The New College Challenge is a path to address the issues of social, economic, and environmental resilience — issues that have a direct impact on New College, our community and our future. The Challenge will allow us to excel as a resilient, innovative campus community that cultivates students into trailblazing problem-solvers and leaders.

We’ve partnered with six world-class design schools from top universities to join the Challenge. Their discoveries and ideas will shape a public exhibition in fall, 2023. The result: A new path for New College as an even more vibrant, resilient campus and a leader in liberal arts education. Join us. And let’s reimagine together.

Challenge Launch Week

A week of events launched the New College Challenge, beginning with Kickoff Brunch on the Bayfront on Oct. 25, 2022, New Topics lecture with Harvard professor Chris Reed, and the Designing for Resilience Symposium.

Watch the Symposium LivestreamLearn more about Launch Week Events

The New College Challenge is designed to ensure that our institution is recognized for its tremendous value, is relevant to future generations, and is resilient to the pressures from our ever-changing world. We know we can become the model for an honors liberal arts education in the 21st century.

About The Challenge

On a picturesque slice of the Sarasota bayfront, the dream of founding a college that would be a hub for freethinking innovators came to life in 1960. New College of Florida was a grand experiment during a time when the country was was steeped in the controversies of the ’60s, a program that reflected the ideals of an individualized academic program that focused on mastery rather than competition.

New College Challenge, this first-of-its kind yearlong initiative will transform the campus into a community incubator for exploring the sustainable future of higher education and coastal resilience. The Challenge will partner with students, leaders and experts across key industries. These visionaries will address the social, economic and environmental challenges that face the region and the world today.

Students at New College embody the values of creativity, curiosity and individual thinking above convention and conformity.

The College is a launching pad for entrepreneurs who go on to solve the world’s biggest problems and positively impact the global landscape.

New College has the potential to serve as a sustainable model for a new era in higher education—one that will have the educational framework and environmental fortitude to nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

Student Leadership

The Planning for Campus Resilience Challenge academic course invites students to play a central role in shaping the future of their campus, explore practical responses to rising sea levels in coastal communities, and develop leadership skills for collaborative problem solving in diverse communities.  

From its inception New College students have been integral leaders involved in the Challenge.

Partner Schools

New College is enlisting experts from Kean University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Miami, the University of South Florida, and Yale, to lend their unique perspectives to the Challenge team. Some of these academic faculty members and student partners will help re-envision the spaces and places on the New College campus.

The Challenge Model

The New College Challenge is modeled after two endeavors in the Northeast: “Envision Resilience: Nantucket Challenge” and “Envision Resilience: Narragansett Bay”. Learn more at


Donate to Support the Challenge

We often hear that it takes money to make money. It’s true. The Challenge is an expensive endeavor, but it is a collaborative undertaking that is designed to elevate our campus and community, both regionally and nationally. Yes, it’s an ambitious undertaking for our small school, but together we can have an impact that reaches well beyond our area. This Challenge is a collective investment in our future–can you help us seize this moment? Donate

Advisory Council

Bill Dudley Former President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of New York New College Alumnus
Ann Darby Former Vice President, JP Morgan Chase
Bob Essner Former Chairman & CEO, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Norm Worthington Former Founder & CEO, Star2Star Chairman, Sangoma Technologies Corp New College Alumnus
Janet Doyle Former President & CEO, Kramer Junction Company

Contact Us

The New College Challenge

Email Address

Thank you to our Challenge Sponsors

Jake Short, ‘87

Kathleen Binnicker Swann Foundation