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LAKELAND (Jan. 25, 2021) – Florida Southern College recently completed the installation of two new rock climbing walls in the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center, making this state-of-the-art fitness option available to FSC’s students.

“The unveiling of FSC’s new rock climbing walls highlights the growing popularity of this activity while expanding the College’s commitment to the promotion of student wellness,” says FSC President Anne B. Kerr. “We are extremely grateful to our donors, Drs. Marjorie and Hal Roberts, for their continuing support of the College and the well-being of our student population.”

Complete funding for the climbing walls came in the form of a gift from the Robertses, who were introduced to the world of competitive climbing by their grandson Liam, an experienced and successful climber. In 2008, the couple’s generous donation to Florida Southern made possible the founding of the Roberts Academy, a transitional school for children with dyslexia. Their interest and support also led to the 2020 expansion of the Roberts Academy Middle School.

Marjorie Roberts is a longtime member of Florida Southern’s Board of Trustees, and the College awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in 1999. FSC also awarded Hal Roberts an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2008.

Located on the lower level of the Wellness Center, the largest of the newly installed climbing walls is a top-rope-style design, complete with automatic belay devices that take up the slack as a user climbs, to ensure safety. At a width of 44 feet, this 22-foot-tall wall accommodates several different climbing routes, allowing climbers of all skill levels to participate. A smaller, ropeless bouldering wall is approximately 11 feet wide and 12 feet tall.

Eldorado Climbing of Louisville, Colo., fabricated the custom-designed climbing walls.

“This is a wonderful addition to our Wellness Center, and helps further our goals to provide fun and exciting opportunities for all of our students to stay active and healthy,” said Director of Athletics and Dean of Wellness Drew Howard. 


About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, nursing, and physical therapy. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the top 10 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in its 2021 “Best Colleges” guide, and is included in The Princeton Review’s 2021 “386 Best Colleges” guide, the “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2021,” and Forbes magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society. FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.

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