The growth of Lynn university

Lynn university has grown from a two-year women’s finishing school amid the bean fields of early Boca Raton to an internationally renowned university ranked as one of the most innovative schools in the nation.


A school is born … on an isolated track off Military Trail in Boca Raton, accessible only by a dirt road.

Sacred Heart of Mary breaks ground on Marymount College.

Breaking Ground

The religious order of the Sacred Heart of Mary breaks ground on Marymount College, a two-year women’s liberal arts college.

“We had nuns on each floor and had to sign in and out every time we went off campus …”

Kathleen Campbell Mullen, 1968 student

Student working on her iPad.

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Historical photo of Trinity Residence Hall.

Trinity Residence Hall

Enrollment is 90 on a campus consisting of Trinity Residence Hall, the Student Center and Carroll Hall academic building (now Assaf).


Enrollment at 500

Enrollment is 500; first commencement convocation is held.


And so it begins … with a new leader, a new name and the infrastructure set in place for a bright future

President Donald Ross in the 1970’s.

First President of Lynn University

Donald E. Ross visits Marymount to purchase its library books and discovers students holding cups imprinted with “Save Our College!” And he does, becoming the first president of the college.

“Just to hear Dr. Ross’ enthusiasm for this place was so encouraging. You felt there was hope.”

Kathleen Clunan, former archivist and one of the original nuns


College of Boca Raton

Marymount’s name is changed to the College of Boca Raton and receives generous funding from insurance magnate Eugene M. Lynn.


Pine Tree Camps Founded

Pine Tree Camps is founded by Helen Ross, the president’s wife, to service 25 children of faculty and staff. (Today the camp enrolls more than 1,500 children over the nine-week summer).


A matter of degrees … The school moves ahead in academics and athletics.  


Distinguished Speaker

Vice President George Bush is the first in a long line of distinguished speakers.


Four-Year Degrees Offered

Four-year degrees in health and human services, history, politics, computer science and engineering, business, aviation and hotel management are offered.

1987 men’s soccer team

Men's Soccer

Men’s soccer team wins the first of the college’s many national championships (Today, we have 23 … and counting).

Lynn won the men’s soccer national championship five times with wins in 2014, 2012, 2003, 1991 and 1987.


Growth spurt … The school matures from a college with one school and three academic divisions to a bona fide university.

 Lynn University’s old campus sign.

The College of Boca Raton Renamed

The College of Boca Raton is renamed Lynn University which now consists of six colleges, one school, two centers and a conservatory.

See what Lynn’s campus looks like today.

Take the tour

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The Conservatory of Music

The Conservatory of Music is acquired and provides a high-quality professional performance education to talented students.


Taking over the reins … Lynn heralds the 21st century with big changes in leadership and curriculum.

Kevin Ross

Fifth President of Lynn University

Kevin M. Ross takes over as Lynn’s fifth president succeeding his father Donald Ross who retires after 35 years.

Shortly after taking office. Kevin Ross shared his thoughts with Lynn Magazine.

Read the article

Kevn Ross on the cover of magazine.

A conversation with Lynn’s new president: Kevin Ross

Shortly after taking office, President Ross shared his thoughts with Lynn Magazine in the summer of 2006.

Q: How have the three institutions you attended influenced your role as an educator?

A: Colgate University, my undergraduate institution, is known for its liberal arts program and exceptional teaching. St. John’s College, where I earned my Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, has a truly distinctive curriculum based on the Great Books. Vanderbilt, where I obtained my doctorate from the Peabody College of Education, is professionally oriented. Currently at Lynn we offer a liberal arts core and professional study programs, but we’re working on bringing true distinctiveness to the Lynn experience, through interdisciplinary education, study abroad and enhancements to the core curriculum.

Q: As chief operating officer, one of your major priorities was supervising the development of Lynn 2020, the university’s strategic plan. Why was this initiative so important at this time?

A: At this pivotal point in our organizational lifecycle, I and the leadership team recognized that this was the time to marshal all of our forces, to come together and decide how we’re going to move forward, how we’re going to differentiate ourselves from the other colleges and universities out there. How are we going to get there? How long will it take? Who’s responsible for it? We knew we needed a series of actionable steps that would get us there. Because we care deeply about the place, we wanted to bring in the best in the field to help facilitate our plan. That’s why we sought out George Keller, an acclaimed innovator in strategic planning.

Even before Dr. Keller arrived, one of the chairs of our SACS review had told my father in his final analysis that Lynn is on the verge of greatness. Keller called it a “tipping point.” We’re off and running to become even more special than we already are. You see that with so many of our programs—their quality, whether it’s athletics or a college or school, or just the nature of the people who work here and the students who come here. I like that we’re constantly striving to get better. Continual improvement. Continual assessment and being honest with ourselves. This was the right time.

Sometimes transitions can be one of those right times. You’re finishing one chapter and beginning another. There’s that timing in between the two when you can set yourself up for great continuity. It reminds me of a sure that we’re truly listening to what their hopes, wishes and desires are, while being realistic about how we can, or in some cases cannot, meet those. We’re moving away from singular champions. This is not a sustainable model over the long haul. To do the things we need to do, everyone has a role. I would prefer for a lot of people to come together to accomplish our goals than for just one person to do so, because that shows buy-in. It reminds me of a quote by Ebenezer Dodge, president of Colgate University—one of my alma maters, in an address to the Class of 1870: “An institution should never break with its history, for to that it owes the inspiration necessary for discharging its present obligations.”

Q: What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing our university, and how do you see us meeting that challenge?

A: As an institution, one of our major challenges is our newness. From a fundraising standpoint, we do not have a long, rich, storied history of philanthropy. A big challenge before us is, How do we move forward in an era of rising costs, rising tuitions and the inability of consumers to pay for the goods and services without being saddled in debt— and that’s not something we want to teach our students. So, we’re seriously exploring how we as an institution can help ourselves while helping our students. That means strategic deployment of resources based on the goals. That means reaching out to our different constituents to be That shows conviction and commitment to our cause.

Q: What message would you like to convey to alumni? What role can they play in our future?

A: We’ve had some great success in connecting with alumni across the nation and around the world with a relatively new alumni relations program. We’d like to further engage them in the life of their university. They are still part of the Lynn family. We want them to come back for “family reunions” and celebrate new and old family traditions.

We’re working every day on significantly increasing the value of our graduates’ degrees. We’re never going to stop doing that. That was an investment they made in their education here. Contrary to what some people may think—that when they leave a university, their investment is over—our graduates’ investment in Lynn is compounding interest every day and will for the rest of their lives.

The future of Lynn University is very bright, and our trajectory is at a lightning pace. Lynn is on the move very, very quickly. We’d love for our alumni to be a part of Lynn’s future and to come along with us for this ride.

About Kevin Ross


  • Doctor of Education, Vanderbilt University, Peabody College of Education, 2006. Dissertation:“Bridging the Gap: A Multi-Case Study of the Adoption and Implementation of Instructional Technology in Higher Education”
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, St. John’s College, 1997
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Colgate University, 1994

Career Highlights

  • Lynn University: President, 2006; chief operating officer, 2004-2006; vice president for institutional advancement, 2003-2004; director of devel- opment, 2001-2003; director of special projects, 2000-2001; associate dean, Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn College of International Communication, 1999-2000
  • Wilmington College: assistant to the president, 1998-1999
  • Avon Old Farms School (Avon, Conn.): associate director of admissions, 1997
  • The Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.): admission officer, 1994-1996

Community Involvement

  • Boca Raton Educational Television, Founding Board
  • Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition, Board of Directors
  • Pope John Paul II High School, Advisory Board
  • Lynn University Board of Trustees
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Founder's Day

The first Founders Day, with canoe races and a family-friendly festival and picnic, is held on campus to celebrate Lynn’s beginnings.

Students race canoes at Founders Day celebration.


Perper Plaza Dedicated

Perper Plaza is dedicated.

Students studying with Lynn’s new Dialogues program.

The Dialogues

The Dialogues, Lynn’s new core curriculum, is launched.

Lynn’s new core curriculum is lauded in Insider Higher Ed


Perper Tennis Complex Dedicated

Perper Tennis Complex is dedicated; the first performance is held in the new Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center.


Coming of age … Lynn’s 50th anniversary ushers in some of the school’s most momentous years filled with important conversations and new innovations in teaching and learning.

The first annual “Knights Unite” day of caring honors four students and two faculty members who perished in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while on the Journey of Hope service trip. The following year, Lynn dedicates Remembrance Plaza.

Knights Unite Day

The first annual “Knights Unite” day of caring honors four students and two faculty members who perished in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while on the Journey of Hope service trip. The following year, Lynn dedicates Remembrance Plaza.

2012 Presidential debate is held on Lynn University campus.

Presidential Debate

Lynn hosts the final presidential debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Lynn University had a front row seat to history as it hosted the final presidential debate.

Watch video

Dr. Gregg Cox meets with student to give tips on Lynn’s iPad mini initiatives.

Apple Distinguished School

Lynn is named an Apple Distinguished School for its iPad “mini revolution.” iPad-powered learning is such a success that Lynn expands and enhances its use of the technology through subsequent years.

Lynn goes Pro. Lynn’s undergraduate day students are the first in the nation to receive the iPad Pro in spring 2016.

Watch video

IBC building on Lynn University campus.

IBC Building

The Mohamed Indimi International Business Center is dedicated.

See how this impressive new addition to Lynn's campus came together.

Watch video


Central Energy Plant and Bobby Campbell Stadium

The Central Energy Plant and Bobby Campbell Stadium are dedicated.


Snyder Sanctuary and Perper Intramural Field

Snyder Sanctuary and Perper Intramural Field are dedicated.

Ground is broken on the new Perper Residence Hall site at Lynn University.

Perper Residence Hall

Ground is broken on Perper Residence Hall scheduled to open 2017.

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We are Lynn

Butterfly Garden
Students in the Global Environmental Politics and Justice class weeded the Butterfly Garden to celebrate Earth Day.
Catalina Carbonell, student
Groundbreaking Contest Winner
Spencer Rubin won #LynnUCenter groundbreaking Snapchat contest and wins a 1,000-foot look over campus from Aeronautics.
Jamie D'Aria, staff member
Img 0864
My friends enjoying the University Center Groundbreaking picnic ❤️
Ka Lynn Robinson, student
Potus Tfr
Even a POTUS Temporary Flight Restriction doesn't ground the Redbird!
Jeff Johnson, staff member
College Of Ed Mission Lynnpossible
Saying goodbye to our RCOE building with our Mission Lynnpossible sunglasses!
Kelly Burlison, faculty member
Img 0921
Graduation night, May 6, 2010! Proud to be a Lynn alumni!
Jessica Starkoff , alumni

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