Florida College: Wikis


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Florida College
Motto "Education Above & Beyond"
Established 1946
Type Private
Endowment US$11 million
President H. E. "Buddy" Payne
Faculty 45
Undergraduates 520
Location Temple Terrace, FL, USA
Campus Suburban, 20 acres
Colors Red and White
Nickname Falcons
Affiliations none
Website www.floridacollege.edu

Florida College is a small, accredited, coeducational Christian college located in the City of Temple Terrace, Florida, eight miles northeast of the City of Tampa, Florida. Degree programs include the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, the Bachelor of Arts in Music, the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Business, as well as an Associate of Arts degree.

Since its founding as a junior college in 1946, Florida College has drawn its staff, faculty, and the majority of its students from non-institutional Churches of Christ (Restoration Movement); it is also recognized among these churches as an important training center for ministers. The college maintains no official connection with any religious body, however, for doctrinal reasons. This gives it some unusual characteristics as religious colleges go – Florida College accepts no direct contributions from any organized religious body, and the members of its board serve as individuals rather than as official representatives of any religious body.

The high emphasis Florida College places on its Christian heritage is expressed in its tradition of daily chapel services. All members of the board of directors and all faculty members are required to be active members in a Church of Christ. All students are required to receive daily classes in Biblical topics. Course materials in the natural sciences advocate Young Earth creationism.



The campus is located in the heart of the historic City of Temple Terrace and sits on the banks of the beautiful Hillsborough River (to the east) and is bordered on the other three sides by the private golf course land of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, circa 1922. Two of the oldest buildings in the city are an integral part of the campus fabric and are Sutton Hall, circa 1922, which was originally the clubhouse for the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, and the Student Center, which was originally the Club Morocco Nightclub and Casino, circa 1926.

Florida College's Sutton Hall, formerly the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, 1920s postcard

The Club Morocco was the hottest nightclub on the west coast of Florida in the 1920s. Noted Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott was the architect for both buildings which were part of the original Temple Terrace Estates, one of the first Mediterranean Revival golf course planned communities in the United States (1921). According to the 1988 Temple Terrace Historic Resources Survey, both buildings are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. After the Florida economic collapse of 1926, in the late 1930s, the property and its buildings were acquired by the Florida Bible Institute from the City of Temple Terrace before being sold to the founders of today's Florida College.

Billy Graham attended Florida Bible Institute, which owned the property now occupied by Florida College, in the late 1930s. In his autobiography he writes he received his calling "on the 18th green of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club". A Billy Graham Memorial Park is on the east side of the 18th green on the river.

Known as Florida Christian College, the school's charter was drafted in 1944. The school opened in fall 1946 with 100 students. The college charter stipulates the Board of Directors be active in a local, generally non-institutional, Church of Christ.[1] The first president of the school was L.R. Wilson, who served from 1946 to 1949. He was followed by James R. Cope, who remained in office from 1949 until 1982.

Florida College's iconic Hutchinson Auditorium, looking west, photo 1961.

During the 1950s, the Churches of Christ debated internally whether congregations should support missions or educational institutions. This results in a schism and the development of non-institutional Churches of Christ, which do not offer financing to educational institutions. Florida College was unique during these debates as the only college associated with the Churches of Christ which advocated non-institutionalism. This stance led the Gospel Advocate, a religious magazine for members of the Churches of Christ, to brand the school "a haven for radicals".[1] Florida College refuses to accept donations from churches. The college supports itself through donations from individuals and the tuition paid by students.[1]

Throughout the 1950s, the majority of the students were older men who wished to become preachers; according to David Edwin Harrell, the school "became something of a training ground for a cadre of noninstitutional leaders".[2] In 1954 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted Florida College full accreditation for the Associate of Arts degree.

In the 1960s the school's recruitment policies changed, and students oustide of the Churches of Christ were pursued. This prompted a name change in 1963. After receiving complaints that a secular institution should not use the word "Christian" in its name, the college was rechristened Florida College. By the 1970s, however, the bulk of the student body was again members of the Churches of Christ, although the students were younger and more traditional than those of the 1950s.[2] In 1982, Bob F. Owen became president of Florida College, the position he held until 1991, when Charles G. "Colly" Caldwell, III, assumed office.[1]

At the beginning of the 2008 academic year, Caldwell announced his resignation as president of Florida College. He remains at Florida College as a full-time faculty member in the Bible department. After a nationwide search, Temple Terrace resident Harry E. "Buddy" Payne was named the fifth president of the college, effective May 22, 2009. Payne was the academic dean and vice president of the college prior to being appointed president.

Florida College added its first accredited four-year degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, in 1996. It has since added bachelor degrees in music, elementary education, liberal studies and business.


Florida College is located in Temple Terrace, Florida, approximately 20 minutes northeast of Tampa,[1] on the grounds of what was once the home of Florida Bible Institute.[3] About 20,000 people live in Temple Terrace, which covers an area of 4.5 square miles (12 km2).[4] The Hillsborough River marks the eastern edge of the main campus, which is bordered on the other three sides by the private golf course land of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club. Across the Hillsborough River, the college has Conn Gymnasium and its athletic fields. Immediately adjacent to the gym is an affiliated private pre-kindergarten through ninth grade school called Florida College Academy, and then a large physical plant warehouse. The main campus includes two of the oldest buildings in the city. Sutton Hall, built about 1922, was originally the clubhouse for the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club. The Student Center, built around 1926, was once the Club Morocco Nightclub and Casino.[4] Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott designed both buildings. According to the 1988 Temple Terrace Historic Resources Survey, both buildings are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The iconic Hutchinson Auditorium, one of the more striking Mid Century Modern buildings in Temple Terrace cost $100,000 in 1961, and was commemorated March 5, 1961. Architect was Gary Boyle, Tampa, built by Paul Smith Construction Co., Tampa, and largely financed

Florida College's new Boswell Hall.

by the Hutchinson family. Most materials for the auditorium were shipped from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hutchinson is both iconic and central to Florida College as it serves as the meeting place for weekday morning chapel assemblies at 10:15 a.m. during the school year and as the theater for most major productions on campus (e.g. plays, concerts, etc.).

Two brand new residence halls were begun during the 2007-2008 school year and completed in the first half of the 2008-2009 academic year. Boswell Hall, which holds 320 beds, is five stories tall, and is said to be the tallest building in old Temple Terrace. All on-campus men live in Boswell.

Terrace Hall is the new residence hall available for the women. It holds 90 beds and is also five stories tall. This supplements the other two women's residence halls, Hinely Hall and historic Sutton Hall.


Florida College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer an Associate of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. It also offers accredited Bachelor degrees in Elementary Education, Music, Business and an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. There is one faculty member for every 12 students. Tuition, room and board for the 2009-10 academic year is $18,360. Ninety percent of the students receive financial aid.


Although the bulk of its students are members of Churches of Christ, Florida College does not recruit through churches. Instead, the school gains name recognition by offering 21 one-week summer camps annually in locations across the United States. Approximately 4000 children attend the summer camps, with about 400 volunteers to teach and entertain them.[1]

Student life

Approximately 500 students attend Florida College, representing 35 U.S. states and 6 foreign countries. Ninety percent of them are members of non-institutional Churches of Christ. More than 60% of the students are legacies with one or more of their parents or grandparents having previously attended the school.[1]

Until 1996, Florida College offered only two-year associate's degrees. Although the school now offers several four-year bachelor's degrees, many students transfer before their junior year, often attending the University of South Florida or Western Kentucky University.[1]

Students are required to live on campus until they reach the age of 21. In situations where an adult relative lives in the immediate vicinity this rule is sometimes relaxed. Approximately 90% of students live on campus, in one of 4 residence halls. These are:

  • Boswell Hall (houses all male students on campus)
  • Terrace Hall
  • Sutton Hall (formerly the Temple Terrace Country Club)
  • Hinely Hall (built as an additional wing of Sutton Hall)

Athletic teams participate in basketball, volleyball, soccer,and cross country. Although originally represented by a pelican, the school's current mascot is a falcon. The school has a touring PR band called the Friends, a play on Florida College's original motto, "A Friend to Youth."


Florida College receives support from alumni across the United States. Twenty-eight alumni clubs have formed in cities as far away as Minnesota and Oregon.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ross, Bobby (April 2008), "A non-institutional institution", The Christian Chronicle, http://www.christianchronicle.org/article2158290~A_non-institutional_institution, retrieved 2008-05-27  
  2. ^ a b Harrell (2000), p. 304.
  3. ^ Zimmer, Josh (October 18, 2004), "Switched markers cause an uproar", St. Petersburg Times, http://www.sptimes.com/2004/10/18/Pasco/Switched_markers_caus.shtml, retrieved 2008=-5-27  
  4. ^ a b Sokol, Marlene (September 3, 2004), "Temple Terrace has rich history of its own", St. Petersburg Times, http://www.sptimes.com/2004/09/03/Northoftampa/Temple_Terrace_has_ri.shtml, retrieved 2008-05-27  

^ a b Zimmer, Josh (October 18, 2004), “Switched markers cause an uproar”, St. Petersburg Times, <http://www.sptimes.com/2004/10/18/Pasco/Switched_markers_caus.shtml>. Retrieved on 2008=-5-27


  • Harrell, David Edwin (2000), The Churches of Christ in the Twentieth Century: Homer Hailey's Personal Journey of Faith, Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, ISBN 9780817310080  

External links



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