Stetson University

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Group.png Stetson University  
Stetson Univ Seal.svg
MottoPro Deo et Veritae
(For God And Truth)
Other nameHatters
Name was changed in 1889 to honor hat manufacturer and sponosor John B. Stetson.

Stetson University is a private university with four colleges and schools located across the I-4 corridor in Central Florida with the primary undergraduate campus in DeLand.


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,[1] and it continued until 1995, when it was officially terminated.[2]


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  1. Lycan, Stetson University: The First 100 Years (1983), at pp. 123–139, 187–209