Stetson University: Wikis


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Stetson University
Motto Pro Deo et Veritate
Motto in English For God and Truth
Established 1883
Type Private
Endowment $110 million[1]
President Wendy B. Libby
Faculty 200
Students 2,700
Undergraduates 2,200
Postgraduates 500
Location DeLand, Florida, United States
29°02′07″N 81°18′13″W / 29.03528°N 81.30361°W / 29.03528; -81.30361Coordinates: 29°02′07″N 81°18′13″W / 29.03528°N 81.30361°W / 29.03528; -81.30361
Campus Suburban, 174 acres (668,000 m²)
Colors Green and White
Nickname Hatters

Stetson University is an independent, co-educational university with four colleges and schools located across the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. The primary undergraduate campus is located in DeLand, Florida, USA. In the 2010 U.S. News and World Report's guide to America's Best Colleges, Stetson ranks third in the category of Southern Masters-granting institutions. [2]

Stetson, the only university affiliated with the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation in Florida, is also nationally recognized for its commitment to service and social justice-based community engagement and community-engaged learning.[3]



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 is Florida's first university, public or private. 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. Florida State University was actually founded in 1851 and is recognized by Florida as the oldest continuous site of higher learning in the state. However, it was not chartered as a university until 1947.

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 University was affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention until the early 1990s, when the university and convention ended their relationship.


The university's College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Music and most graduate programs are housed at the historic main campus, located just north of the downtown area of DeLand, Florida. More than 60 undergraduate majors and minors are offered.[4][5]

Stetson's historic campus is just north of the downtown area of DeLand, roughly halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida. The 175-acre (0.71 km2) campus 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.[6]

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.

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.

Recently, over $17 million in new construction has taken place at the DeLand campus. Sage Hall, home of the departments of natural sciences, received an $8.5 million renovation, 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.

There are also two satellite campuses:

Stetson's campus has been used as a filming location for a number of films and television shows. These include the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy,[7] Ghost Story,[8] From Earth to the Moon,[9] First of May, and Estás nominado: Cuando la realidad supera a la ficción.


Residential life

There are nine residence halls at Stetson University. These include:

  • Carson-Hollis Hall
  • Chaudoin Hall
  • Conrad Hall
  • Emily Hall
  • Gordis Hall
  • Nemec Hall
  • Residence Hall A
  • Smith Hall
  • Stetson Hall

Students may also reside at the University Village Apartments.

In addition to the residence halls, the Community Service Station, Foreign Language House, French House, and Greek Houses (both fraternity and sorority) provide student housing.

The Wellness House traditionally serves as housing for students who wish to abstain from any substance use, including alcohol and tobacco. Smith, Gordis, Nemec and Carson-Hollis halls are used primarily for first-year students. Conrad and Chaudoin Halls are all-female housing. A portion of Stetson Hall is used for first-year students who are involved in the University Honors Program.

The Fraternity Houses recently received a total renovation before the spring 2009 semester.


Stetson University had an acceptance rate of 54% for the class of 2013. Ultimately 606 first year students enrolled. Applicants’ mid-range SAT scores were 1030-1210 (500-600 Math, 500-610 Verbal 490-590 Writing). [10]

In fall 2009 there were 2,162 undergraduates and 435 graduate students enrolled at Stetson's DeLand and Celebration campuses (not including the College of Law), from 37 states and 29 countries. 43% are male, 57% female. 72% of undergraduates live on campus (90% of first-year students).

Stetson’s peer schools include University of Richmond, Furman University, Washington and Lee 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 the College of Arts & 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 undergraduates who meet challenging academic requirements.

The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[11] Stetson has 195 full-time faculty teaching undergraduate courses, with 93% of those faculty holding Ph.D. or equivalent degrees. The student-faculty ratio is 11-1.[12]

College of Arts & Sciences

Since its founding in 1883, Stetson's College of Arts & 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. Building on that foundation, advanced study, selected from more than 40 majors and minors, fosters depth of knowledge and preparation for life as well as life's work.[13]

Additionally, all students in the College of Arts & 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

The School of Music combines the strengths of a music conservatory education with the added value of being part of a university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The enrollment of 200 undergraduate music majors is the right size for students to receive personal attention from 47 artist-faculty members and have opportunities possible through a full-scale music operation. First-class performing opportunities for students include symphony orchestra, band, choirs, opera, musical theater, jazz, chamber music and solo. 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.[14]

Music students with classical backgrounds can opt for the Bachelor of Music in Music Technology, while a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts-Sound is attractive to the alternative-minded student who might be seeking an entrepreneurial track. Through collaboration between the music and business schools, students can earn an undergraduate music degree and a graduate business degree in five years.

School of Business Administration

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.[15] Masters programs include MBA, EMBA, and Macc.[16] All programs are accredited by AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[17]

Special programs

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 committed to integrated ways of thinking and learning; the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Education Reform, which serves as a catalyst to improve education from preschool through college; the Stetson Institute for Social Research, through which consultation, research and evaluation, provides services to outside agencies; and the Family Enterprise Center, offering the nation’s first 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.[18]. 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

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

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 SURCAS (Stetson Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium), a day-long event that encourages all undergraduates to share their research with the Stetson community.[19]

Guest lecturers

Stetson has hosted a number of notable lecturers, primarily through the Stetson Institute for Christian Ethics. These notable lecturers include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former United States President Jimmy Carter, author Elie Wiesel, scientists E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, journalists Bill Moyers and William F. Buckley Jr., and playwright Eve Ensler.[20]

Notable guests from the past have included Buckminster Fuller, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Robert Frost.[21]

Continuing Education

The university has a department of continuing education that specializes in services to organizations outside of the Stetson community.

  • The Elderhostel program — now known as Exploritas — held primarily at the end of the fall semester into the beginning of the spring semester, as well as during the summer, allows individuals older than the "traditional" university age to attend classes on campus and in the region for a week, with specialized courses taught throughout 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, weeklong 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."

Student life

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 earn a chapter)[22]; the Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate program; The Reporter, Florida's oldest college newspaper; Model United Nations; a philosophy club; Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Professional Fraternity; Alpha Kappa Psi Business Professional Fraternity; Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership fraternity; Poetry at an Uncouth Hour (a poetry reading club); Roots 'N Shoots (an environmental club); Touchstone, the student literary magazine, and many others.

There are several religious organizations on campus as well, including the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, the Lutheran Campus Ministries, the Catholic Collegiate Ministry, the Wesley House (Methodist Ministry), the Canterbury House (Episcopal), the Muslim American Student Organization, and the Jewish Student 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 service commitment.

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, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

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.

Student Government

The Stetson University Student Government Association was established in 1908 and recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. SGA 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 Student Body President, the Student Body Vice President, the Secretary of Communication, the Secretary of Finance, and the Secretary of Student Involvement.

The Student Body President and Student Body Vice President are elected annually in the spring. After installment, the Student Body President appoints the Secretaries of Communication, Finance, and Student Involvement.

Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate

Stetson University hosts the nation's first and oldest college-level Model United States Senate program (established in 1970) every year in March. [23] 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.


Intercollegiate athletics
Men’s Teams
Cross Country
Women’s Teams
Cross Country

Intercollegiate athletics

Stetson is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and both men’s and women’s teams compete on a Division I level in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The school's mascot is the Stetson Hatter. [24] The basketball, baseball, men's and women's tennis, women’s golf, men's and women's soccer and softball teams have either earned conference championships or, gained national rankings or recognition.

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 recent years the highest profile sport at Stetson is Baseball. Since 1970 the Baseball program has earned seven Atlantic Sun Conference championships and 16 trips to the NCAA Regionals.

Over the years Stetson's main rivals include the University of Central Florida, Jacksonville University, and Mercer University.

Intramural Program

The Intramural Program offers students the opportunity to manage, officiate, direct and participate in physical activities. The following sports are available to both men and women: Basketball, Indoor Volleyball, Swimming, Bowling, Kickball, Table Tennis, Darts, Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Dodge Ball, Sand Volleyball, Water Polo (Inner tube), Flag Football, Softball.

Athletic facilities

  • The J. Ollie Edmunds Center - basketball and volleyball, 4,000-seat multipurpose arena, athletic offices, weight room
  • Patricia Wilson Softball Field, the 2009 Softball Field of the Year [25]
  • 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 Park - baseball stadium (off campus)
  • Victoria Hills Golf Club (off campus)[26]
  • Soccer Field
  • Hollis Center

Awards and Certifications

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded its Community Engagement classification to Stetson in 2008.[27] 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. [28] 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. [29] In 2009, Stetson introduced a Certificate of Community Engagement program for undergraduates. [30]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Gus Bilirakis U.S. Congressman representing Florida's 9th Congressional District.
Jeff Bowen Author and star of Broadway play title of show
Brian Bocock Major League Baseball Player - San Francisco Giants
Wilma Burgess American Country Music singer. She charted six singles on the Billboard country charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ted Cassidy Actor who played Lurch on the TV show, The Addams Family
Max Cleland Secretary, American Battle Monuments Commission; former U.S. Senator
Craig Crawford Television political commentator, writer, and columnist for the Congressional Quarterly (1978)
Lenny DiNardo Major League Baseball Player - Kansas City Royals
Roy Geiger United States Marine Corps general
Mike Haridopolos Florida Senate President 2010-2012
Glen W. Hauenstein Executive Vice President of Delta Air Lines
Joseph Edwards Hendricks Former United States Representative from Florida
Thomas A. James CEO of Raymond James
Suzanne Kosmas US Congresswoman, Elected November 2008
Davis Mallory Castmember of MTV's Real World Denver
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
Joe Negron Florida State legislator and Republican nominee to succeed ex-Rep. Mark Foley in the 16th Congressional District
Kevin Nicholson Former Major League Baseball player and 2004 Olympian
Jessica Rafalowski Miss Florida USA 2008
Adrian Rogers American pastor, conservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention
E. Clay Shaw, Jr. Former U.S. Representative
George Tsamis Former Major League Baseball Player, Current manager of the St. Paul Saints
Emmett Wilson Former United States Representative from Florida
George Winston New age recording artist
Official photo of former U.S. Representative E. Clay Shaw, Jr.

See also


Additional reading

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

External links


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