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Flagler College

Energetic youth in ‘America’s oldest city’

St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental U.S., having been founded in 1565. Flagler College is a mere four centuries younger, having been founded in 1968. But the sense of place that goes with being situated in the heart of St. Augustine clearly helps to define the college.

 

Ponce-night-Scott-Smith_REVIn Florida, there is only one Flagler—the legendary Henry Morrison Flagler, industrialist, partner in Standard Oil and founder of what would become the Florida East Coast Railway, the key to his dream of developing Florida as “the American Riviera.” The first of several destination hotels built by Flagler, the Ponce de Leon opened in 1888 and was an instant success. Eighty years later, the hotel was gifted to Flagler College when the institution was founded by Lawrence Lewis, Jr., one of Flagler’s principal heirs. Today, that historic building is Ponce de Leon Hall, centerpiece of the campus and home to the main dining hall, a women’s dormitory, administrative offices and event space. Over the years, the college has spent some $60 million to restore the hotel and other historic buildings on campus and to add new facilities.

With a student body of about 2,600, Flagler is a comprehensive liberal arts institution offering a wide range of majors and minors with an emphasis on liberal arts, business and education. In the latter, the college is a leader in education for the deaf, in part because under­graduates gain skills and experience at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which is located in St. Augustine. Ponce-Stained-Glass4_straightSports management is a relatively new major that has already produced executives leading professional teams, while another recent initiative is a major in coastal environmental science (the lab, a.k.a. the Atlantic Ocean, is only five miles from campus).

Flagler College’s historic environs inject a sense of community into its DNA. One community contribution is a public administration program in which federal, state and local employees with two-year degrees may attend classes at night and on weekends to earn their bachelor’s degree. The program is attracting students from several counties in northeastern Florida.

In business, it may be natural for a young college to be a breeding ground for entrepreneurial thinking. Flagler’s own breed focuses on helping others in innovative ways. The college’s Enactus team recently won its third national championship and went on to the Enactus World Cup in Mexico. Enactus is a nonprofit organization active on some 1,500 campuses in 39 countries. Enactus teams seek to create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing a range of economic, business and financial outreach projects. Flagler’s Enactus graduates have been hired by Google, Walmart, GE, Lowe’s, Aflac, Disney and Home Depot, among others. 

Henry Flagler would be proud.
Flagler College’s Ponce de Leon Hall is a National Historic Landmark. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the interior, which includes some of his stained glass (shown at right).

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Disclaimer

Information, opinions, or commentary concerning the financial markets, economic conditions, or other topical subject matter are prepared, written, or created prior to printing and do not reflect current, up-to-date, market or economic conditions. Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to update such information, opinions, or commentary. To the extent views presented forecast market activity, they may be based on many factors in addition to those explicitly stated in this material. Forecasts of experts inevitably differ. Views attributed to third parties are presented to demonstrate the existence of points of view, not as a basis for recommendations or as investment advice. Managers who may or may not subscribe to the views expressed in this material make investment decisions for funds maintained by Commonfund or its affiliates. The views presented in this material may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Commonfund fund, or of any Commonfund manager. Market and investment views of third parties presented in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of Commonfund and Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to present its views on the subjects covered in statements by third parties. Statements concerning Commonfund’s views of possible future outcomes in any investment asset class or market, or of possible future economic developments, are not intended, and should not be construed, as forecasts or predictions of the future investment performance of any Commonfund fund. Such statements are also not intended as recommendations by any Commonfund entity or employee to the recipient of the presentation. It is Commonfund’s policy that investment recommendations to its clients must be based on the investment objectives and risk tolerances of each individual client. All market outlook and similar statements are based upon information reasonably available as of the date of this presentation (unless an earlier date is stated with regard to particular information), and reasonably believed to be accurate by Commonfund. Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to provide the recipient of this presentation with updated or corrected information. Past performance is not indicative of future results. For more information please refer to Important Disclosures.