Flag raised on new four-year college
Marc Valero | Highlands TodayAVON PARK - A celebration at the flagpoles on the mural circle Wednesday afternoon marked South Florida State College's expanded mission and new name.
Published: September 28, 2012
Published: September 28, 2012
About 150 people were on hand, including college officials, students and community members, for the event, which featured the raising of the college's new flag and the lowering of a time capsule into the ground.
SFSC President Norm Stevens told the gathering, "We celebrate a moment in the history of our college, a milestone and a very important one. We're adding something new; a new possibility for our students to earn bachelor's degrees that open new doors."
Before the proceedings, Vice President for Educational and Student Services Leana Revell commented, "I'm excited; this has really been a long time in coming and it's a new phase for the college … and I am really looking forward to the future."
Sun 'N Lake resident Rusty Carino said, "I think it is so great; this way area kids can still stay close to home and get a four-year education; that's super."
SFSC freshman Giselle Pena said, "I think it is going to help a lot of students who can't really afford to go to a different city to accomplish their four-year bachelor's degree goal."
Avon Park City Councilman Terry Heston noted that the campus was recently annexed into the city.
"In the city limits of Avon Park, I think it is absolutely wonderful," he said. "I think it is a big deal. It gives us a chance to keep growing and I am looking very much forward to it."
The SFSC District Board of Trustees Chair Tami Cullens told the gathering that the raising of the new flag symbolizes the transition from South Florida Community College to South Florida State College.
"I cannot help but think about our journey to this point," she said.
South Florida Junior college started 47 years ago serving a few hundred students upstairs in the Brickell Building above Touchton Drugstore in downtown Avon Park, Cullens noted. By 1970, South Florida Junior College moved to this campus. In 2003, new campuses opened in both Hardee and DeSoto counties.
SFSC currently serves 12,000 students, reaching them through associate degrees, technical degrees and now a bachelor's degree, she said. The college's Bachelors of Applied Science in Supervision and Management is only a stepping stone.
"We are truly grateful for your endless support and dedication, for you see, 80 percent of the college-bound high school students in our district choose to attend South Florida State College," Cullens said. "That alone shows the impact this college makes on the students in our district."
She encouraged the gathering to mark their calendars for 2040 to help celebrate the college's 75th anniversary.
Stephens joked that he will be 97 years old then so he will have former college president Catherine Cornelius pick him up and drive him to the event.
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