Endowed chair established for FSC's business and economics department
Dr. Lawrence E. Ross appointed to the
Anne and Bill France Chair in Business
LAKELAND, Fla. (April 20, 2005) - Florida Southern College is pleased to announce the establishment of the Anne and Bill France Endowed Chair in Business through a gift from 1968 alumnus James C. France, CEO of International Speedway Corporation. The endowment is named in memory of his parents. Dr. Lawrence E. Ross, business professor, has been appointed as the first holder of this chair.
"I am deeply gratified by this strong vote of confidence in Florida Southern College. The Anne and Bill France Endowed Chair in Business will have a powerful impact on achieving a new level of excellence in our business department," said FSC president Dr. Anne B. Kerr. "This generous support reflects both Mr. France's deep commitment to family and his belief in the educational mission of his alma mater. The appointment of Dr. Larry Ross as chair holder is a tribute to his exemplary academic service and performance."
Ross, a member of FSC's faculty since 1993, received his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing from Georgia State University. He has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his teaching career, including the Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, the Mortar Board Society recognition as an outstanding professor, the ODK Outstanding Professor award from Florida Southern in 2001, and the college's Outstanding Professor award in 1998. Ross coordinates the business graduate programs and serves on the faculty senate and as the faculty representative on the finance committee of the board of trustees. In addition, Ross maintains close ties with the community as an educator, consultant, speaker, and entrepreneurial business owner.
"No one can appreciate my pleasure when President Kerr announced the establishment of the Anne and Bill France Chair in Business," said Dr. Susan P. Conner, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "It meant that we had an opportunity to recognize one of our exemplary faculty members in a very tangible way. Larry Ross is well known in both the FSC community and in the greater Lakeland community. He is a stellar professor, a leader in campus activities and shared governance, a respected colleague, and a fine researcher. Furthermore, he is a genuinely fine human being. This endowed professorship is a wonderful honor for the college, and it allows us to honor Dr. Ross."
Upon receiving the appointment, Ross stated, "I appreciate the generous support that Mr. Jim France has demonstrated with this significant gift to the college. I look forward to representing the spirit of business and entrepreneurship that Bill France demonstrated in building the success that we know as NASCAR. Florida Southern College has produced many successful graduates and Jim France embodies the ambition that our students and alumni have in common. This is a great day for me, for FSC, and for the France family."
The business and economics department has two other endowed professorships: the William F. Chatlos Professorship in Business and Economics held by Dr. Carl C. Brown, and the Dorotha C. Tanner Chair in Ethics in Business and Economics held by Dr. Joan Buccino.
About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1885, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive, United Methodist college with a liberal arts core. The college maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 38 undergraduate majors and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student/faculty ratio, provides strong student/faculty mentorship programs, boasts 24 NCAA Division II national championships, and is ranked by U. S. News and World Report as one of the top ten Southern Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelors. Located on scenic Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.