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Stetson University

Rigor, Relationships, Responsibility


Stetson University dares its undergraduate and graduate students to go beyond success – to significance, in their communities, nation and world. For nearly 130 years, Stetson’s vision has remained constant, engaging students with rigorous academics and instilling civic values for life.

Stetson is an independent university offering a comprehensive education in the arts and sciences, business, law and music. Founded in 1883 as Florida’s first private university, Stetson today has four locations across central Florida – in DeLand, Celebration, Tampa and Gulfport.

Enrolling 3,961 students this year, Stetson students come from 42 states and 41 countries. The University has 375 faculty members, 99 percent of whom hold the highest academic degree in their field of study. Stetson has 18 Division I athletic teams and is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference and the Pioneer Football League. About 96 percent of students receive financial assistance.

Stetson was the first private university in Florida to be awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honor society, and consistently earns high national rankings for academic excellence, community-engaged learning, and for recruiting and graduating low-income students.

The University’s mission is to provide a transformational education in a creative community where learning and values meet. Stetson is committed to scholarship and the liberal arts tradition. The academic disciplines are unified by a profound commitment to teaching, values and social responsibility; interdisciplinary programs; and the pursuit of intellectual excellence. The University gives a personalized learning experience to each and every student, based on high-impact practices and focused on learning outcomes. Everything centers around the University’s values of global citizenship, personal growth, intellectual development, and personal and social responsibility.

The heart of the academic enterprise is led by Stetson’s outstanding faculty. The teaching-learning process focuses on the whole person, sustaining deep engagement and dialogue among students and faculty, and active forms of citizenship and social justice-based community engagement. The undergraduate student-faculty ratio is 12-to-1, which allows students and faculty to engage in active learning activities.

Stetson University grew from the dream of New York entrepreneur and DeLand city founder Henry A. DeLand. He launched Stetson in 1883 as DeLand Academy, and the state of Florida chartered it as DeLand University in 1887. The name was changed in 1889 to honor John B. Stetson, a Philadelphia hat manufacturer and philanthropist who gave generously of his time and resources to the University.

Stetson President Wendy B. Libby and her husband, Richard, have been involved with the 529 Plan since 1988. He was the first president, and Wendy Libby was one of the founding members of the Private College 529 organization more than a decade ago. Stetson joined the 529 Plan in 2012 and is excited to be able to offer parents and students another tool as they plan and save for college.

We work closely with families to make a Stetson education affordable. The 529 Plan is a valuable option because it gives families the opportunity to lock in tuition at today’s prices. In the current economy, anything that can be done to support college attainment is critical.

Joel Bauman, Stetson University Vice President for Enrollment Management