Dr. Damián J. Fernández

President Fernandez chats with students outside Eckerd College library

A Letter from the President of Eckerd College


At Eckerd College you will discover your place and purpose. Since its founding, our faculty and staff have invited students to embrace discovery—of self, others and the world. We do so by providing unique opportunities, like our three-week Autumn Term and Winter Term, and crafting a personal, high-impact and interconnected education one student at a time. Even more important given the world’s current challenges, our approach partners students with faculty mentors, theory with hands-on learning, the liberal arts and sciences with real-world problems, and the local with the global.

At Eckerd our vernacular is that of purpose and possibility: from the structured flexibility of our pedagogy to the midcentury modern, utilitarian design of our buildings, from our active student organizations to our commitment to global education and innovative interdisciplinary programs combining liberal arts with lifelong professional skills. Our engagement with the world beyond our shoreline, through study abroad and classroom work, is a reflection of the spirit of adventure, inclusion and pragmatic idealism that we cultivate in our students.

Place matters at Eckerd. Our mile-long waterfront on Florida’s Gulf Coast inspires joy, reflection and play, but it is more than a stunning geographic location; it is a canvas and a resource for a way of learning through critical analysis, openness to differences, and acceptance of responsibility for our environment and shared humanity. We aspire to reach the horizon of a better world through inquiry and service, and the intensity of our commitment to modeling and fostering that ideal is what makes us special. Our graduates embody—and are well prepared to pursue—that aspiration.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please contact the President’s Office.