I arrived in Sarasota in 1970 to attend New College and have been closely associated with the school ever since. I’m perhaps best known for leading the College’s Environmental Studies Program, but I’ve also been an adjunct lecturer, an assistant to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chair of both the Master Plan and Landscape committees, a former President of the Alumnae/i Association, and an unofficial landscape historian. My New College education prepared me for varied roles as an educator, consultant, volunteer activist, and author. The result has been four dozen years of involvement in environmental issues — involvement that has helped define regional natural resource protection. After spending nearly three quarters of my life working to improve New College, I am honored to serve as the first President of NCF Freedom, and I remain dedicated to the College’s future.
Throughout my career as a healer I have used alternative methods as a certified homeopath and psychotherapist. I graduated from New College as a member of the charter class in 1964 (my name then was Kathleen Dively) and went on to earn my MSW and MBA. For 35 years I have lived in Florida, the past 12 in Sarasota where my philanthropic energy has been devoted to New College. The largest change in my life was to attend NCF, where I was exposed to greater vision and world class teachers, and able to explore with unlimited freedom. I want to ensure that same opportunity is available for future students.
I have been a community supporter of New College for over 35 years. As an antiques dealer, my support included heading the art committee for the New College Action Auction fundraisers. Interacting with students I have come to truly embrace their outside-the-box thinking. As a Sarasota resident of over 50 years, I have seen how New College students contribute to our community, as well as our society. As a member of the NCF Freedom board of directors, my hope is to get the new board and new president to see the benefits of New College. It is a community school and this is a community effort to enlighten those who have yet to recognize its extraordinary value.
New College of Florida is a unique institution with a long history of changes since its founding in 1960. The State's Public Honors College is known for vigorous and collaborative student-guided academics, shared governance, and a culture that values academic freedom, critical thinking, and diverse points of view.
What makes this school worth fighting for? Hear if from New College Voices
NCF Freedom began when a group of long-term Sarasota-based supporters of New College came together within 24 hours of the January 6, 2023 announcement that Governor DeSantis was appointing 6 new trustees to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees (with a 7th position soon after filled by the State University System of Florida, Board of Governors). This announcement included strong public statements from the Governor, his close allies, and the newly appointed trustees that they intended to drastically alter the curriculum, faculty, campus climate, and leadership of New College, including ending all activities under the broad label of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Within days, many of these individuals issued strong and undocumented accusations that New College had become a failing college and a far-left environment that was “indoctrinating” students and marginalizing students or faculty who held to politically or personally conservative viewpoints.
NCFF is a membership non-profit corporation made up of current and former New College students, faculty, administration, and staff, as well as members of the larger Sarasota and New College communities, who have joined together to protect and promote the mission and future of the College. NCFF seeks to improve New College in a manner that avoids unethical, improper or illegal actions by the State, the Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, or the Administration that will harm the mission and future of New College.