Stetson is Florida's first private university, founded in 1883 by Henry A. DeLand and
called the DeLand Academy. John B. Stetson, whose name is also
associated with the hats he manufactured, was a founding trustee of the university. In honor of his considerable gifts of effort
and financial resources, the university was named after him in 1889.In 1900, the law school was opened, making it the first law school in Florida. In 1960, Stetson became the first white college
in Florida to admit a black student.