people in national parks and in villages. He noticed that they all used critical thinking to connect three important dots: from preservation efforts to tourism to their own livelihoods. “We talk a lot about ‘best practices’ in business,” says Hernandez, who is now director of U.S. corporate partnerships for Microsoft in Miami. “But the people in Costa Rica showed me that best practices can be learned in everyday life, wherever you are.” Over the next four years, Hernandez would go on to facilitate 11 service learning Immersion trips to places like Nepal, Chile, Ecuador, and the Grand Canyon. He’d collaborate with Rollins’ administrators and donors to bake experiential learning components into the curriculum so that more students could intern, serve, and engage in the communities in our backyard and around the globe. No matter their means or status, all Rollins students should have

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the opportunity to learn from the world so they’re equipped to lead positive change in it. “Every major corporation is now talking about stewardship,” says Hernandez. “My experiences outside the classroom at Rollins, starting with Costa Rica, put me ahead of the curve.” Hamilton Holt planted the seeds for real-world learning nearly a century ago. Educators around the country thought of Holt, a former newspaper editor, as an outsider when he became president of Rollins in 1925. They scoffed at his belief that college should emphasize life application as much as traditional classroom work. “His approach was controversial,” says Micki Meyer, Rollins’ assistant vice president for student affairs – community. “Back then everyone structured education around knowledge acquisition. Hamilton Holt thought learning should be active. He was ahead of his time. How do we know? Look what our graduates are doing around the world.” They arrive at Rollins as first-generation college students or third-generation Tars. They leave for careers in New York, Los Angeles, and London, but also in farmland, huts, and on mountains. Pierce Neinken ’06 ’08MBA studied around the world before landing in San Francisco as the global portfolio manager for Airbnb. “One of the core values in our business is ‘embrace the adventure,’” says Neinken. “If you do that, you’ll go about life with optimism and joy. For me, and with a lot of help, the adventure began at Rollins.”

Experience Pays Lucca Gonçalves ’21 is excited to get his Tuesday morning started. He graduated from Rollins a few weeks ago with a degree in economics. Before he could even say goodbye to the campus, he had a job as a business analyst with KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting organizations. Gonçalves is confident. He’s happy. He can hardly believe where his winding path has led. “I didn’t think Rollins would be accessible,” says Gonçalves, who was born and raised in Brazil before moving to the U.S. with his family. After attending Valencia College for two years, he applied for, and received, a scholarship to attend Rollins. The scholarship happens to be named for the College’s forward-thinking president (Hamilton Holt) and is funded by the generous family of Daniel Riva ’81H.

“Everything that’s happened is like … destiny,” says Gonçalves. You can trace Gonçalves’ destiny back to his first semester at Rollins when he privately wondered why he, an economics major, had taken a class on health and well-being. In that class, communication professor Anne Stone told students how to use Rollins Handshake, the College’s version of LinkedIn. The program matched Gonçalves with an internship in the business development division at Orange County’s government offices. “The internship became a key differentiator when I interviewed for the position I have now,” he says. “It’s the reason I could sit up and lead the conversation, even though I’m naturally reserved. Being in that health class sped up my career process.”

Emma Webb ’18’s experience as a social media intern at the Dr. Phillips Center prepared her for her current role as social media and PR manager of GuideMe VIP Tours. | 35

Michael Gutensohn ’18 completed three consecutive internships at NASA before earning his master’s from Berkeley and landing a role as an AI engineer at Apple.

In an American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) survey, 90 percent of employers say they’re more likely to hire a candidate who’s had an internship or apprenticeship. The question is: How actively involved is each school in pairing students with the right internships? Stories like Gonçalves’ take unpredictable turns, but they’re not accidental at Rollins. Rollins’ Center for Career & Life Planning facilitates everything from academic internships to interview prep, helping students connect their major to future goals, identify transferable skills, develop networking strategies, and establish connections with alumni and potential employers. Campbell Brown ’90 believes hardships should never prevent a Rollins student from learning in realworld situations. So much so that he pledged $2 million to endow Rollins’ paid internship program known as Gateway Fellows. Brown, chair of the board for BrownForman, the parent company of seven major alcohol brands in Louisville, Kentucky, thinks often about his own experiential learning at Rollins. Somewhere, he even has a 32-year-old diary. “I took it to China when I studied there as a student,” says Brown. “Mostly, I wrote about our mutual appreciation for each other despite our very different cultures. Then before my junior year, I had an internship working for a senator in D.C. Policymakers would have lunch together and discuss issues despite their disagreements. To this day I enjoy bringing a room together to work through various opinions. That’s how you make things better.” Brown’s roommate at Rollins quietly made an imprint too. “He had to hold down a job just to make a Rollins education possible. At the same time, he had to keep a certain GPA to maintain his scholarship,” says Brown. “He would’ve thrived from a paid internship. But a lot of students like him might need help with expenses, and maybe they don’t want to ask for help. If my financial support can open doors for students like that, then it’s a win for everyone.”

Beyond Internships William Glass ’14 has an office in New York and as many connections around the globe as LaGuardia Airport. His heart, though, is still with his mother near Birmingham, Alabama. “I’ve learned that the standards for quality of life differ depending on where you are,” says Glass, who co-founded the personal finance app, Ostrich, in 2019 with the mission to “bring financial literacy to the world.” The service is free. It isn’t tied to any banking system. Glass wants to make sure it’s accessible to everyone, especially those who might not even know what a financial portfolio is.

Glass’ inspiration began in high school when his parents divorced during the economic collapse of 2008. “Money caused too much stress on their relationship,” he says. “I remember thinking that people should be able to live on small budgets and still be happy.” He wanted to find a way to help his mom. He also wanted to de-stress money concerns for undocumented farmworkers he met in South Florida and for Burmese refugees he lived with in Asia—both experiences he had through Rollins’ Immersion program. While in Thailand on a Fulbright Scholarship, Glass put his theory about financial planning for any income level to a real-life test. Living on $500 per month, he actually saved money. And he did it without losing weight or sleep. “It’s all about simplifying a plan so you aren’t burdened every day,” says Glass. “What we’re doing with Ostrich ties back 100 percent to those Immersion trips.” Glass and his fellow Rollins alumni are more marketable because of the experiences at Rollins they had to apply what they were learning through hands-on opportunities like Immersions, campus employment, and study abroad. In fact, the AAC&U’s recent survey says that 84 percent of employers are more likely to consider a candidate who’s had a global learning experience that exposes them to diverse cultures and perspectives. Raul Carril ’15 ’16MBA served as Immersion facilitator at Rollins. “It had a huge impact on how I listen, learn, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable,” he says. Carril is now manager of customer success at Datadog, but

he’s most enthused to talk about other Rollins students whose Immersion trips advanced their young careers. Bethany Eriksen ’15 works on content development and social responsibility for Disney. Aditya Mahara ’12 is helping advance health-care technology at AstraZeneca. Ian Wallace ’12 works in the U.S. Department of Defense. “That’s what stands out to me when I look back on my time at Rollins,” says Carril. “Their work is incredible; it’s inspiring.” David Lord graduated from Rollins in 1969 and has served on the College’s Board of Trustees. Recently, he set up a $1 million endowment for the Student and Community Experience Fund. But in retirement he still sounds like an energetic Rollins student. He helps plan Immersion experiences. He participates in them. He knows dozens and dozens of current students and alumni. More importantly, he knows their stories. “There’s a perception of Rollins students that is not always accurate,” says Lord. “On one Immersion we were serving meals to homeless people, and I saw tears welling up in the eyes of a student. When we talked later, I found out she’d once been homeless herself. I cannot tell you what it’s like to work with students who come from difficult backgrounds, who find a spark because of Immersions or fellowships or leadership opportunities, and then blossom.” The name William Glass is mentioned to Lord. “I love what he’s doing with Ostrich.” He knows all about Glass and Carril and Hernandez. Lord is among the Rollins donors who provide more than programs. They kickstart countless lives and careers, with impacts into perpetuity.

A farmworking Immersion was a turning point for Renee Sang ’21, who developed a passion for bringing social justice issues to life through film. | 37

The Rollins Model Every day, most of Rollins’ 3,272 students walk along Tars Plaza, past the iconic Barker flagpole and alongside Mills Lawn, where they eat, study, and engage in impromptu chats with professors. A reimagined building at the center of it all has quickly become the hallmark of Rollins’ renewed emphasis on applied learning: Kathleen W. Rollins Hall. Within this kinetic hive of student activity, Tars find a humming network of resources to turn wish lists into realities: internships, field studies, mentors, resume consulting, study abroad, and leadership programs, among others. In its first 40 days after opening in early 2020, there was a marked increase in student engagement across these offices and programs that now shared physical space in addition to a dedication to applied learning. “There’s a science behind the placement of Kathleen W. Rollins Hall,” says Meyer. “It’s the physical center of campus. That’s our intended message here. If we’re creating pathways into the world, then the heartbeat of the mission should be at the center of everything.” It’s coincidence that the benefactor, Kathleen W. Rollins ’75, shares a name with her alma mater. Her gift, however, is purposeful, and it’s a purpose that’s resonating with students. 38 | Fall 2021

“I see it as an embodiment of how closely knit Rollins is,” says Renee Sang ’21, a double major in studio art and critical media and cultural studies who traveled to Morocco and London for internships in journalism and documentarymaking before flipping her own script and accepting a role as global engagement coordinator for Rollins. From her office in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, she is helping other students apply their passions across the globe until she hits the world stage once again next fall to start grad school at University College London. “This,” she says, “is what interdisciplinary education looks like when it’s put into action.” It’s working. Rollins ranks first in the nation for the percentage of students who participate in alternative breaks. It’s among the top 10 for the number of undergraduates who study abroad. Not surprisingly, Florida Campus Compact named Rollins the most engaged campus in the state. “The world is in a constant state of change, but I’m comfortable with that,” says Neinken. “The learning model outside the classroom at Rollins prepared me for anything. I think it would be nice if more students could have that kind of preparation.”

Taking It to 100 Percent Hamilton Holt had a vision for making Rollins a nexus between “receiving an education” and “making a difference.” He’d be impressed with today’s numbers: 75 percent of Rollins students study abroad and about 60 percent have internships. For the 15th president of Rollins, Grant Cornwell, the numbers also mean there are still students who don’t see the outside world or the inside of an organization. Or, perhaps more accurately, they can’t. “The pathways are set up,” says Meyer, “but putting students on them takes financial support. Studying internationally. Internships. Immersions. Some students don’t have the resources.” Holt couldn’t have seen what Cornwell sees today: a fruitful past. In the 90-plus years since Holt became president of Florida’s first college, thousands of young people have gone out as Rollins graduates and given back, as alumni, to the place where it all started—all so the next waves of students can find and follow their own pathways into the world where differences are made and problems are solved. “Donors have made a lot of our stories possible,” says Hernandez from his Microsoft office in Miami. He specifically mentions Lord, who hours earlier happened to mention Hernandez from his home 2,000 miles away in Colorado. “When I think about alumni like David, it’s more than financial generosity. It’s the humility and the genuine care they have for each of today’s students. He will always be one of the greatest influences in my life.” All along the bridge from the past to the future, the sentiment is mutual.

An internship at ALDI was critical preparation for Tamer Elkhouly ’19, who started his role as a contracts specialist at Raytheon before graduation.

Essential Experience A survey recently conducted by the AAC&U reveals that today’s employers demand college graduates who have demonstrated the ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings. Executives and hiring managers said that they were more likely to hire candidates with these experiences:





internship or apprenticeship

community-based experience

service-learning project

global learning experience

Your gifts to the applied learning priority of Brighter Together will give more Tars a competitive advantage as they launch meaningful lives and productive careers.

Brighter Together Supporting applied learning opportunities at Rollins will allow us to create robust programming for high-impact experiences like internships, study abroad, and service learning that challenge students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world. Your gifts will fund more preprofessional experiences for students, expand the Immersion program, and support training and guidance for career ambassadors and service leaders. Learn more about how you can provide essential hands-on experience to the next generation of global citizens and responsible leaders at | 39

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By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA



Just north of Fairbanks Avenue, Rollins is creating a hub of philanthropy, art, and entrepreneurship at the nexus of our campus and our community. It’s a picturesque Winter Park afternoon when a business executive checks into the new wing of The Alfond Inn at Rollins College. She’s in town to meet a team of MBA students seeking seed funding for their startup. But things look a little different than her last trip to campus in late 2021. Instead of walking south, across Fairbanks Avenue, to reach the Crummer Graduate School of Business, her destination is only across the street, between The Alfond Inn and Park Avenue. And the museum tied to that contemporary artwork in the hotel lobby—it’s right next door. With a few minutes to explore, our business exec steps into the new Rollins Museum of Art, a modern, glass-walled building where an interdisciplinary group of undergrads is debuting a new exhibition.

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Nearby, a docent leads a community group on a tour. “You can reach the Crummer building through those doors,” says a guide, pointing to a verdant outdoor walkway. “Thank you for visiting!” Inside the business school’s spacious lobby, just past a flexible auditorium space that doubles as an events center, four MBA students who have flown in from around the world rise to meet their guest. It’s go time. Over the next few years, Rollins’ planned Innovation Triangle will create a hub of business, philanthropy, art, and entrepreneurship through the expansion of The Alfond Inn and the construction of new facilities for the Rollins Museum of Art and the Crummer Graduate School of Business. While work recently began on The Alfond Inn, the art museum and the new

facility for the business school are in a crucial fundraising stage as part of Brighter Together, the campaign for Rollins. These buildings will be located on a 2.37-acre city block, already owned by the College, bound by New England, Interlachen, Lyman, and Knowles avenues. Take a closer look at each leg of The Innovation Triangle, then explore how bringing these three entities together will transform the connection between our campus and our community, energize our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, and expand opportunities for future generations of Tars.

The Innovation Triangle

New England Ave

Interlachen Ave

Rollins Museum of Art

Alfond Inn Expansion

Crummer Graduate School of Business

Lyman Ave | 41

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Rollins Museum of Art

Drafting a Cultural Connection and Conversation Over the past decade, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum— recently rebranded as the Rollins Museum of Art—has experienced tremendous growth, attracting nearly 50,000 visitors in 2019 (five times more than 2012). Almost 900 works were added to its collection, fundraising grew sevenfold, the number of actively engaged students and faculty more than tripled, and the first endowment specifically for exhibitions was established. The single-most important factor in this growth? Incorporating the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art into the design of the award-winning Alfond Inn. It turns out, taking art directly to the people spurred a whole new level of interest. And therein lies the goal of the museum’s next endeavor. Moving into a modern, three-story, 31,000-square-foot building—adjacent to the planned Crummer business school and a stone’s throw from The Alfond Inn—will make Rollins’ arts and cultural experiences more visible and accessible to the community while providing much-needed space for additional exhibitions, study rooms, a lecture hall, a curricular gallery, and other enhancements. Currently, only 1 percent of the collection can be on view at any given time. With the new facility, however, “we’ll have more opportunities to take work out and have it engaged by students, the public, and students from other colleges and universities,” says Ena Heller, Bruce A. Beal Director of the Rollins Museum of Art. “And that will help us better fulfill our mission as a teaching museum that uses

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art to encourage critical and creative thinking, along with aesthetic enjoyment.” As an example, Heller points to the curricular gallery, which will display collection works tied to specific courses while also being open to the public. This bridge between campus and community will encourage lifelong learning, multigenerational experiences, and newfound partnerships while giving talented art students like Morgan Snoap ’20 a more impactful stage to launch their careers. “Being deeply involved at the museum was a formative part of my Rollins education and a motivating force for my continued career in the field of art history,” says Snoap, who curated two exhibitions at Rollins and is working toward her PhD in African art history at Boston University. “I’m thrilled that through the generous support of donors and the College, the museum is able to expand and create more opportunities for engagement with Rollins students and the larger Central Florida community.” As of August, about 70 percent of the museum’s $22.6 million fundraising goal has been reached, with generous donations from several alumni, including Charlotte Probasco Corddry ’61, and board member emerita June Nelson P’89. “Now is the time,” says Nelson, a 22-year member of the museum’s board of visitors. “I know the urgent need for more space to show our vast and diversified permanent collection, now largely in storage. We have the approval from Winter Park, we have the off-campus space, and we have the support of our leadership. Now is the right time to make it happen.”

Increased exhibition and gallery spaces | 43

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Crummer Graduate School of Business

Drawing on the Modern Workplace The business world has changed dramatically in the 50-plus years since the Crummer Graduate School of Business first opened its doors. So too have the types of learning spaces needed to develop global business leaders for 21st-century success. As part of The Innovation Triangle, Crummer is planning a three-story, 44,500-square-foot facility with newly imagined environments for teaching, executives, entrepreneurs, and working and early career professionals. Executive education, programming for nonprofit leaders, project development, and cross-disciplinary innovation with the ability to blend face-to-face interaction with technological interfaces will also be integrated into the new space. Additionally, the building will feature a flexible auditorium as well as a central suite of multipurpose and interactive gathering, networking, and conferencing spaces facing an outdoor garden that connects the business school and the new museum. “These types of spaces are needed to continue Crummer’s excellence as Florida’s top-ranked business school,” says Crummer Dean Deborah Crown. “This strategically located, state-of-the-art facility will build upon that reputation, establishing us as the regional hub for executive education and a key player in the growth of investment in Central Florida.” With more choices than ever in the MBA and Executive Doctoral Business Administration (DBA) marketplace, today’s tech-savvy, collaboration-minded business school students— as well as their current and future employers—are seeking schools that provide a real-world education mirroring the modern workplace. Elite business schools across the nation are rising to this challenge, investing in new facilities that attract students and elevate community and corporate engagement. 44 | Fall 2021

“Crummer’s ability to match modern offerings at other schools is absolutely essential in securing our long-term success and delivering on our mission,” says Crown, pointing to similar initiatives at Harvard, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Auburn, and Florida State, among others. “Our new facility, in concert with the museum and The Alfond Inn expansion, will position Crummer as one of the nation’s premier destinations for executive education. We’ll be able to better serve entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and business leaders—all while elevating our reputation in the community and across the globe.” The Innovation Triangle, adds Crown, will help Crummer draw more top-tier global executives and serial entrepreneurs, which will increase Rollins’ visibility and reputation among corporate partners. In turn, that will enhance the value of a Crummer degree and expand opportunities for Crummer graduates. The Crummer project has raised nearly 60 percent of its $25 million goal, including a $2 million commitment in April from the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation. “Massey Services has many team members who have received their MBA from Crummer and continue to be involved in the program,” says Andrea Massey-Farrell ’98, the foundation’s president and CEO. “We believe this new building will have a significant impact on our community.” As CEO of Winter Park’s AndCo investment consulting firm, Mike Welker ’99 ’01MBA also regularly taps into Crummer’s talent pipeline. Having high-quality arts, education, and hospitality in close proximity to the charm of downtown Winter Park, he says, will be a game-changer. “The College is really showing its commitment to position Crummer for even greater impact, academically and in the local community,” says Welker, “and I know the Rollins alumni network will come together in a big way to lend its support.”

Modern, high-tech classrooms

Interactive gathering and networking spaces | 45

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Alfond Inn Expansion

New cafe, spa, and fitness area

Extending Opportunity Perennially recognized as one of the nation’s most renowned boutique hotels, The Alfond Inn at Rollins College is about to get even better—and bigger—creating more rooms, more amenities, and more financial aid for Rollins’ brightest students. This past summer, the hotel embarked on a two-year expansion that will add 71 luxury guest rooms and suites, bringing the total number of rooms to 183. Designed in harmony with the original structure, the new wing will use natural light, a four-story atrium, and striking artwork to provide continuity and a seamless transition from one space to another. In addition to a new lobby cafe (coffee and crepes in the morning, beer and wine in the evening), the expansion includes a wellness spa with seven treatment rooms, steam and sauna, a fitness area, and luxury locker rooms. On the second floor, the spa will open onto a new amenity deck that features a second swimming pool, private cabanas, and a shaded canopy that covers an extensive outside living room. A new meeting room and boardroom will add 2,400 square feet to the hotel’s customizable event space, a favorite social hub for all occasions among the Rollins and Winter Park communities. “The expansion provides a pivotal moment for us to grow in tandem with Rollins and The Innovation Triangle,” says Jesse Martinez, general manager of The Alfond Inn. “What’s more, it gives us even more opportunities to fulfill 46 | Fall 2021

our philanthropic goals, which are always at the heart of our mission.” Owned by Rollins and founded in 2013, The Alfond Inn is the nation’s only hotel that serves as a formal extension of an art museum. Its pioneering business model also funnels profits to the Alfond Scholars program, Rollins’ premier academic scholarship. To date, the hotel has funded approximately 90 full and 900 partial scholarships by contributing $10.8 million to the Alfond Scholars endowment. Ed Kania, Rollins’ vice president of business and finance, estimates that from fiscal years 2024 to 2033 the hotel will generate another $19 million toward the endowment. In addition, the expansion will fund $21 million in athletic scholarships. On an annual basis, the larger Alfond Inn by 2033 is projected to provide six more Alfond Scholarships, which cover tuition, room, and board—a value exceeding $270,000 over four years. Our Alfond Scholars’ accomplishments have matched that incredible investment. As students, they have conducted and published original research, earned some of the world’s most prestigious fellowships, and led initiatives that made our community more connected, more sustainable, and more inclusive. Today, they are making our cities smarter, our children safer, and our world more secure as they forge meaningful lives and productive careers.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts A boutique hotel. A business school. An art museum. Alone, three distinct entities. Together, innovation in action. Locating the new Crummer Graduate School of Business and Rollins Museum of Art next door to The Alfond Inn—one block from Park Avenue—will create newfound synergies that advance the College and community. At Crummer, Crown envisions a day when students in the executive program—a hybrid model with in-person classes once a month—can fly into Orlando International Airport, board the SunRail, hop off in Winter Park, and walk a few blocks east to The Innovation Triangle. World-class hotel. Florida’s No. 1 business school. Awardwinning restaurants. All in one place. No rental car required. Just a laptop and a small suitcase. “Today’s executives want to bring their spouses and families, and they’re looking for high-end accommodations and cultural experiences,” says Crown. “An expanded Alfond Inn, combined with a new business facility and art museum, will better serve our current students and attract new executive students from across the nation and the world.” At the Rollins Museum of Art, Heller sees great potential for co-curricular offerings that expose business students to abstract ways of thinking. “There’s a new acknowledgment that creativity is one of the essential skills of leadership,” she says, “and you can use the arts to bring that into the spotlight. Once we’re together in the same space, we can start having those conversations on an even deeper level and see what kind of other connections can be made.”

Crown agrees, adding that an expanded Alfond Inn will help Rollins and Crummer attract larger, more influential corporate and academic conferences. “This type of executive programming uplifts your community,” she says, “and let’s not forget that we have the region’s premier center for advanced entrepreneurship. For us to be able to attract serial entrepreneurs and top companies, we absolutely need all the elements of The Innovation Triangle.” Hosting executives next door to an art museum, and in a hotel filled with contemporary art, will naturally lead to more tours and receptions for Heller and her staff. “Museums tend to be intimidating for some people,” she says. “But if you have a drink at the bar, it’s not threatening. And then you become interested and ask questions and maybe come on a tour. We’re used to seeing people at The Alfond Inn have that causal interaction with the art and come to the museum for the first time. Now that we’ll be located even closer, I expect those types of encounters will only increase.” And while The Innovation Triangle will be a major step for Rollins to prepare future classes of responsible leaders and global citizens, Crown says the ripples from this project will extend far beyond campus. “The Innovation Triangle will advance our community through expanding access to the arts, promoting successful entrepreneurship, elevating nonprofit leadership, and providing a talent pipeline for the professional and executive leadership needed to fuel and foster economic prosperity.”

Brighter Together Go to to learn more about this transformational project and discover how you can contribute to making it a reality. | 47

March 24 – 27, 2022


When you return to campus for Alumni Weekend 2022, you’ll not only reconnect with your Rollins history, you’ll also get a sneak peek at your alma mater’s brilliant future.

48 | Fall 2021

Think of Alumni Weekend 2022 as your very own time machine. After all, you’ll be returning to campus on March 24-27, 2022, but you’ll really be transported back to your personal version of Rollins as you reconnect with your favorite professors and classmates while retracing your steps around America’s most beautiful campus and down Park Avenue. As you relive your glory days, you’ll also have the opportunity to rocket ahead on the spacetime continuum and experience the more brilliant version of Rollins you’re helping us build through Brighter Together. To help you gear up for your journey, we’ve assembled a few of the many ways Alumni Weekend 2022 will help you celebrate Rollins’ past, present, and future.

Get your “grove” on The alumni weekend time machine is making its first stop at everyone’s favorite event, the annual Grove Party, kicking off Alumni Weekend 2022 in style.

Triple the nostalgia

We’re welcoming back the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 for the first-ever joint 50th reunion. That’s 150 years of catching up to do.

Sample future innovation

Get a taste of The Innovation Triangle’s transformational impact by booking breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Hamilton’s Kitchen in The Alfond Inn. Help fund scholarships for deserving Rollins students as you savor traditional Southern cooking with a modern flair.

Explore our 21st-century campus

Time-travel down the brick-paved paths on campus while taking in the newest additions to the neighborhood—from our new applied learning center and sprawling lakeside residential community to the state-of-the-art greenhouse atop Bush Science Center.

Visit everyone’s favorite neighbor

You’ll be among the first to experience A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor, the 7-foot-tall sculpture of Fred Rogers ’51 ’71H that was installed next to Knowles Memorial Chapel this fall.

Learn more

Stay tuned to, the Alumni Weekend 2022 website, for a schedule of events as well as an array of ways to rev up for this historic event. | 49


From quick and easy online gifts to sharing your time and expertise, there are plenty of ways to give back to Rollins, each with its own unique set of benefits. Time. Talent. Treasure. Whether you’ve got an abundance of one, a little of all three, or somewhere in between, Rollins offers myriad methods to become a part of the collective effort to support students and their success both at the College and beyond. From financial donations that position Rollins for long-term success to mentorship opportunities that prepare future grads for global citizenship and responsible leadership, alumni are giving back in meaningful, highly rewarding ways. Wondering where to start? Here are a few avenues to consider, with insights from other alums and friends of the College to guide you.

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Life is busy. So Kellee Johnson ’90 prefers to “set it and forget it.” By authorizing a monthly payment on her credit card, she gets cashback rewards, tax advantages, and the joy of helping her alma mater better serve the next generation of students. “Like so many young professionals, for at least a decade I didn’t donate to the College,” says Johnson, principal at the Ballast Group communications agency. “But during my formative years in public relations, I was mentored by numerous people who inspired me to start giving back. At first, it was only $50 to $100 a year. Then it steadily increased as finances allowed.” Her advice: Regardless of how or how much you give, making that commitment is key. “It’s an unfortunate reality,” she says, “but you might be surprised that Rollins’ alumnigiving percentage rate falls below national averages. We have to make progress in this area. Even if it’s just $5 a month, every bit counts.”

Hall of Fame women’s golf coach Julie Garner can’t be cloned—which is too bad because her teams have won six national titles. The next best alternative? Garner recently established a planned gift of her estate that will endow a new women’s assistant golf coach position well into the future. “I know the needs from my peek behind the curtain,” says Garner. “The money won’t go toward uniforms or equipment. The vision is much bigger and longer-range than that. … The endowment gives me the peace of mind that future Rollins coaches will not miss teachable moments because they’re too busy doing the work of two coaches.” The takeaway is two-fold: Gifts to Rollins can be directed to areas of your choosing, and they can be set up to transfer following your lifetime. Plus, because Rollins is tax-exempt, 100 percent of your donation will help support the College’s mission to create global citizens and responsible leaders who are living meaningful lives and forging productive careers.


No matter the amount or impact area, there’s a giving pathway to meet every need. ONLINE GIFTS

Use your credit card to donate through a safe, secure third-party website. You can designate the area of your choosing and set up a recurring payment schedule, racking up cash-back rewards as you go. MATCHING GIFTS

Many employers will match charitable contributions by employees—and sometimes retirees or spouses— allowing you to double or triple your impact. MEMORIAL AND HONORARY GIFTS


For Allan E. Keen ’70 ’71MBA ’10H, gifting highly appreciated securities is a no-brainer. As he explains it: “Let’s say you bought $5,000 in stock a few years ago, and now it has doubled in value. If you’re in the highest income tax bracket, selling that stock would create a 20 percent tax on your $5,000 gain (or a $1,000 tax). However, by donating the stock to Rollins (an IRS-recognized charity), you pay nothing in taxes.” In addition, you can also deduct the stock’s fair market value. So, sticking with the previous example, “the stock you bought for $5,000 has now generated a $10,000 charitable deduction. If you pay 37 percent federal income tax, that translates to another $3,700 in savings.” Keen, immediate past chairman of the Rollins Board of Trustees, is chairman and founder of the Keewin Real Property Company. “Giving back,” he says, “is a rewarding way to help Rollins, and its students, thrive for years to come.”

Without George Sciarrino ’07’s guidance and insights, Mariam Tabrez ’18 might never have developed a passion for fashion law. The two like-minded Tars were paired up through the College’s Career Champions mentorship program. “I never would have known about the niche practice of fashion law had it not been for the mentoring of a professor during law school,” says Sciarrino. “I really enjoyed sharing that same kind of guidance with Mariam.” Tabrez just finished her last year at New York Law School, where Sciarrino earned his JD, and has landed a legal internship with Schreck, Rose, Dapello & Adams in New York City. Inspired by her mentor’s path, she plans to focus on intellectual property law within the entertainment and fashion space. “It doesn’t take much to make a big difference,” says Sciarrino. ”We might shy away from getting involved because of the time required or thinking we don’t have much to offer. But the impact of a mentor far surpasses whatever you think you can put into it.”

Make a gift supporting Rollins in memory or in honor of a professor, student, relative, or friend. It’s a generous, thoughtful way to recognize a person’s life and accomplishments. GIFTS OF STOCK

Rollins accepts gifts of publicly traded, appreciated securities, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, which can provide significant tax savings. MENTORSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Support Rollins students and recent graduates by sharing your time, connections, and expertise, helping transform trajectories by bridging the gap between college and career. PLANNED GIFTS

Leave part of your legacy at Rollins by making a planned gift to support what means the most to you. Planned gifts include bequests; beneficiary forms; separate life insurance policies; retirement accounts; and charitable annuities, where in exchange for a gift of $10,000 or more, Rollins makes annual payments back to you for the rest of your life.

MAKE A GIFT Visit to explore which method of giving best aligns with your interests and goals.

Rollins College 1000 Holt Ave. - 2747 Winter Park, FL 32789-4409 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

What will you make brighter?

No matter how you answer that question, Brighter Together provides a pathway to support what you love most about Rollins. Head to brightertogether to find your fit in this historic endeavor and see how our collective action is creating a more brilliant future for our students and the world they will lead.