Founded in 1883, Stetson University is a collegiate institution based in central Florida. The university is named for the donor and hat manufacturer John Stetson, and its motto stands as ‘For God and Truth’.
The four campuses of Stetson are based in Gulfport, Tampa, Celebration, and a primary undergraduate campus in Leland. The College of Law in Gulfport dates back to 1900 and was the first Law school in Florida, and ranks among the best colleges nationwide for trial advocacy and legal writing. The Tampa wing of the Law school also shares space with an active court, Florida's Second District Court of Appeal.
The College of Arts and Sciences is comprised of 19 academic departments and several interdisciplinary programmes. At the School of Music at Leland performances are a held at the historic Lee Chapel, which can seat 100 and contains a Beckerath organ and two Steinway concert grand pianos. Also hosted at Leland is the School of Business Administration, which is accredited by the AACSB International in both business and accounting courses, and first taught classes in 1897.
Athletics teams are known as the Hatters, and compete in the NCAA Division I. There are eight men’s sports programmes and ten women’s, including American football and women’s lacrosse which were reinstated in 2013. Basketball and volleyball teams play at the Edmunds Centre, which can seat up to 4,000 people.
Founded in 1970 by student John Fraser, the model United States Senate at Stetson is the longest running project of its kind. Annually in March students from across the nation attend this senate to learn and perform correct procedure, and the event regularly invites sitting US Senators.
Among the alumni of Stetson are congresspersons Gus Bilirakis and Suzanne Kosmas, senator and Administrator of Veterans Affairs Max Cleland, actor Ted Cassidy, and founder of Merrill Lynch, Charles E. Merrill.