Stetson University

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Stetson University
Stetson Univ Seal.svg
MottoPro Deo et Veritate
Motto in EnglishFor God and Truth
Endowment$173.1 million [1]
ChairmanHarlan L. "Butch" Paul
PresidentDr. Wendy B. Libby
ProvostDr. Elizabeth "Beth" Paul
LocationDeLand, Florida, United States
29°02′06″N 81°18′10″W / 29.034972°N 81.302640°W / 29.034972; -81.302640Coordinates: 29°02′06″N 81°18′10″W / 29.034972°N 81.302640°W / 29.034972; -81.302640
CampusSuburban, 175 acres (668,000 m²)
Former namesDeLand Academy, DeLand University, John B. Stetson University
ColorsUniversity: Green and White

SportsNCAA Division I; Atlantic Sun Conference and Pioneer Football League (2013)
Mascot"John B."
AffiliationsCommission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
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Stetson University
Stetson Univ Seal.svg
MottoPro Deo et Veritate
Motto in EnglishFor God and Truth
Endowment$173.1 million [1]
ChairmanHarlan L. "Butch" Paul
PresidentDr. Wendy B. Libby
ProvostDr. Elizabeth "Beth" Paul
LocationDeLand, Florida, United States
29°02′06″N 81°18′10″W / 29.034972°N 81.302640°W / 29.034972; -81.302640Coordinates: 29°02′06″N 81°18′10″W / 29.034972°N 81.302640°W / 29.034972; -81.302640
CampusSuburban, 175 acres (668,000 m²)
Former namesDeLand Academy, DeLand University, John B. Stetson University
ColorsUniversity: Green and White

SportsNCAA Division I; Atlantic Sun Conference and Pioneer Football League (2013)
Mascot"John B."
AffiliationsCommission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Stetson University is a private, nonprofit university with four colleges and schools located across the I-4 corridor in Central Florida, United States, with the primary undergraduate campus located in DeLand. In the 2015 U.S. News and World Report '​s guide to America's Best Colleges, Stetson ranks among the top colleges in the South[2] and is the only college in Florida on list for best undergraduate teaching in the South.[3] The Stetson University College of Law ranks No. 1 nationally in trial advocacy.[4]

Other recent recognitions include being ranked No. 12 nationally in Washington Monthly magazine’s "2014 College Guide”[5] to master's universities, a ranking based on a combination of social mobility, research and service; and being named a military-friendly school.[6]


The first charter stated that the objective of the university should be "to promote the general interests of education, and to qualify its students to engage in the learned professions or other employments of society, and to discharge honorably and usefully the various duties of life."

According to Gilbert Lycan, a Stetson history professor who wrote the university's official centennial history in 1983, Stetson University was founded in 1883 by Henry Addison DeLand, a New York philanthropist, as DeLand Academy. In 1887, the Florida Legislature enacted the Charter of DeLand University as an independent institution of higher learning.

DeLand University's name was changed in 1889 to honor hat manufacturer John B. Stetson, a benefactor of the university, who served with town founder, Henry A. DeLand, and others as a founding trustee of the university. Mr. Stetson also provided substantial assistance to the university after Mr. DeLand, on account of financial reverses, was no longer able to do so.

Stetson University was affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention from its founding in 1885 until 1907, when the Convention was defeated in its effort to force Stetson to amend its charter. From 1907 to 1919, the Florida Baptist Convention operated Columbia College in Lake City, Florida, but it failed for lack of adequate financial support. In 1919, the relationship between Stetson University and the Florida Baptist Convention was reestablished[7] and continued until 1995, when it was officially terminated.[8]


Elizabeth Hall and Holler Fountain
Flagler Hall
DeLand Hall

The university's College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Music, and most graduate programs are housed at the DeLand campus, located just north of the downtown area of DeLand, Florida, roughly halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida. More than 60 undergraduate majors and minors are offered.[9][10]

The 175-acre (0.71 km2) campus in DeLand is nationally designated by the National Register of Historic Places as the Stetson University Campus Historic District for Florida's oldest collection of education-related buildings. DeLand Hall, which houses the Office of the President and the offices of other administrators, was constructed in 1884 and is the oldest building in Florida in continuous use for higher education.[11]

In 2003, the Lynn Business Center, housing much of the university's School of Business, was Florida's first green building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.[12]

Elizabeth Hall, named after John B. Stetson's wife, houses a number of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The School of Music performs in Lee Chapel in the south of the building. The cupola atop Elizabeth Hall — modeled after the one on Independence Hall in Philadelphia — is used as the official symbol of the undergraduate campus.

In 2010, Stetson became a pet-friendly campus,[13] and the university also invested $6.5 million to renew landscaping in the campus core, upgrade classrooms and add energy-saving lighting, all at the DeLand campus.[14] Improvements included a new coffeehouse. In recent years, over $17 million in new construction took place at the DeLand campus. Sage Hall, home of the departments of natural sciences, received an $8.5 million renovation and expansion, while the Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, the Rinker Environmental Learning Center, and Mary B. McMahan Hall — rehearsal space for the School of Music — were new constructions. Along with student exhibitions, the university's extensive collection of paintings by American modernist Oscar Bluemner are housed in the Hand Art Center.

The university also includes the Stetson University College of Law, the first law school in Florida. It was relocated in 1954 from DeLand to Gulfport, Florida, a suburb of St. Petersburg.

The residential campuses in DeLand and Gulfport became smoke-free and tobacco-free on Aug. 1, 2014.[15]

There are also two satellite centers:

Stetson's DeLand campus has been used as a filming location for a number of films and television shows. These include the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy,[16] Ghost Story,[17] From Earth to the Moon,[18] First of May, Estás nominado: Cuando la realidad supera a la ficción, and "Walt Before Mickey."[19]

Housing and Residential Life[edit]

There are many residence halls at Stetson University's DeLand campus. These include:

Portions of Nemec Hall, Stetson Cove & University Village Apartments are pet-friendly residences. Smith, Gordis and Carson-Hollis Halls are used primarily for first-year students. Chaudoin Hall is currently all-female housing. Opt-in gender-neutral housing is an option for returning students.


Stetson University had an acceptance rate of 61% for the class of 2018. Applicants’ average SAT score was 1174 and academic GPA was 3.79.[20]

Stetson’s peer schools include University of Richmond, Furman University, Trinity University and Rollins College.


There are more than 60 majors and minors leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. Master's degrees are offered by the School of Business Administration in Accounting and Business Administration, and by the College of Arts and Sciences in Education, English and Counseling. The Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws in International Law and Business are offered by the Stetson College of Law, which guarantees admission to Stetson graduates who meet certain academic requirements.

The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[21] Stetson has 195 full-time faculty teaching undergraduate courses, with 95% of those faculty holding Ph.D. or equivalent degrees. The student-faculty ratio is 12–1.[22]

College of Arts and Sciences[edit]

Since its founding in 1883, Stetson's College of Arts and Sciences has prepared students for informed, compassionate, and accomplished lives. A core curriculum in liberal studies develops breadth of understanding and serious engagement with principles of ethical decision-making. Additionally, all students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to complete a "Senior capstone project," also known as "Senior research" or a "Senior thesis," before a degree can be awarded.

School of Music[edit]

The School of Music combines a music conservatory education with being part of a university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The enrollment is 200 undergraduate music majors. There are 47 artist-faculty members. Performance opportunities for students include the symphony orchestra, band, choirs, opera, musical theater, jazz, chamber music, and solo recitals. The curriculum includes degree options in performance, education, theory, and composition. Music students may combine music study with business, pre-law, and many other fields. The School of Music has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1938,[23] and is included in Parade Magazine '​s national "College A-List" in the category highlighting Arts Programs[24]

Music students can opt for the Bachelor of Music in Music Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts-Sound is also available. Through the collaboration of the music and business schools, students can earn an undergraduate music degree and a graduate business degree in five years.

School of Business Administration[edit]

The School of Business Administration features a range of traditional and non-traditional majors. Each major offers a customized field of study for a specific business discipline. Undergraduate majors include accounting, management, finance, international business, management information systems, marketing, family business, and general business.[25] Masters programs include MBA, EMBA, and MAcc.[26] All programs are accredited by AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[27] The accounting program is one of only 182 world-wide that is accredited by AACSB International.[28] The School of Business Administration is recognized by The Princeton Review as a Best Business School (Southeast).[29]

College of Law[edit]

The College of Law, situated in campuses in Tampa Bay, Florida, offers Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranked the college #1 in trial advocacy and #5 (with four other law schools) for legal writing in its 2014 "Best Graduate Schools" issue.[30]


Dolly & Homer Hand Law Library

The Stetson University College of Law libraries in Gulfport and Tampa support the research efforts of students, faculty, staff, bench and bar. The Gulfport campus library is open to the public. The combined collections of statutes, court reports, journals and treatises, in a variety of formats, is above the median size of academic law libraries in the United States.[31]

duPont-Ball Library

The mission of the duPont-Ball Library and library faculty and staff is to support the educational programs of the University and to collaborate with classroom faculty in the development and support of the curriculum through gathering and organizing information both physical and virtual, teaching library users how to access and evaluate information, and providing an environment conducive to research and study. The library provides some great learning technologies for students and faculty to explore – 3D scanning and printing, Google Glass, a variety of tablets, and lifeloggers (small wearable cameras that shoot series of high definition photo shots that can be streamed live across the Internet) among others. In addition, the library's databases provide access to 50,000 full-text journals, magazines, and newspapers.

The Stetson University Archives include memorabilia, photographs, yearbooks, newsletters and other documents related to the University’s history. The Archives also contains a number of special collections not directly related to the University's history, including The Treasure Collection of Rare Books, The Max Cleland Collection, and the Greenlaw Collection which includes many signed, first edition children's books. [32]

Special programs[edit]

A variety of special academic programs are available to students, such as the Roland George Investments Program, where business students manage a real portfolio of more than $2.8 million, the Honors Program, where students and faculty collaborate in an interdisciplinary community, the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Education Reform, which attempts to improve education from preschool through college, the Stetson Institute for Social Research, which provides services to outside agencies, and the Family Enterprise Center, offering a major in Family Business.

The Sullivan Creative Writing Program is an undergraduate initiative for students with a passion for the English language.

Stetson University also offers special programs for students up through 9th grade. Working in collaboration with the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa, Stetson University sponsors the HATS (High Achieving Talented Students) Program.[33] HATS serves K-9th grade students who participate in gifted programs or have scored at or above the 95th percentile on any subject area on the FCAT, ITBS, CTBS, or other standardized test. HATS offers Saturday and summer enrichment programs, scholarships, and above-level testing.

International education[edit]

Stetson University offers study abroad programs at a number of universities in Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, England, Scotland, Russia, Austria, and China, as well as an option for study in Washington, D.C.

Undergraduate research[edit]

In addition to the completion of a "Senior thesis" project compulsory for graduation, students have the opportunity to develop their own research projects and be involved in faculty research. Two distinct programs foster undergraduate research: the SURE (Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience) Grant competition, which provides summer stipends and faculty mentors for selected student research projects; and Stetson Showcase, a day-long event that encourages all undergraduates to share their research with the Stetson community.[34]

Guest lecturers[edit]

Stetson has hosted a number of notable lecturers, some through the Stetson Institute for Christian Ethics.[35] Notable lecturers include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former United States President Jimmy Carter Astronaut/Senator Bill Nelson, author Elie Wiesel, scientists E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, journalists Bill Moyers and William F. Buckley Jr., playwright Eve Ensler, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former Florida Governor/U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.

Other visitors have included Ralph Nader, Buckminster Fuller, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), Robert Frost, Shirley Chisholm, John Kenneth Galbraith, Andrés Segovia, and Art Spiegelman.[36]

Continuing Education[edit]

The university offers departments and program that specialize in services to lifelong learners and organizations outside the Stetson community.

Student life[edit]

Stetson has approximately 20 honorary academic and professional organizations and over 100 other student organizations on campus, including Phi Beta Kappa (first private university in Florida to be granted a chapter);[39] the Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate program; The Reporter, Florida's oldest college newspaper; Model United Nations; Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Professional Fraternity; Psi Chi, an international psychology honors fraternity; Alpha Kappa Psi business professional fraternity; Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership fraternity; Poetry at an Uncouth Hour (a poetry reading club); Hatter Harvest (organic community garden); Touchstone, the student literary magazine, and many others.

There are several religious organizations on campus as well, including Baptist Collegiate Fellowship; Catholic Campus Ministry; Wesley House (Methodist Ministry); Muslim American Student Organization; Hillel, a Jewish student organization; Renown, an interfaith group; and Shield, a Pentecostal organization.

There are also a number of multicultural and social justice organizations on campus, including the Black Student Association, the Hispanic Organization for Latin American Awareness (HOLA), Organization for Students Actively Pursuing Equality (OSAPE), STAND (the student-run branch of the Genocide Intervention Network), and Kaleidoscope (the LGBT alliance on campus).

There is also an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) unit that students can participate in on-campus through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Successful completion of the ROTC program allows University students to be commissioned in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant, and requires a post-graduation service commitment.

The Greek Community at Stetson is very vibrant with about twenty-seven percent of the student body being a member of a fraternity or sorority.

There are five social sororities on campus: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Pi Beta Phi, and Zeta Tau Alpha, and six social fraternities: Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Alpha Tau Omega.

Stetson is also home to chapters from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a music fraternity for men, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity for women.


Several movies have been filmed on the Stetson campus, including The Waterboy starring Adam Sandler and Walt Before Mickey starring Thomas Ian Nicholas , Jon Heder, and Armando Gutierrez.

Student Government[edit]

Established in 1908, the Stetson University Student Government Association is the representative and executive decision-making body for all undergraduate students in the Stetson community. Student governance at Stetson consists of two branches, an executive and a unicameral legislative branch. The executive branch consists of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of Communication, the Secretary of Finance, and the Secretary of Student Involvement. The President and Vice President are elected annually in the spring. After installment, the President appoints the Secretaries of Communication, Finance, and Student Involvement.

Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate[edit]

Stetson University hosts the nation's first and oldest college-level Model United States Senate program (established in 1970) every year in March.[40] Each year, students from colleges and universities around the nation gather at Stetson for the three-day event. The Model Senate reproduces the actual procedures and activities of the U.S. Senate in an effort to provide experience and education for the student participants. Each student is assigned as a Senator in one of five legislative committees and is responsible for researching a variety of bills, and crafting appropriate amendments. In addition, the Model Senate attracts national speakers and lecturers, including former and sitting U.S. Senators.


Main article: Stetson Hatters
Intercollegiate athletics
Men’s Teams
Cross Country
Women’s Teams
Cross Country
Sand Volleyball

Intercollegiate athletics[edit]

Stetson is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the university's 18 intercollegiate men’s and women’s teams compete on a Division I level in the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Pioneer Football League and MAAC - Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The school's mascot is "John B.", a stylized version of John B. Stetson, the benefactor for whom the university is named.[41] The basketball, baseball, men's and women's tennis, women’s golf, men's and women's soccer, sand volleyball and softball teams have either earned conference championships or gained national rankings or recognition.


One of the high profile sports at Stetson is baseball. Since 1970 the baseball program has earned seven Atlantic Sun Conference championships and 16 trips to the NCAA Regionals. In 2013, women's basketball made its third NCAA tournament appearance. The team won the A-Sun Conference Championship in 2005, 2011, and 2013.[42] Stetson participated in football from 1901 until 1956 achieving an all-time record of 155–127–27 (.545). The football team earned its 100th victory in 1935. In 2010, university officials gathered information and evaluated the feasibility of starting a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) non-scholarship program.[43][44] In March 2011, SU President Wendy B. Libby announced the return of Hatters Football.[45][46] and the addition of women's lacrosse. In July 2011, Stetson named Roger A. Hughes[47] as head football coach. Stetson's sand volleyball team had its inaugural season in 2012,[48] after the sport was officially approved for conference play.[49] In 2013, both the lacrosse [50] and football[51] teams played their first games.


Stetson's main rivals include, Jacksonville University, and Mercer University.

Athletic facilities[edit]

Awards and Certifications[edit]

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded its Community Engagement classification to Stetson in 2008.[54] For the past three consecutive years, Stetson has been named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction for exemplary service initiatives.[55] Stetson also works with the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation on the CASE (Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur) program and other JRCPF initiatives, and partners with JRCPF and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation on a service-based scholarship program.[56] In 2009, Stetson introduced a Certificate of Community Engagement program for undergraduates.[57]


Stetson University has had nine presidents, as follows:

Notable alumni[edit]

NameClass yearNotabilityReferences
Gus BilirakisU.S. Representative, Florida's 9th Congressional District.
Brian BocockMajor League Baseball player – Philadelphia Phillies
Jeff BowenAuthor and star of Broadway play title of show
Mark BriskerAmerican-Israeli professional basketball player
Wilma BurgessAmerican Country Music singer; charted six singles on Billboard country charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
Pat CannonUnited States Representative from Florida[62]
Doyle E. Carlton1909(b. 1885, d.1972) 25th Governor of Florida, 1929–1933.
Ted CassidyActor who played Lurch on the TV show, The Addams Family
Max ClelandSecretary, American Battle Monuments Commission; former U.S. Senator; former Georgia Secretary of State
Mack Cleveland1949, Law 1951Seminole County lawyer and member of both houses of the Florida State Legislature from 1953 to 1965, general counsel for Stetson University prior to 2004[63]
Craig CrawfordTelevision political commentator, writer, and columnist for the Congressional Quarterly (1978)
Jacob deGromMajor League Baseball player – New York Mets
Andy Dehnart1998Journalist, blogger, reality television critic, creator of
Melodee DeVevo1998Member of Dove Award-winning band Casting Crowns
Dimitri DiatchenkoActor and musician
Lenny DiNardoMajor League Baseball player – Kansas City Royals
William Dudley GeerFirst Dean of the School of Business at Samford University
Pete Dunn1970Stetson baseball coach
Roy GeigerUnited States Marine Corps general
Avantika Hari2002Filmmaker; writer and director of the award-winning Land Gold Women
Mike Haridopolos1992Florida Senate President 2010–2012
Jim Foley1992United Soccer Leagues player - Charleston Battery
Joseph Edwards HendricksFormer United States Representative from Florida
Raymond Finkle1980National Football League player – Miami Dolphins
Corey KluberMajor League Baseball player – Cleveland Indians
Laurette T. Koellner1980Retired (2008) president, Boeing International
Suzanne KosmasUS Congressperson, 2008-2010
Gerard Marino1998film and video game composer
Britt McHenry2007sports reporter
Richard J. McKayPresident and general manager, Atlanta Falcons
Charles E. MerrillFounder of Merrill Lynch
James MerrittFormer president of the Southern Baptist Convention, current pastor and CEO of television show Touching Lives
Joe NegronFlorida State Senator, District 28
Kevin NicholsonFormer Major League Baseball player and 2004 Olympian
Gary Lee NoffkeAmerican artist and silversmith
Scott PlakonFlorida State Representative, District 37
Jessica RafalowskiMiss Florida USA 2008
Shirrel Rhoades1964writer, publisher, filmmaker, former executive vp of Marvel Entertainment
Tom Riginos1990College baseball coach at Winthrop
Adrian RogersAmerican pastor, conservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention
E. Clay Shaw, Jr.(b. 1939, d.2013) Former U.S. Representative
Yevgeni StarikovSoccer forward for FC Tom Tomsk
George TsamisFormer Major League Baseball player, current manager of the St. Paul Saints
William Amory Underhill1936(b. 1910, d.1999) public servant, lobbyist, and prominent philanthropist
Kat Walsh2005chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
Lorenzo WilliamsNBA basketball player
Emmett WilsonFormer U.S. Representative from Florida
George WinstonNew age recording artist
Robert PratherChief Financial Officer, Lucas Group
Michael Yeargan1969Broadway set designer, winner of 2 Tony Awards

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NCSE Public Tables Endowment Market Values" (PDF). 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [5]
  7. ^ Lycan, Stetson University: The First 100 Years (1983), at pp. 123–139, 187–209
  8. ^ [6]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Transformations: 125 Years at Stetson
  12. ^ [7]
  13. ^ Stetson University news
  14. ^ Stetson University news
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^ Stetson University Bulletin
  22. ^ [9]
  23. ^ School of Music
  24. ^ Parade Magazine, Aug. 22, 2010
  25. ^ School of Business Administration
  26. ^ SoBA graduate programs
  27. ^ Stetson University Bulletin
  28. ^ [10]
  29. ^ [11]
  30. ^ "U.S. News Stetson law ranking". Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  31. ^ [12]
  32. ^ [13]
  33. ^ "Stetson University HATS Program". 
  34. ^ Stetson Undergraduate Research
  35. ^ Institute for Christian Ethics
  36. ^ 125 Famous Visitors, Transformations: 125 Years of Stetson
  37. ^ [14]
  38. ^ [15]
  39. ^ PBK Gamma of Florida
  40. ^ Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate
  41. ^ Welcome, John B.!
  42. ^ [16]
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ [17]
  49. ^ [18]
  50. ^ [19]
  51. ^ [20]
  52. ^ Sports Turf Managers Association
  53. ^ " Athletics Facilities". 
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^ "Cannon, Arthur Patrick (Pat), (1904 - 1966)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Mack Cleveland Jr., state legislator, ‘Southern gentleman,’ dies at 86". Sanford Herald, October 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 

Additional reading[edit]

Lycan, Gilbert L. (1983). Stetson University: The First 100 Years. DeLand, FL: Stetson University Press. 

External links[edit]