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 industrial complex-friendly school.
|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."|
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 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 it continued until 1995, when it was officially terminated.
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.
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.
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. Elizabeth Hall features distinctive polychrome brickwork and a cupola, modeled after the one on Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which is used as the official symbol of the undergraduate campus. The building had once served as the college of natural sciences, as well as the library before the introduction of Sampson Hall, which held the books until the Dupont-Ball library was constructed. Currently, the building houses the offices of the faculty and the philosophy department on the first floor, as well as the iconic Lee Chapel, which can also be accessed via the second floor. The second floor contains the colleges of computer science, media studies, and communications, as well as the department of mathematics. The Lawson Seminar Room is also located on the second floor. The third floor houses the history and political science departments, as well as the Lycan Seminar room, the T.C. Lane memorial classroom, the Founder's classroom, and the John E. John's lecture room.
Lee Chapel was built in 1897 and was erected in honor of the memory of John B. Stetson's late son, Ben, who died at age 6. It is named after H. Douglas Lee who served as Stetson's 8th President from 1987 until 2009. It holds up to 787 people and was dedicated for the Glory of God and Truth. William Sharp, an art professor here, designed all the stained glass windows in the chapel. The organ is a 1961 Beckerath Organ. It is made up of 2,548 pipes and came here in 56 crates from Hamburg, Germany. It took three men two months to build. Along with many Stetson musicians and renowned traveling musicians; William Jennings Bryan, Ralph Nader, Jimmy Carter, Robert Frost, and Desmond Tutu are among the famous people who have spoken in Lee Chapel.
Recent Enhancements In 2010, Stetson became a pet-friendly campus, 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. 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 Stetson University College of Law, the first law school in Florida, was founded in 1900, closed from 1942 to 1946 due to the Second World War, and was relocated in 1954 from DeLand to Gulfport, Florida, a suburb of St. Petersburg.
Smoke-Free Campus The residential campuses in DeLand and Gulfport became smoke-free and tobacco-free on Aug. 1, 2014.
Filming Location Stetson's DeLand campus has been used as a set for a number of films and television shows. These include the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy, Ghost Story, From Earth to the Moon, First of May, Estás nominado: Cuando la realidad supera a la ficción, and "Walt Before Mickey."
There are many residence halls at Stetson University's DeLand campus. These include:
Portions of Nemec Hall, Stetson Cove and University Village Apartments are pet-friendly residences. Smith, Gordis and Carson-Hollis Halls are used primarily for first-year students. Chaudoin Hall has always been an all-female dormitory. 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.
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 and Counseling. The Juris Doctor and Master of Laws are offered by the Stetson College of Law, which guarantees admission to Stetson graduates who meet certain academic requirements. Dual degree programs are offered in Law and Business Administration, and in Pharmacy and Business Administration.
The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 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. Total full-time faculty in all Stetson's colleges and schools is 265.
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.
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, and is included in Parade Magazine's national "College A-List" in the category highlighting Arts Programs
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.
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. Masters programs include MBA, EMBA, and MAcc. All programs are accredited by AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The accounting program is one of only 182 worldwide that is accredited by AACSB International. The School of Business Administration is recognized by The Princeton Review as a Best Business School (Southeast).
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.
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 learning technologies for students and faculty to explore, including 3D scanning and printing, Google Glass, a variety of tablets, and lifeloggers (small wearable cameras that shoot high-definition photos that can be streamed live across the Internet). 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 contain special collections not directly related to the university's history, including the Treasure Collection of Rare Books, the Max Cleland Collection, the Regar collection, and the Greenlaw Collection, which includes signed, first-edition children's books.
The duPont-Ball Library also keeps a collection of government documents. It is the oldest Federal depository in Florida, established in 1887. The library has been receiving State of Florida publications since 1968. The Federal and Florida government documents depository collections are accessible to the general public at no charge and without restriction. Some of the Federal, and all of the state, documents are listed in the library's online catalog. Those that are not accessible through the catalog are accessible through their online subscription databases.
The library also houses the Innovation Lab, a makerspace for students, faculty and staff to use to create projects for classes, labs, research projects, or just for fun. The Innovation Lab features 3D printers, virtual reality technology, and workstations for soldering, woodworking, sewing, and more.
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.
Before the first library was established in 1887, DeLand University had started to accumulate a small collection of books. At this time, fewer than 1,300 volumes were housed on bookshelves in Deland Hall, sharing space with the science lab. The library collection began to expand rapidly in November 1887 when the college was selected to become Florida's first repository for federal government documents. The U.S. Government would send about 600 volumes to the library within the next two years.
DeLand University was renamed John B. Stetson University in 1889, and was the first university in Florida to employ a full-time librarian. In 1888, Warren Stone Gordis was hired by the university to be a language professor. In addition to teaching Greek and Latin, Gordis found himself charged as the library's manager. While acquainting himself with the materials, Gordis discovered that the library had no traditional classification system; instead, the books were arranged and shelved by subject after being logged into a ledger in the order of their reception. Aware that the expanding library needed a permanent solution, Gordis did some research and decided to employ the dictionary cataloging method and the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Gordis also recognized that the library needed to incorporate periodicals as source material. As he was in charge of building the collection, he designated funds toward the purchase of some of the most prevalent journals of the time, including The Nation Scientific American, North American Review, Atlantic Monthly, the Edinburgh Review, and the London Quarterly Review. Additionally, Gordis trained library assistants to follow correct library procedures and taught students how to locate items in the library.
Sampson Hall: Origins as a "Carnegie Library"
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was instrumental in the building of free public libraries, as well as a number of university libraries. A library built with donations from the Carnegie Corporation of New York is known as a Carnegie library. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built worldwide between 1883 and 1929; 1,689 of these were built in the United States; 14 were built in Florida.
One of the four Florida academic libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie was on the Stetson University campus in Deland. The university received $40,000 on March 12, 1906 – the largest Carnegie grant given to a Florida academic library. Elizabeth S. Stetson, wife of John B. Stetson, matched Carnegie's contribution allowing for the Sampson Library to be built. Opening in 1908, it was named after university trustee C.T. Sampson, who was a major donor to the Stetson library fund. Sampson also bequeathed $20,000 to the library for an endowment. Sampson Library was designed by noted Floridian architect Henry John Klutho. Klutho chose to emulate the traditional neoclassic design which distinguished many of America's Carnegie libraries.
In 1964, the duPont-Ball Library became the campus's new main library building. Students, faculty, and staff undertook the task of moving over 100,000 books and other resources from Sampson Hall to the duPont-Ball Library building. Students were encouraged to assist faculty and staff for one hour, but many were willing to stay and help out for the entire day to see the task to completion.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Stetson has hosted a number of notable lecturers, some through the Stetson Institute for Christian Ethics. 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, Ron Jeremy, and Art Spiegelman.
The university offers departments and program that specialize in services to lifelong learners and organizations outside the Stetson community.
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); 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 vibrant with about twenty-nine percent of the student body being a member of a fraternity or sorority.
There are six Panhellenic social sororities on campus: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi, and Zeta Tau Alpha, one Divine 9 sorority: Sigma Gamma Rho, and seven social fraternities: Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega. and Lambda Chi Alpha
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.
Stetson University hosts the nation's first and oldest college-level Model United States Senate program (established in 1970) every year in March. 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.
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. 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. 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. In March 2011, SU President Wendy B. Libby announced the return of Hatters Football. and the addition of women's lacrosse. In July 2011, Stetson named Roger A. Hughes as head football coach. Stetson's sand volleyball team had its inaugural season in 2012, after the sport was officially approved for conference play. In 2013, both the lacrosse  and football teams played their first games.
Stetson is consistently 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; in 2014, Stetson was one of only two universities in the country to earn the "With Distinction" recognition in every category of community engagement.
Stetson University has had nine presidents, as follows:
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