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Stetson University

Stetson University
Stetson Univ Seal.svg
Former names
DeLand Academy, DeLand University, John B. Stetson University
Motto Pro Deo et Veritate
Motto in English
For God and Truth
Type Private
Established 1883
Endowment $207.8 million
Chairman Luis "Lu" Prats
President Wendy B. Libby
Provost Noel Painter (interim)
Students 4,330
Location DeLand and Gulfport, 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
Campus Suburban, 175 acres (668,000 m²)
Colors Green and White
Athletics Stetson Hatters
Sports NCAA Division I; Atlantic Sun Conference and Pioneer Football League
Nickname Hatters
Mascot "John B."
Affiliations Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Stetson University logo.png
Intercollegiate athletics
Stetson Hatters wordmark.png
Men’s Teams
Cross Country
Women’s Teams
Cross Country
Sand Volleyball

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 2017 U.S. News and World Report's guide to America's Best Colleges, Stetson ranks as the 5th best regional university in the South, 5th best for veterans among regional universities in the South and 6th best value school among regional universities in the South. The Stetson University College of Law, located in Gulfport, Florida, was ranked 1st nationally in trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

Other recognitions include being ranked No. 7 nationally in Washington Monthly magazine’s "2015 College Guide” to master's universities, a ranking based on a combination of social mobility, research and service; and being named a military-friendly school.

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. Stetson also provided substantial assistance to the university after 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. According to Gilbert Lycan, a Stetson history professor who wrote the university's official centennial history in 1983, the relationship between Stetson University and the Florida Baptist Convention was reestablished in 1919, and continued until 1995, when it was officially terminated.

Name Class year Notability References
Gus Bilirakis U.S. Representative, Florida's 9th Congressional District.
Brian Bocock Major League Baseball player – Philadelphia Phillies
Jeff Bowen Author and star of Broadway play title of show
Mark Brisker American-Israeli professional basketball player
Wilma Burgess American Country Music singer; charted six singles on Billboard country charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
Pat Cannon United States Representative from Florida
Doyle E. Carlton 1909 (b. 1885, d.1972) 25th Governor of Florida, 1929–1933.
Ted Cassidy Actor who played Lurch on the TV show, The Addams Family
Max Cleland Secretary, American Battle Monuments Commission; former U.S. Senator; former Georgia Secretary of State
Mack Cleveland 1949, Law 1951 Seminole County lawyer and member of both houses of the Florida State Legislature from 1953 to 1965, general counsel for Stetson University prior to 2004
Craig Crawford Television political commentator, writer, and columnist for the Congressional Quarterly (1978)
Jacob deGrom Major League Baseball player – New York Mets, 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Award Winner
Andy Dehnart 1998 Journalist, blogger, reality television critic, creator of
Melodee DeVevo 1998 Member of Dove Award-winning band Casting Crowns
Lenny DiNardo Major League Baseball player – Kansas City Royals
William Dudley Geer First Dean of the School of Business at Samford University
Pete Dunn 1970 Stetson baseball coach
Andy Gardiner 1992 Florida Senate President, 2014-
Roy Geiger United States Marine Corps general
Avantika Hari 2002 Filmmaker; writer and director of the award-winning Land Gold Women
Mike Haridopolos 1992 Florida Senate President 2010–2012
Jim Foley 1992 United Soccer Leagues player - Charleston Battery
Joseph Edwards Hendricks Former United States Representative from Florida
Corey Kluber Major League Baseball player – Cleveland Indians, 2014 AL CY Young Award Winner
Laurette T. Koellner 1980 Retired (2008) president, Boeing International
Suzanne Kosmas US Congressperson, 2008-2010
Gerard Marino 1998 film and video game composer
Richard J. McKay President and general manager, Atlanta Falcons
Charles E. Merrill Founder of Merrill Lynch
James Merritt Former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, current pastor and CEO of television show Touching Lives
Jon L. Mills 1969 Lawyer and former politician. Speaker of FL House of Representatives (1987-88), Dean of Levin College of Law
Joe Negron Florida State Senator, District 28
Kevin Nicholson Former Major League Baseball player and 2004 Olympian
Gary Lee Noffke American artist and silversmith
Luis G. Pedraja 1984 Latino theologian, philosopher, author, scholar and educator
Scott Plakon Florida State Representative, District 37
Jessica Rafalowski Miss Florida USA 2008
Shirrel Rhoades 1964 writer, publisher, filmmaker, former executive vp of Marvel Entertainment
Nick Rickles baseball player
Tom Riginos 1990 College baseball coach at Winthrop
Adrian Rogers American 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 Starikov Soccer forward for FC Tom Tomsk
George Tsamis Former Major League Baseball player, current manager of the St. Paul Saints
William Amory Underhill 1936 (b. 1910, d.1999) public servant, lobbyist, and prominent philanthropist
Kat Walsh 2005 board member, 2006-2013 (chair 2012-2013); currently on legal team of Creative Commons
Lorenzo Williams NBA basketball player
Emmett Wilson Former U.S. Representative from Florida
George Winston New age recording artist
Michael Yeargan 1969 Broadway set designer, winner of 2 Tony Awards
Britt McHenry 2007 ESPN Reporter

  • The Stetson University Center at Celebration, which opened in 2004 and offers graduate-level, professional and corporate education.
  • The Tampa Law Center, which opened in 2004, in downtown Tampa, Florida.
  • Carson-Hollis Hall
  • Chaudoin Hall
  • Conrad Hall
  • Emily Hall
  • Gordis Hall
  • Hatter Hall
  • Nemec Hall
  • Smith Hall
  • University Hall
  • Houses A-E (which include some fraternities)
  • Houses 1-7 (which include some sororities)
  • Stetson Cove Apartments
  • University Village Apartments
  • The Elderhostel – or Road Scholar - program allows individuals older than the traditional university age to attend classes on campus and in the region for a week, and offers specialized courses based on the university's curriculum.
  • Each February, the departments of Continuing Education and Religious Studies co-host the Florida Winter Pastors’ School, which in 2010 celebrated its 25th anniversary.
  • Each summer, week-long Destination Science camps are offered for youth ages 6–11, who attend sessions such as "Robots vs. Aliens" and "'G' Force Rockets and Moon Blasters."
  • Stetson Lifelong is a program that provides community residents an educational place for intellectual discussion and social interaction. Launched at the Celebration campus in 2012.
  • Stetson HATS (High Achieving Talented Students) is a year-round academic enrichment program that provides educational opportunities for high-achieving Florida students.
  • The J. Ollie Edmunds Centerbasketball and volleyball, 4,000-seat multipurpose arena, athletic offices, weight room
  • Athletic Training Center - a $6.7 million complex that opened in August 2012
  • Patricia Wilson Softball Field, the 2009 Softball Field of the Year
  • The Wilson Athletic Center – sport and exercise science department, fitness and activity rooms
  • Mandy Stoll Tennis Center – next to the soccer field
  • Melching Field at Conrad Parkbaseball stadium (off campus)
  • Victoria Hills Golf Club (off campus)
  • Football practice fields (x2)
  • Soccer practice field
  • Soccer "game day" field
  • Lacrosse field
  • Hollis Center
  • Spec Martin Stadium—6,000 seat off campus football stadium
  • Awarded a $1.1 million grant from Florida Department of Education, 2014, to partner with Bethune-Cookman University, Volusia County Schools and New Teacher Center to create and launch the Volusia Center for Excellence in Education.
  • Earned Florida Campus Compact's Most Engaged Campus Award, 2012; Campus-Community Partnership Award, 2013; four individual awards, 2014.
  • Ranked one of the top in the South by U.S. News & World Report, 2015.
  • Named a "Military-Friendly School", with the School of Business Administration being additionally recognized by Military Times as one of the best in the nation for veterans.
  • Stetson University College of Law ranked 1st in U.S. for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report, 2015.
  • Introduced a Certificate of Community Engagement program for undergraduates, 2009.
  • John Forbes, 1885–1904
  • Lincoln Hulley, 1904–1934
  • William Sims Allen, 1934–1947
  • J. Ollie Edmunds, 1948–1967
  • Paul Geren, 1967–1969
  • John E. Johns, 1969–1977
  • Pope A. Duncan, 1977–1987
  • H. Douglas Lee, 1987–2009
  • Wendy B. Libby, 2009–present
  • Lycan, Gilbert L. (1983). Stetson University: The First 100 Years. DeLand, FL: Stetson University Press. 


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