About Florida South western State College
Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW or Florida SouthWestern) is a public college with its main campus in Fort Myers, Florida. It is part of the Florida College System. The college has satellite campuses in Charlotte County and Collier County, and outreach programs in Hendry County and Glades County.
FSW was founded in 1962 as Edison Junior College, named after Thomas Edison, and was subsequently renamed Edison Community College in 1972, Edison College in 2004, Edison State College in 2008, and Florida South Western State College in 2014.
Florida South Western State College, originally known as Edison Junior College, admitted its first students in the fall of 1962. The college was named after the inventor and industrialist Thomas Edison who frequently wintered in Fort Myers. The Lee Campus (now known as the Thomas Edison Campus) opened in 1965 on an 80-acre site with three buildings. The school’s nursing program began on campus with a $50,000 donation in 1968.
The college’s name changed to Edison Community College in 1972, shortly after the first nursing class graduated. Ten years later, in 1982, a branch campus of the University of South Florida was dedicated. The college’s primary arts center, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, opened its doors in 1986 and serves as the premier Performing Arts venue in Lee County.
Construction on the Collier County Campus at Lely lasted from 1991 to 1992, on a 50-acre (20 ha) site in Naples, Florida. Soon after that, the Charlotte County Campus opened in 1997, on a 204-acre (83 ha) plot of land in Punta Gorda, Florida. This is the largest campus to date. The college revised its mission by publishing a new strategic plan, The Decade of Promise, in 2002. The college again changed its name in 2004, to simply Edison College.