LeRoy Collins (1909-1991)

Thomas LeRoy Collins was the 33rd governor of Florida and served from 1955 to 1961. Collins was the first governor from the South to promote ending segregation.

Photo Credit: The State Archives of Florida.

Who We Are

The LeRoy Collins Institute, named in honor of former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, is a non- partisan, statewide policy organization which studies and promotes creative solutions to key private and public issues facing the people of Florida and the nation. See our By-Laws here: LCI By-Laws


The Institute is governed by a distinguished Board of Directors that includes current and former state-elected officials, other policy makers, educators and private citizens from throughout Florida. The Institute is chaired by John Marks, III and the director is Lonna Atkeson.

LonnaAtkeson Headshot-crop

Lonna Atkeson, Ph.D., Institute Director

john marks

John Marks III,
Board Chair


Yimeng Li


Miguel Arceo-Miranda


Braeden McNulty


Eli McKown-Dawson


Austin Cutler


The Caldwell House

The LeRoy Collins Institute is located in the Caldwell House, which is at Florida State’s Law School. The land upon which this house originated was developed as Blackwood Plantation, 800 acres which were purchased in 1828 by Charles Black (1808-1830). Black’s widow Janet Reid Black was the daughter of Florida Governor Robert Raymond Reid, and the family occupied the property until the 1840’s. Sources describe a house on the property to have been built in 1826 by Col. Robert Butler (1786-1860), Florida’s first Surveyor General and friend of Andrew Jackson.