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Trustee Emeritus Mark Hollis passes away

Mark C. Hollis ’56, Trustee Emeritus, passed away Dec. 7.

Mark C. Hollis, Stetson University Trustee Emeritus, passed away Dec. 7, 2012, in Lakeland, Fla. He was 78.

A 1956 graduate of Stetson, Hollis served on the Stetson University Board of Trustees for 30 years, beginning in 1979, and served as chair from 1993-94, and again from 1996-98. He received the title of Trustee Emeritus in 2009. He also served on Stetson’s School of Business Administration Board of Advisors, as well as the Alumni Association Board of Directors. As a member of the university’s volunteer leadership, he was passionate about innovation in educational practice as well as the importance of health and wellness.

Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby remembers Hollis as “a man of high integrity and commitment. He made Stetson a better university and all of us better servants of her mission through his clear vision, pointed questions and razor-sharp intelligence. We have appreciated his warmth, generosity and kindness.”

Hollis served as president, chief operating officer and vice-chair, and member of the board of Publix Super Markets, Inc. He served on the boards of Bellsouth Telecommunications, SunTrust Bank of Florida and the Sikes Corporation. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Hollis & Sons, Inc. In his later years, Hollis became a sculptor using media such as wood, alabaster and marble. His most recent work, “Shalom,” hangs in the H. Douglas Lee Chapel at Stetson University.

Lynn and Mark Hollis (left) dedicated his original sculpture entitled “Shalom” to Stetson University in 2011, specifically to hang in the H. Douglas Lee Chapel. President Wendy Libby (far right) and Margaret Lee, wife of the late president Doug Lee, posed with the Hollises during the special dedication ceremony.

An inspirational leader, Hollis has received Stetson’s most prestigious awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award; the Doyle E. Carlton Award for outstanding community service and contributions to higher education; the Distinguished Service Award; and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1989. In addition, he was named a Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

In 2011, Hollis and his wife of 57 years, Lynn, were presented with Stetson’s George and Mary Hood Award, in recognition of their extraordinary passion for, and commitment and contributions to, Stetson University and her core values. Through the generous philanthropy of their family, Mark and Lynn Hollis have supported student scholarships, endowed chairs and academic program development, and construction and maintenance of campus facilities. Hollis was a special champion for maintaining and celebrating the beauty and function of the Stetson University campuses.

Besides his wife Lynn, he is survived by their three sons, Clayton, Jack and Dean, and their extended families.