City names park in honor of former FSC professor, Thomas B. Mack
LAKELAND, Fla. (April 7, 2006) — The city of Lakeland named Cleveland Park, located on the north shore of Lake Hollingsworth and west of Florida Southern College, the Thomas B. Mack Park at the Annual Alumni Banquet for FSC’s department of citrus and horticultural science April 1. The late Thomas B. Mack was a leading educator in the Florida citrus industry.
On behalf of Mayor Buddy Fletcher, Commissioner Edith L “Edie” Yates (a 1974 graduate of FSC) presented the proclamation naming the park. Mayor Fletcher wrote the proclamation recognizing Mack for his service to the college and the Lakeland community.
Mack began teaching courses in citrus, horticulture and landscape architecture at FSC in 1951. He was instrumental in establishing the Citrus Institute of Florida Southern College and served as its director until 1981. He also began the citrus archives, later designated the Thomas B. Mack Citrus Archives and a valuable resource for students and scholars interested in the history of Florida’s citrus industry. The Florida State Legislature declared the collection the official archives of the Florida citrus industry in 2001. Mack was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1997 and received the Society of Florida Archivists’ Award of Excellence in 2004.
Mack played an integral part in the beautification of Polk County, serving on the Lakeland Beautification Board where he worked to improve the appearance of lakes and public lands. His landscape projects included Lakeland’s Bicentennial Park, the Sun n’ Fun Fly-In grounds and the Peace River Park in Bartow, Fla.
Mack’s daughter Karen Hartman, his sister Ruby Mack, and two granddaughters attended the banquet. The proclamation will remain on display in the department of citrus and horticultural science.
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