Skip to Main content
Leslee Keys

Leslee Keys

Assistant Professor of Humanities, Director of Historic Preservation


Research, Professional and Creative Activity


Area of Research:

Research efforts focus on contemporary and social issues in US history and historic preservation, in particular, the effects of sea-level rise on cultural resources. 

  • 2009-2013 Flagler College Staff Development Fund grant awards
  • 2011 Gainter Fund scholarship for Preservation Institute:  Nantucket, University of Florida
  • 2013 Joy McCann Foundation Community Enrichment Grant co-recipient for Public Archaeology in St. Augustine
  • 2013 Co-author with Dr. Tom Graham Flagler College’s commemorative book, Hotel Ponce de Leon:  The Architecture and Decoration
  • 2014 Historic Preservation Education Award for Hotel Ponce de Leon book - Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2015 St. Augustine Foundation, Publication Grant
  • 2015 Historic St. Augustine Research Institute and St. Augustine Foundation Research Grant: Kenan Women in St. Augustine
  • 2015  Roy Eugene Graham Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation Education, inaugural award - Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2015  Hotel Ponce de Leon:  The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Flagler’s Gilded Age Palace, University Press of Florida
  • 2015  St. Augustine America’s First City:  A Story of Unbroken History & Enduring Spirit, associate editor
  • 2016  Dean's Award for Excellence in Service and Professional Development
  • 2016  William L. Proctor Best Book on St. Augustine for 2015, inaugural award - Historic St. Augustine Research Institute
  • 2016  Distinguished Alumni in Historic Preservation, inaugural award - University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning
  • 2017-2018 William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Publication Grant with Dr. Tom Graham for the forthcoming monograph:  Flagler College:  The First 50 Years, 1968-2018
  • 2018-2021 National Park Service, Research Grant with Dr. Lori Lee and Ms. Julie Dickover: Castillo de San Marcos:  Interpreting Tribal Heritage at Fort Marion 

Professional Profile

Dr. Keys graduated with a major in history and pre-law and a minor in political science from the Honors College at Ball State University. She completed two graduate programs from Virginia Tech, a master’s program in history from the College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s in urban and regional planning from the College of Architecture. In 2013 she received a doctoral degree in historic preservation from the University of Florida. In 1992 she qualified for the American Institute of Certified Planners.  She served as adjunct faculty at Flagler College from 2002-2012 and prior to that at Florida State College at Jacksonville, the University of Louisville, and Barry University.

She oversees historic preservation activities on the campus, and she is responsible for the College’s fine and decorative arts collection.

Dr. Keys served on the Hotel Ponce de Leon 125th Anniversary committee and was the Faculty Senate representative to the Flagler College 50th Anniversary Steering Committee. She served the College as representative to the State of Florida for the Viva Florida 500 events in 2013 and the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration in 2015. She directed the College’s participation in the visit by Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, including planning the Royal Luncheon hosted by Flagler College for sixty international dignitaries. She is a Past President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce's Historic St. Augustine Area Council. Beginning in 2017, she serves as a Trustee Emerita of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and a Trustee for the United States Committee on the International Commission on Monuments and Sites.

Teaching and Related Service

Classes Taught: 

In addition to the courses listed below, participation has included Learning Communities.

  • American History to 1877
  • American History Since 1877
  • Historic St. Augustine
  • History of Florida
  • Women in American History
  • American Architectural History
  • Historic Preservation
  • Applied Preservation Materials and Technology
  • Neighborhood Conservation
  • Preservation Institute:  St. Augustine

More Information

Photo Credit: Brian Miller, Really Swell Photography

Office Hours (On campus and Virtual):

  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM