Skip to main content

Bornstein, Rita


biographical statement

As the College's thirteenth president and the first woman to hold that title, Rita Bornstein came to Rollins College in 1990. For the next fourteen years, President Bornstein was also an author, teacher, and well-accomplished fundraiser. A native of New York, Bornstein pursued her higher education in the South. After receiving both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Florida Atlantic University, she attended the University of Miami, where she earned her Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Instruction in 1975. She taught high school English for a time, directed the U.S. Office of Education Technical Assistance Center at the University of Miami, and eventually became the university's vice president for development. During her time as president, Rollins' ranking in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" climbed from number six regionally to number one, and the College became number one in Florida. Bornstein focused on boosting the College's endowment, which increased fourfold during her presidency, and creating additional endowed professors' chairs. She also oversaw The Campaign For Rollins, which succeeded in bringing $160.2 million to the College. In addition, Bornstein led the College in a much needed building project that expanded existing structures, added the McKean Gateway to the campus, and constructed the Cornell Campus Center, among other buildings. Bornstein's commitment to making Rollins an integral part of the Winter Park community was reflected in an emphasis on service and in the many distinctions awarded to both her and the institution. In recognition of Rollins' contribution of two Habitat for Humanity houses, the College was awarded the Tenth Annual Citizen of the Year Award by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in 1994. Ten years later, the chamber named her Citizen of the Decade. Bornstein's other honors include the first Council for Advancement and Support of Education District II Chief Executive Leadership Award, the Laureate for Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising, and the Summit Award. While Bornstein is well known as a gifted administrator, she is also an academic in her own right. Her works include over one hundred presentations and papers including the well-received Rollins Colloquy, "Toward a Pragmatic Liberal Education: The Curriculum of the Twenty-First Century." Bornstein's published books include EDUCATION AND DEMOCRACY: RE-IMAGINING LIBERAL LEARNING and LEGITIMACY IN THE ACADEMIC PRESIDENCY: FROM ENTRANCE TO EXIT. In addition, she enjoys hiking and canoeing when her schedule allows time.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Bornstein, Rita Presidential Records

Identifier: Bornstein
Scope and Contents The records of Dr. Rita Bornstein, 13th president of Rollins College, include her inauguration, correspondence, general college affairs, work with faculty, students, staff and the Board of Trustees, development work, writings, reports and publications, Rollins colloquy, and her involvement in educational organizations and community services over her tenure of 14 years from 1990 to 2004. As these materials were periodically transferred by the Office of the President, information on a single...
Dates: Created: 1990-2004