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PLANNING FOR SUCCESS Turning university value and distinctiveness into promising futures

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STETSON | Spring 2018

Planning from the start. Students and faculty members pose on the front steps of Elizabeth Hall in 1893, a decade after Stetson University was founded as DeLand Academy. Standing to the right of the columns is the first president, John Forbes, who served from 1885 to 1904. Forbes had his own plan for success, as enrollment grew from 88 students to nearly 300, and several buildings were constructed, including Elizabeth Hall.

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President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. Vice President of University Marketing Bruce Chong Assistant Vice President, Marketing/Media Relations Janie Graziani

20 Departments


2 BEGINNINGS Planning from the Start

20 Summer at Stetson

6 WELCOME Best Intentions 8 INTELLIGENTSIA News and Notes About Knowledge 16 FIRST PERSON Civitas 18 IMPACT Study in Scholarship Aid

Academic courses and fun camps are planned for the classroom, online and across the DeLand campus.

22 A Whistle, a Flag and Passion

Father-and-son alumni — one also a music professor — share melodies of a different sort.

24 Sharing Their Stories

Jim Johnson ’68 helped to desegregate Stetson University. Now, he brings back alumni to help today’s multicultural students.

52 ATHLETICS Trending to the Top

62 THE CLASSES Accolades and Achievements


STETSON | Spring 2018

Designer Michelle Martin Editorial Assistant Donna Nassick Art and Photography Bobby Fishbough, Nicholas Fuller ’18, Joel Jones, Brittany Strozzo Contributing Staff Marissa Rodriguez ’18, Skye Schwartz ’20 Writers Rick de Yampert, Michael A. Denner, Ph.D., Marie Dinklage, Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D., Amy Gipson, Marcia Heath, Heather Hunter, Cory Lancaster, Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., Brandi Palmer, Jack Roth, Laura Stewart, Julia Stulken ’15 Class Notes Editor Cathy Foster STETSON UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE is published three times a year by Stetson University, DeLand, FL 32723, and is distributed to its alumni, families, friends, faculty and staff. The magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper. The College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music are at the historic main campus in DeLand. The College of Law is in Gulfport/St. Petersburg. The university also has two satellite centers: the Tampa Law Center and the Stetson University Center at Celebration near Orlando.

56 ALUMNI Meet the Alumni Board


Editor Michael Candelaria


Want to add, remove or change your magazine subscription?

Email to universitymagazine@stetson.edu.



Strategic Plan 30 Value of a Stetson Education

48 No Emoji Necessary

32 Defining Value

50 Protecting Wetlands

Learning to discern the truth, especially in uncertain times, is at the core of a liberal-arts education.

What is the greatest value of a Stetson education?

34 Strategic Planning

A timeline of achievement

Stetson’s Writing Center in two carefully chosen words: innovative, effective

As part of Stetson Law’s strategic goal of global influence, its Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy is participating in a grant to help identify mitigation best practices.

42 Falling Down to Stand Out

Lessons learned over 60 years bring the University Honors Program right back to where it started. Thankfully.

46 Startup Enterprise

As Stetson’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program takes shape, students and the region stand to benefit.

50 ON THE COVER: Ashley King, Bachelor of Music, May 2017 Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Best Intentions

As a university, we make plans with strategy and hope — all with the knowledge, trust and comfort that we are placing those best intentions in the very capable hands of our

What makes Stetson distinctive? What is the greatest value of a Stetson education? These are the questions we continually ask ourselves, and the conversations in which we engage our campus and alumni communities, as we celebrate Stetson’s 135-year history and prepare students for lives of significance in the new millennium. It is work that we approach with purpose, with intentionality — and with the best of intentions. In this issue, you see Stetson’s past and its future coming together in the present day. We reflect on the endeavors at the university that have spanned decades and marvel at the individuals who embody the best of Stetson. We begin to see the distinctiveness and value of this great university, as well as the force it can be in this world and in the lives of our students. On these pages, you will read about father-and-son alumni football referees who both began their careers as officials while first-year students at Stetson. On top of that, Greg LeFils Sr. and Greg LeFils Jr. were paired in a bowl game last December that was Sr.’s final before retirement. You also will learn about Jim Johnson. On the page across from this letter, a chart details the student demographics at Stetson. Happily, thankfully, the numbers are in stark contrast to when Johnson arrived on the DeLand campus in fall of 1964. Johnson was among just a few African-American students at Stetson. He persevered, exceled and advanced. Now, more than 50 years later, he returns to help others do the same. There’s also the Honors Program, the Prince Entrepreneurial Program, baseball — all wonderful distinctions that continue today. We recognize the 11th year of Leadership Stetson, with alumni personifying ethical and responsible citizenship. We look at Stetson’s recent progress on initiatives that enhance excellence in learning and empower students’ lifelong success; showcase the energy, talent and smarts of our students and faculty; and celebrate stories of alumni who make us all proud. As a university, we make plans with strategy and hope — all with the knowledge, trust and comfort that we are placing those best intentions in the very capable hands of our students, faculty and staff. Providing the resources for so many of these endeavors is you. Our Beyond Success — Significance fundraising campaign, launched publicly just three years ago with a goal of $150 million, has raised more than $121 million to date, thanks to the generosity and devotion of Stetson’s alumni and friends. As you enjoy the stories in this magazine, please know that we thank you for all you do for our students and this university!

students, faculty and staff. Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. President, Stetson University 6

STETSON | Spring 2018

Dogged Efforts Bring Recognition Not to toot our own horn — but here’s a nice acknowledgment. Stetson University Magazine, it appears, is making an impact. A letter dated Oct. 30, 2017: I enjoyed your article on the new dog park on campus (“Dogged Efforts Bring New Park,” Fall 2017 issue). I love to see the improvements to the campus since I was there in the late ’70s. I admire the work it takes to be an Eagle Scout and loved the young man’s effort (high-schooler Corey Sipe, pictured). The article mentioned he was looking for a sponsor for the park, and I wondered what that entailed. You can contact us as follows … .

At the CASE District III Annual Conference, Feb. 11-14, in Atlanta, Stetson University Magazine received an Award of Excellence in the category of Magazine/Tabloid Improvement. Also, Stetson received an Award of Excellence in the category of Programs and Projects, Media Relations Program, for work on promoting the Homer & Dolly Hand Art Center. CASE District III (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) annually honors educational institutions in the Southeast for their efforts in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

Steve and Debbie Cutright Tallahassee, Florida Ultimately, thanks to generosity from several sources, young Sipe met his fundraising commitment on the Eagle Scout project, meaning Stetson gained a dog park at almost no cost.

STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS — AT A GLANCE Student Enrollment 2017-2018



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INTELLIGENTSIA Finding Their Voice When Stephen Weiss, a surgeon and aspiring novelist, told his mother he wanted to apply to Stetson’s new Master of Fine Arts program, she liked the idea so much she applied herself. For 54 years, Catherine Weiss had hopes of finishing a master’s degree, with her dream of developing as a writer having been sidetracked by marriage and children. In December, the mother-son pair graduated with the first class of Stetson’s MFA of the Americas program. Teresa Carmody, Ph.D., director of the program and assistant professor of English at Stetson, says the low-residency MFA program bridges gaps for writers across the spectrum of age, culture, artistic interest and genre. Carmody calls Stetson’s interdisciplinary, crosscultural curricula approach “visionary” and “one of the few MFAs that welcome experimentation.” While most low-residency MFA programs focus exclusively on creative writing or the visual arts, Stetson’s program is broadened in focus, with students arriving from different disciplines: poetry, narrative prose (fiction and nonfiction), visual arts, sound, dance, social media, video and graphic design. Some work on novels, novellas or collections of poems; others create multimedia performances. The faculty encourages students to explore and navigate between modes of expression, in addition to building a foundation of literary craft and practice. Students gather twice annually for 10 days of workshops, readings and craft talks in a dynamic community of writers. The June residen-

Sweet Nectar Stetson was abuzz in anticipation in January through early March, as art and science intersected with a multimedia exhibit at the Hand Art Center and Gillespie Museum. “A Better Nectar,” by Jessica Rath, offered an immersive experience using sculpture, light, sound, photographs and watercolor to explore the bumblebee’s journey. The exhibit, based on Rath’s extensive research into communication between flowering plants and their pollinators, essentially revealed what life would be like as a bee. The centerpiece of the exhibit was “Resonant Nest,” a multisensory, human-scaled bumblebee nest that resonated human-voice interpretations of bee communication. — Heather Hunter


STETSON | Spring 2018

cies alternate among the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach — one of the most significant art-residency sites in the country — and culturally immersive experiences in the Americas. The residencies give students a chance to study abroad and connect with writers and artists from the host country, most recently in Mexico and Chile. Between residencies, students read extensively and exchange online packets with a faculty mentor. Graduating students culminate their studies by presenting their final project with a performance and an open-studio craft talk. “Now I have the confidence to keep writing as a way of preserving my family memories and stories,” says Catherine Weiss. “The program took the net down for me.” — Marcia Heath






Program professors, from left: Daniil Zavlunov, Ph.D. (Music); Katya Kudryavtseva, Ph.D. (Art History); Snezhana Zheltoukhova, Ph.D. (Russian Language); Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D. (History); Gene Huskey, Ph.D. (Political Science); Jelena Petrovic, Ph.D. (Communication and Media Studies); and Michael Denner, Ph.D. (Russian Language)

Russia at Stetson: 1958-2018 Russia is almost everywhere these days. Just click on a news site. Or, you can look on campus, where Stetson has been at the forefront of undergraduate education in Russian-related studies since 1958 — now celebrating 60 years. Unlike peers focusing only on language and literature, or only on Russia and Russian, Stetson covers the entire region, from Eastern Europe through to Central Asia, with faculty specialists on Ukraine, Central Asia and the Balkans, as well as Russia proper. Majoring students take courses in political science, history, language and the arts — with recent alumni working at think tanks in Washington, D.C., finishing doctorates in top political science programs, teaching English in Bishkek and training to be Slavic librarians. In 1989, as the Berlin Wall was crumbling, Stetson received a grant for development of the Russian Studies Program from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A matching grant from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund in 1990 allowed for the full expansion of the Russian Studies Program at Stetson: appointing a tenure-track professor for Russian language; increasing library resources and installing a satellite system for Soviet (then Russian) television; and, finally, in 1993 opening the Russian Studies Center. This spring Stetson is celebrating its 60 years of studying Russia with an exhibit at the SPREES Center, “60 Years of Russia at Stetson.” This exhibit, opening March 16 and running until the end of the academic year in May, uses narrative panels, archival documents, and alumni and student voices to highlight Stetson’s unique engagement with this critically important region. — Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D., Director, Stetson’s Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

DID YOU KNOW? In addition to performing well on the field of play, Stetson student-athletes are proven winners in the classroom. Stetson studentathletes who entered college in 2010 graduated at a rate of 91 percent, according to the latest figures released as part of the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate Report. The rate marked the fourth consecutive year Stetson has achieved at least a 90-percent graduation success rate. Overall, studentathletes across the country had a graduation success rate of 87 percent. In the report, six Stetson teams demonstrated a GSR of 100 percent: men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, lacrosse, softball and volleyball.

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The initial phase of the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center is planned for completion by the end of 2018.


Moving Ahead

Stetson Law for Non-Lawyers

Just before the calendar turned to 2018, the clock began to tick on construction of the muchanticipated Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center. The two-story center, located on 10 acres along Lake Beresford, 7 miles from the Stetson campus in DeLand, will provide a permanent home for Stetson’s intercollegiate rowing teams, a space for water study and research, and non-motorized public recreation access to the lake. The initial phase of construction, costing approximately $6.2 million, is planned for completion before year-end. Named after the great-granddaughter of the university’s namesake, John B. Stetson, the center comes by virtue of Sandra Stetson’s $6 million donation plus a $400,000 Volusia County ECHO grant (for environmental, cultural, historical and outdoorrecreation projects). The Sandra Stetson center includes a $1.5 million endowment to support the operating costs of the ongoing building. — Michael Candelaria

In fall 2018, Stetson University College of Law is launching three Master of Jurisprudence programs designed for non-lawyers: a one-year Master of Jurisprudence in International and Comparative Business Law, a part-time two-year Master of Jurisprudence in Healthcare Compliance, and a part-time two-year Master of Jurisprudence in Aging, Law and Policy. The GRE or GMAT test is not required with appropriate work experience, and partial scholarships are available for qualified students. The deadline for JR domestic applications is July 1, and international Swanegan applicants in need of a student visa should apply by April 1. “Stetson Law’s Master of Jurisprudence programs give students the necessary edge for career enhancement and advancement,” says JR Swanegan, assistant dean of International and Graduate Programs. “The multidisciplinary nature of the programs, combined with teaching from academic and professional content-area experts, will give an unmatched depth of understanding that will benefit students in their career as they progress through the curriculum.” The one-year residency M.Jur. in International and Comparative Business Law, intended for business professionals, will provide students with a greater understanding of the legal system and how it impacts the successful operation of a business across borders. Areas of study include legal compliance and contract law. A part-time option is available for those who qualify. The two-year online M.Jur. in Healthcare Compliance, designed for health care professionals, teaches concepts including health care laws and regulatory compliance issues related to health care practice, administration and clinical record. Areas of study include risk management, regulatory science, and health care law and compliance. The two-year online M.Jur. in Aging, Law and Policy was created for nurses, social workers, human-services professionals, and others seeking an advanced understanding of elder law policies and ethics. Areas of study include disability law, gerontology, guardianship, taxes and estate planning, and ethics in elder law. The M.Jur. program does not qualify graduates to take the bar examination to practice as attorneys. — Brandi Palmer

STETSON | Spring 2018

Brianne Boldrin ’17 will race in the 2018 Boston Marathon — and help raise money for sick children like Reagan Hall.

DID YOU KNOW? Stetson University College of Law will present the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy to Mark Caldwell during its Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills Conference on the Gulfport campus, May 21-23. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those who have fundamentally changed the way in which the world approaches the teaching of advocacy. Caldwell is curriculum project manager for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He has been recognized for his work as a teacher, program designer and administrator, receiving NITA’s Robert Oliphant Award for Service in 2001, The Hon. Prentice Marshall Award for Excellence in the Creation of Education Techniques in 2009, the University of Denver’s Institute for Advanced Legal Studies Educator of the Year Award in 1999, and recognition from the Colorado Asian American Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. The annual Educating Advocates conference on Stetson Law’s Gulfport campus draws law professors, lawyers and legal practitioners from across the nation to learn the Stetson method of advocacy, develop teaching skills, learn new techniques and network with some of the most recognized names in advocacy teaching.

Running for Reagan Hall Born in October 2016, Reagan Hall was diagnosed with hypoplastic right ventricle/ tricuspid atresia in utero at 18 weeks. At 4 days old, he underwent his first surgery. Since then, Reagan’s heart hasn’t quite functioned normally, because of a defective valve prohibiting blood flow between the chambers of the heart. In November 2016, one month after Reagan’s arrival, Stetson alumna Brianne Boldrin ’17 ran the race of her life. Successfully completing the Philadelphia Marathon, Boldrin qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon. That race, the 122nd version of the famous event, is coming April 16 — when Boldrin will fulfill a dream while also helping Reagan and others to perhaps see their own come true. Through a Miles for Miracles fundraising effort, Boldrin will be racing to help raise money for Boston Children’s Hospital — for Reagan and the other youngsters there. Reagan is Boldrin’s patient partner, providing a personal connection and enabling her to share her journey. All of the donations go directly back to the hospital and help fund programs such as therapy dogs to comfort patients, clinics for families with teen patients, nights of free or subsidized housing, meal vouchers, global health projects, scientists researching new cures and clinical programs to treat the sickest children. Boldrin, a student-athlete in women’s soccer and cross-country who graduated with degrees in both business systems analytics and applied mathematics-statistics, will be joined in the Boston Marathon by former Stetson teammate Laurie Scott ’17. “As a competitive athlete, I have experienced countless bruises, sprained ankles and swollen joints but never a life-threatening injury,” says Boldrin, now a data scientist at IBM in pricing analytics. “Athletics is such an important part of who I am that I can’t imagine facing an illness or condition that could take away my ability to compete.” — Michael Candelaria Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



“Sunset Effect on Rain (North Bloomfield, Third River at James St.) by Oscar Bluemner

Retracing Bluemner From visual component of her senior thesis to a real work of art. That’s the story behind student curator Abigail Ramsbottom ’18 and her exhibit (through May 3) at the Hand Art Center on campus in DeLand. Ramsbottom organized “Thoughtful and eloquent, (Un)canonical Bluemner” from the Hand’s keynote collection, taking an “original track on the collection” and looking at it in a “critical context,” according to Stetson Professor Emerita Roberta Favis, Ph.D., who recently retired as curator of the collection that was donated to Stetson by Vera Bluemner Kouba, daughter of the German-American abstract master Oscar Bluemner. Among the sources of information were letters between Kouba, a DeLand resident in her later years, and the Museum of Modern Art. A 1916 exhibition catalog of works by Paul Cezanne, with Bluemner’s admiring notes, also is featured to make points in a way that is both scholarly and broadly intriguing, along with a 2011 Christie’s auction catalog with Bluemner’s “Illusion of a Prairie: New Jersey (Red Farm at Pochuck)” on its cover. A tour of the elegant exhibit’s well-chosen works shows why an artist who was underappreciated during his mature years, and for decades after his death in 1938, is on the way to taking his place among the modernist greats. Vivid colored pencil lines create an animate quality in a 1910 study reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh’s animated vistas. But “Gutenberg (New Jersey)” is more: Its rich, fiery reds and stubby green-blacks build a solid sense of radiant field and scrubby hedges. Tracking Bluemner’s development and techniques with several series of sketches and paintings, separated by wall texts that explain them fully, Ramsbottom builds from the artist’s tentative foray into abstraction to its full expression. — Laura Stewart 12

STETSON | Spring 2018

Abigail Ramsbottom ‘18 turned thesis into art as the student curator of “(Un)canonical Bluemner” at the Hand Art Center.

Discover Campeche Janereth Vargas Cervera has traveled around her home country of Mexico, performing traditional folkloric dances, and once even danced for the princess of Japan. In January, Vargas added Stetson to her destinations. A visiting exchange student, she arrived on campus from her home city of Campeche, Mexico, where folk dancing is a deeply rooted tradition. Performed in elaborate colorful costumes, the dances have Spanish and Caribbean roots depicting elements of everyday life for the locals, as well as the upper class. In February, Vargas performed some of the dances on campus as part of a Discover Campeche program. “There are two basic styles: The Sarao Campechano is more elegant, and the Fiesta del Palmar is a little more playful,” said Vargas, 22, who lived in a Stetson residence hall for six weeks while attending classes (Principles of Acting, Dance Appreciation, French and Portuguese). In Mexico, Vargas attends the Instituto Campechano and majors in art education, with a dream of one day opening a dance academy back home. She is a member of the Ballet Folklorico de Campeche, sponsored by Campeche state’s secretary of culture. On April 16, other dancers from the art education program at the Instituto Campechano will perform at Stetson. Campeche has been a Sister City of Volusia County since 1995, and Stetson’s Latin American Studies Program has maintained a student exchange with the Instituto Campechano for more than 20 years, according to Robert Sitler, Ph.D., director of the Latin American Studies Program and a professor of World Languages and Cultures. Stetson student Tyler Thomas ’18 stayed with Vargas’ family in Campeche last summer. And through that experience, Vargas learned of the opportunity to travel to DeLand — her first trip to America. “For me, Stetson is marvelous,” Vargas said during her visit. “It’s very modern, very cutting-edge. My experience has been meeting a lot of really very nice people.” — Cory Lancaster

Janereth Vargas Cervera visited Stetson this winter, performing native Mexican folk dances and attending classes on campus in DeLand.


A Case for Business Ethics

Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport earned an “A” for curricular offerings in trial advocacy, according to preLaw magazine. Stetson, the magazine cited, is home to the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, and offers a certificate of concentration in trial advocacy and social-justice advocacy, clinics and externships, the opportunity to participate in the Stetson Journal of Advocacy and the Law, an online Advocacy Resource Center, online LL.M. in Advocacy and joint J.D./ LL.M. in Advocacy.

Stetson’s annual Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition was held in February, when undergraduate students from 16 invited institutions nationwide had the opportunity to analyze and present arguments on a contemporary business issue tied to financial, legal and ethical issues. The big winners: Campbell University, first place; University of Calgary, second place; University of Florida, third place; and Belmont University, fourth place. During the event at Stetson, teams made preliminary oral presentations to a panel of judges, who were volunteer representatives from top companies across Central Florida. Bracket winners then delivered final eight-minute oral presentations, as the two-day competition narrowed to final winners. “The Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition is a wonderful example of the transfer of learned course material to a real-world setting,” said Jim Beasley, professor of business administration and co-director of the event. “The use of concrete, actual business dilemmas in the cases analyzed by student participants prompts a level of learning that significantly supplements students’ curricular programs in business education. Over the past four years, the Templeton has become a premier program of experiential learning for business students from universities in the United States and Canada.” — Marie Dinklage

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Founding Entrepreneurs In January, Stetson’s School of Business Administration announced the founding members of the Prince Entrepreneurship Leaders Program. The new organization is intended to provide guidance and support for those who are serious about launching their own scalable business, either while at Stetson or after graduation. Also, the students will represent the university at various competitions. For a related article, see Page 46. Pictured in back row: Zachary Harshbarger, Sebastian Medina, Matthew San Julian, A. Alvarez, Jack Friedman, Justin Ringer and Jeremy Jackman. Front row: Josey Pearce, Brittany Kovalskaya, Jasmine Allen, Lunden Remey, Bayne Shaifer and William Jackson, Ph.D.


STETSON | Spring 2018

DID YOU KNOW? There’s a green on campus in DeLand you might not know about, even for those who know the campus well. It’s called SARGE — a green, UV-blocking pigment. Think of it as a sunscreen mixed with tanning oil, but for plants. The campus grounds crew sprays SARGE on certain high-visibility areas, such as the Stetson Green and the Palm Court. Far from being harmful, SARGE actually lowers the environmental impact of lawn maintenance. As an alternative to pumping the soil full of extra fertilizer and watering the ground profusely, SARGE gives the grass a temporary full green color and helps protect the grass against heat and drought. Special note: The grounds crew at Stetson uses a guideline called Best Management Practices to ensure that aestheticupkeep work doesn’t harm the environment.

Celebrating Stetson in California Welcome to Vacaville, California, and the fourth-grade class of teacher Sarah Stetson. Her school, located northeast of San Francisco, sought to empower all students to plan for college. The goal was to instill a mindset that anything, including college, is possible in their lives. As part of the mission, each class had to select a college. Stetson chose Stetson. “I had to choose a university that my class would identify with and support in order to encourage the college mindset. Since my name is Ms. Stetson, I only thought it fitting that we go with Stetson University,” the teacher said, adding that she isn’t sure she is related to the university’s namesake, John B. Stetson. She and her class decorated a corner of their classroom with a Stetson University hat and a banner that said, “College Bound.” The school is using a program called Accelerated Reader. The students read a book and take a test. Afterward, they receive points and credit for all the words they read in each book. The goal is to have every student read 1 million words by the end of the school year. When the students read 250,000 words, they earn an associate’s degree and a pair of Stetson sunglasses (provided by the university). When they reach 500,000 words, they earn a master’s degree; and those who reach 1,000,000 words receive either a Stetson drawstring bag or a T-shirt, and a doctorate. By mid-February, two students had reached 1,000,000 words and half of the class had surpassed 500,000 words — demonstrating the high academic achievements of Stetson’s “sister” campus on the West Coast.

Teacher Sarah Stetson and her fourth-grade class in Vacaville, California, are “Hatters.”

Ample Evidence of Distinction

Luz Nagle

Dorothea Beane

In February, two professors at Stetson University College of Law were honored for historical impact by the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida. Luz Nagle was honored as the first tenured Hispanic law professor at Stetson, and Dorothea Beane was recognized as a “First” in Tampa Bay for her career as a trailblazer. Nagle, who received tenure in 2004, is an expert in international law, international criminal law, transborder crime and national security law. In addition, she is an internationally sought expert in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and has been a lecturer and visiting professor on four continents. Previously, Nagle served as a judge in Medellin, Colombia, and a law clerk to the Supreme Court of Virginia, and pursued software pirates as a member of Microsoft Corp.’s Latin America Copyright Enforcement Practice, among numerous other achievements. Beane was the first minority professor awarded tenure at Stetson Law and a recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award. She serves as co-director of the Institute for Caribbean Law and Policy at Stetson, and also oversees Stetson’s federal, state and municipal law externships. In addition, Beane was founder and director of Stetson University College of Law’s Summer Abroad Program in The Hague, Netherlands, and has written and lectured widely on the role of international tribunals, among her many other accomplishments. Since 2003, she has served on the executive committee of the International Human Rights Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. — Brandi Palmer Stetson.edu/today | STETSON




Finding community in the eye of the storm means growing stronger in the wake of devastation.



t’s been several months since Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys. Since that time, I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions, from feeling scared and unsure about the whereabouts of my family to feeling great pride for my island home.

I’d like to share the story of the Keys, because I think it’s a small example of what The Civitas Project is all about today. For those unfamiliar, The Civitas Project is a private, nonprofit corporation in strategic alliance with Stetson University, its Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and its Center for Community Engagement. Following Hurricane Irma, there was a lot of devastation. A lot. Some people were lucky and had very little damage to the structure of their home, but many others were not. Unofficially, of the nearly 2,000 homes in Big Pine Key, approximately one-quarter was a total loss. Entire homes were ripped from their foundations or off their stilts. Concrete and wooden telephone poles were snapped in half. Up to 6 feet of water in some places claimed tools, drowned animals and trees, and scattered belongings for miles. The seawater that rushed over the islands left inches of seaweed and bay bottom behind. And did I mention the truckloads of debris and personal belongings that were scattered in all directions? It was, and is, truly unfathomable. In the days after the storm, there was a generalized frenzy. People were trying to get in touch with loved ones who stayed, wondering when residents could re-enter the county, hoping beyond all hope that there would be a home to go back to. But this story does not end in sadness. As I spoke to those who weathered the storm, I heard stories of heartbreak, hard work and triumph. If you’ve ever been to the Keys, you know there is an incredible community already, but now it is even stronger. Neighbors, friends and strangers came together to help one another in a way that (unfortunately) only happens after tragedy. Institutions like churches, charities and government officials, from both the mainland and locally, literally worked around the clock to restore any semblance of normalcy. Utility workers and military personnel from across the country were so gracious and truly instrumental in restoring power, water and safety. First responders spent the hours and days following the storm, doing everything from clearing seaweed and sand from U.S. Highway 1 to going from home to home in search of survivors.


STETSON | Spring 2018

Even months after Hurricane Irma hit the Keys, the cleanup continued. Photo: Joseph Flanagan ‘13

I am inspired by the way people came together, and have continued with hope and love, creating an astounding sense of community. The storm shone a light on the essence of what a community is. When people aren’t distracted by politics, when they aren’t focused on making the most money or having the newest gadgets, a community functions like a true democracy and people can accomplish great things. In the months to follow, the work still wasn’t done. Trash and debris were being collected from residential roads. Canals were full of waste, with everything from sunken watercraft and electronics to neighbors’ dining room furniture. Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon Key was operating out of trucks in its parking lot. There was, and is, a long way to go — but we’re going, and we’re going together. Industry did not make this recovery possible. The main industries in the Keys are tourism and commercial fishing. In the first few months after the storm, however, there were no tourists, and many fishermen had lost their gear or boats. What made this recovery effort a success was the civitas. All the people had a stake in this, regardless of what political party they belonged to. The community galvanized and, through a series of decisions and hard labor, picked up the pieces one by one. Friends and strangers alike held each other and lifted each other up instead of pushing each other down. Local officials learned from the mistakes that led to unpreparedness and are making changes to prevent future mistakes.

I hope that as a nation we can learn from tragedies like hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. We should know our neighbors and their needs; we should lend a hand when we can afford to; we should sympathize with those less fortunate than us, because we all need help sometimes. More importantly, we should do these things because we can. We will be happier for it and better for it. To the rest of the state and country, Irma is a memory, but to Monroe County it’s still a deep scar. I am sure that Houston and Puerto Rico have experienced similar heartache, hopefully followed by compassion and growth, just the way the Keys have. Wherever you live, don’t wait for tragedy to get involved. Use your voice and your vote every day to affect the changes you want to see in your community — whether they are political or social or environmental. Julia Stulken was born and raised in Big Pine Key, Florida, where most of her immediate family members still live. Stulken received her Stetson degree in integrative health sciences. At Stetson, she participated in Hatter Harvest all four years and served as president during her senior year. Following graduation, Stulken became involved with The Civitas Project. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2017. She will begin graduate school, studying public health, later this year at the University of North Carolina.

While entire homes were ripped from their foundations or off their stilts, the community came together.

The Civitas Project is a private, nonprofit corporation in strategic alliance with Stetson University, its Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and its Center for Community Engagement.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Study in Scholarship Aid Meet Sebastian Fernandez — a scholarship recipient who can “stay focused” and “have access.” BY AMY GIPSON

What are you looking forward to academically? “I am planning on continuing my academic learning through my introductory political science and economics classes, as well as strengthening my communication skills and public speaking. I am also looking forward to an internship this fall at my local representative’s office to gain perspective and insight into my future goal of becoming an elected representative in Congress.” Who do you want to thank for getting you here? “I want to thank my mother for pushing me to go to college right out of high school. If it wasn’t for her constant pressure for me to do so, my current situation would most likely not be the same.” In what ways have your donor-funded scholarships impacted you and your future goals? “The donor-funded scholarships that I have received have helped me establish my future without the stress or fear of having inadequate funds or even worse, being stuck in the cycle of poverty. These scholarships have allowed me to stay focused on my academics rather than worry about monthly payments for my loan and thus forcing me to work more hours at my current job. Instead, I can now spend my time on my academics, joining on-campus groups tied to those same academics and spending time with my peers. This helps make the most of my time here at Stetson, including an immersive environment of learning, which will help me in the future.”

Sebastian Fernandez ’20

Political Science and Economics majors Music minor

If you met your scholarship donor(s) today, what would you say to them? “I would say thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn and be a part of the Stetson community. Because of their contributions, I have been able to continue down my career path with the best education in the state of Florida. While getting that education, I have access to the best professors, and all of this without fear of possible burdensome debt.”

Senior Support. Not only are Stetson seniors excited to graduate in May, they’re also ready to give back to their alma mater as soon-to-be alumni. On Feb. 1, roughly 250 students got a jump-start on applying for graduation, ordering their regalia, learning how to stay involved as alumni and making their Senior Class Gift. Green, White & YOU — Stetson’s student engagement and philanthropy organization — brought together various campus offices and hosted the event near Palm Court. Students were treated to Chick-fil-A and mingled with Leadership Stetson participants. Leadership Stetson, by the way, could be in the future for these seniors. Leadership Stetson provides a prestigious and competitive opportunity for alumni to engage with their alma mater.


STETSON | Spring 2018

Sounds of Giving Pianist George Winston returned to campus in classic charitable style.

Photo: Steve Lankford


eorge Winston ’71 is one of the world’s most recognized contemporary solo pianists. He’s also known for giving back. In late February, there was no exception on either front. Winston was back on campus, as the School of Music hosted a special benefit concert in support of Stetson’s Music Scholarship Fund. “George Winston’s career has spanned more than 40 years, he has sold more than 15 million albums and his music is known around the world,” said Thomas Masse, D.M.A., dean of the School of Music. “We are delighted that our community can experience his music in the intimate setting of historic Lee Chapel and deeply grateful that he is enabling Stetson to continue to provide scholarships to future musicians.” Each year, qualified music and non-music majors receive talent scholarships through a competitive talent scholarship program. Upon completion of an audition, students are placed into consideration for the scholarship. Winston, who is mainly touring and performing live concerts these days, received the distinguished Alumni Award in 1997 and a Doctor of Arts and Letters Honorary Degree in 2004. His concerts feature varied styles, including melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano and stride piano. Winston grew up mostly in Montana and spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. During that time, his favorite music

was instrumental rock and instrumental R&B, including Floyd Cramer, the Ventures, Booker T. & The MG’s, Jimmy Smith and others. Inspired by R&B, jazz, blues and rock (especially the Doors), Winston began playing organ in 1967, and played organ in his first band, the Tapioca Ballroom Band, at Stetson from fall 1967 through spring 1970, along with several fellow Stetson students. In 1971, Winston switched to the acoustic piano after hearing recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s by the legendary stride pianists Thomas “Fats” Waller and Teddy Wilson. Aside from working on stride piano, he came up with his own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano. Winston has a distinct charitable side, too. In the communities where he tours, he typically raises money for food banks and service organizations. On his return to Stetson this winter, in addition to the Music Scholarship Fund, Winston raised awareness for The Neighborhood Center in DeLand by asking concertgoers to bring canned-food donations. Also, proceeds from CD and merchandise sales went toward The Neighborhood Center. — Amy Gipson Editor’s note: If you would like to donate to the Music Scholarship Fund, email development@stetson.edu or call (386) 822-8950 for more information. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Academic courses and fun camps are planned for the classroom, online and across the DeLand campus.


bigail Goodin sought to push forward on her academic schedule. Goodin, a double-major in management and sales, also was hopeful that taking only one class would enable her to better focus attention on an unfamiliar subject.

So, in summer 2017, Goodin enrolled in Marketing 315 as part of Summer Study @ Stetson. The experience paid off. On campus, while Goodin learned the basics of marketing and how consumers think when purchasing a product, she moved that much closer to obtaining her degree. “I wanted to take a class over summer so my senior-year class 20

STETSON | Spring 2018

load would be lighter. It helped,” said Goodin, who plans to graduate in spring 2019. Skye Schwartz took three courses a summer ago, all online. Schwartz had completed her final year of high school online and viewed the summer as a chance to effectively get ahead. The courses counted toward her general-education and minor requirements. “Summer classes are high-intensity, and they are for a short period of time — a couple of months versus a regular semester,” said Schwartz, Class of 2020, who is majoring in biology with a minor in public health. “You work rigorously for a couple months, but in the end you come out with credits used toward your degree and knowledge toward your education.” Schwartz, also pointing to lower class costs, plans to take two more online courses this summer.

Mitchell Reddish, Ph.D., has a simple message about the summer academic offerings available this summer at Stetson: They can make a huge difference. Reddish is a professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies whose primary academic areas of interest are the history and literature of early Judaism and early Christianity. That’s mostly during the regular academic school year. Also, he coordinates Stetson’s summer academic for-credit sessions, where “Summer Study @ Stetson” can mean “opportunity.” “Summer study is a great time to catch up on coursework for students who have a lot of prerequisites,” Reddish says. “Students can really improve their GPA, and students with an eye on graduating early can use summer study to move ahead.” In addition, Reddish notes, students can do this all while saving money with lower summer tuitions and possible financial aid. Housing also might be available, he adds. A wide variety of courses from many departments across Stetson’s DeLand campus are offered — from accounting and anthropology to Spanish and sport business. The summer courses are offered in three separate sessions: Session 1, May 21-June 19; Session 2, May 21-July 10 and Session 3, June 21-July 20. During each of the sessions, courses are held on Stetson’s historic campus in DeLand. During the second session, online courses also are available. Students may take a total of three courses during the summer, but they cannot be enrolled in more than two courses at the same time. Typically, class sizes are small, roughly 10 to 12 students. While Stetson students predominate, students enrolled at other colleges and universities may attend.

“Summer study is a great time to catch up on coursework for students who have a lot of prerequisites. Students can really improve their GPA, and students with an eye on graduating early can use summer study to move ahead.” — Mitchell Reddish, Ph.D.

CAMP ADVENTURE For David Wood, Stetson’s executive director for Continuing Education and Outreach, summertime is largely about enabling young people to experience the campus in camps that are designed to entertain, educate and intrigue. Officially, it’s called “Experience Summer at Stetson.” Weeklong camp offerings in June and July are divided into four groups: Little Hatters, Junior Hatters, Senior Hatters and Future Hatters. As one example, among the camps for Little Hatters (kindergarten through fifth grade) and Junior Hatters (grades 6-8) is Engineering for Kids Camp — Aerospace Engineering: Academy of Space Explorers. Camps for Senior Hatters are for students in high school, while Future Hatters is reserved for students who have completed high school and may be entering college the next fall. Camps for those groups include computer-science exploration in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, a reading program (faster and smarter), sports broadcasting and leadership. Typically, on-site housing and meals are included in the cost of the camps. “We are working on creating pathways to enrollment and becoming a Stetson student. It’s a great opportunity,” says Wood, adding that in the past two years camp offerings have increased approximately 65 percent. The camps benefit both students and the university. Wood notes that while students get to know Stetson, the university gains a foothold in attracting them to eventually enroll. Last year’s computerscience camp was attended by 18 incoming first-year students to Stetson. At present, 17 of the students remain enrolled. “This proves the theory that if you get them involved during the summer and prior to them becoming students [at Stetson], the better chance of them staying a student,” Wood says. At the very least, both Reddish and Wood agree, summertime at Stetson can be a season of difference. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON


A Whistle, a Flag and Passion Father-and-son alumni — one also a music professor — share melodies of a different sort. B Y R I C K D E Y A M P E R T


reg LeFils Jr. ’04 was mesmerized by a band performance he witnessed back in 2015. “The sousaphones and drums would keep playing, and then the rest of the band would stop and was singing multilevels of harmony — really well and projective,” he recalls. Then LeFils threw his penalty flag. Literally.

No, LeFils (pronounced “Luh-Feese,” rhymes with “geese”) wasn’t watching a concert at Stetson, where he’s a visiting assistant professor of choral music education. Rather, that big band was the massive Florida A&M University Marching 100, which had taken the field in Tallahassee to perform at halftime of that school’s Homecoming football game.

Both Greg LeFils Jr. and Greg LeFils Sr. became football referees as first-year students at Stetson.


STETSON | Spring 2018

LeFils, the crew chief on the officiating crew that day, knew the rules stipulated that he had to flag the legendary FAMU band if they performed over its allotted time. “It was a 10-yard penalty at the opening kickoff of the third quarter,” says LeFils, Ph.D., with the doctorate from Florida State. LeFils is used to making the tough calls. He’s been refereeing football for 17 years — since his first year as a student at Stetson. He started in Pop Warner and junior-varsity high school games, and worked his way up five years ago to the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (college football’s top level). There’s no need to look far for where LeFils got his passion. His father, Greg LeFils Sr., has been officiating football for 40 years — ever since his first year at Stetson, where he earned his accounting degree in 1981. LeFils Sr. also started in Pop Warner and high school games before advancing into college football in 1999. “Growing up as a kid, if it was a Friday night, there was a really good chance our family was loading up in our midsize Astro van and going to a high school football game,” LeFils Jr. says. Father and son worked on different crews in the Sun Belt Conference. While the National Football League has some father-son referees, LeFils Sr. believes there are no others in Division 1 college football. From late August through December each year, the duo was busy seven days a week. They would work their day jobs — LeFils Sr. runs an accounting firm in Orange City, just a few miles from the Stetson campus in DeLand. They would travel Thursday nights or Friday mornings to game sites from New Mexico to North Carolina, don their ref stripes on Saturdays, and return on Sundays to their almostadjacent homes on the family cattle ranch in the Deltona/Osteen area of Central Florida.

‘MEMORABLE AND EMOTIONAL’ Only twice in the past eight years had they worked a game together, until just a few months ago when they were paired in the DXL Frisco Bowl. The game was held Dec. 20 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, with Southern Methodist University matching up against the eventual winner Louisiana Tech. “Father-son combinations working together at the Division 1 level is very rare to begin with. Add to that a bowl game. We’re not sure, but we may have been the first,” says LeFils Jr. “It is an honor just to be selected because it means that both of us were evaluated at the top of our respective positions in the conference, and since there are only 40 bowl games this year, that means my father was one of 40 head linesmen and I was one of 40 center judges selected this year.” The story gets better, with Sr. retiring as a football official immediately following the game. He had previously made that decision; the game appointment was coincidental but icing on the cake. “I would get to work a bowl game on the field in my father’s final game wearing the stripes. As you can imagine, it was a very memorable and emotional experience,” Jr. adds.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW Being referees, the two think alike, too. Computer geeks can dissect an iPhone’s inner workings, and fanboys can repeat every line from the latest Marvel Comics movie blockbuster, but they have nothing on Sr. and Jr. making ref talk. In this instance, father and son delve into analyzing a close call Sr. had to make at a Troy-Idaho game last fall, when a receiver might have bobbled the ball as he caught a pass in the end zone. As father and son review the play, they sound like Sherlock Holmes — filtering data, weighing the evidence and pondering all possibilities to determine exactly what happened. Only, unlike the famous fictional sleuth, there are mere nanoseconds to determine if a football crime has been committed. “It’s amazing how quickly your mind can replay what you just saw,” LeFils Sr. says. “You don’t jump out of your shoes. Under control, you’re slowly going (he makes a computer-processing sound). I called it a touchdown. It went to instant replay. The referee clicked on the mic: ‘After further review, the ruling on the field is confirmed.’” “Touchdown!” Jr. pipes in. “We like the ‘C’ word — [call] confiiiiirmed,” LeFils Sr. says, stretching out the pronunciation. “We don’t like the ‘S’ word — [call] stands.” And we sure don’t like the ‘R’ word — [call] reversed.” “In a stadium for 40,000 people, every time you throw the flag there’s a very good chance that a large percentage of the people in the stadium are going to hate your guts,” LeFils Jr describes. “And there’s a coach making $3 million a year standing right behind you, screaming at you, telling you what a horrible, awful, terrible person you are.” Staying cool under such pressures also has served Jr. well in his music career, whether it involved conducting the Orlando Chorale or the Orlando Chamber Choir, or his current teaching at Presser Hall on campus.

“The biggest parallel between being an ensemble director and a football official is every time an ensemble — choir, band or orchestra — is rehearsing or performing, the director hears mistakes. Every time,” LeFils Jr. says. “In football officiating, there’s holding on every play. They’re coached to do that.” And so, a choir director or a football referee must make an instantaneous decision: Is the mistake or infraction “impactful” on the performance or game? Then he must deal with any repercussions of his decision. “I’m using the exact same skill set dealing with an irate parent and dealing with an irate coach,” LeFils Jr. explains. “Coaches will yell and argue with officials frequently. And we deal with that with parents, if a student didn’t get the role in the opera or if they auditioned for certain chairs in the orchestra.” In both cases, he emphasizes “de-escalating the situation.” Additionally, his career as a referee has led him to a third job of sorts. In every city that he travels to during the football season, he recruits for Stetson. During the 2016 season, he visited 28 high schools on Fridays before suiting up to officiate on Saturdays. He’s recruiting not only “that next generation of terrific music teachers” but also music students. In a sense, it’s a whistle and a flag for his alma mater. “I’m spreading the news,” LeFils Jr. says, “about Stetson’s School of Music.”

Son, on left, and father race off the field following the 2017 DXL Frisco Bowl. LeFils Sr. retired from refereeing after the game.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON


Jim Johnson ’68 was Stetson’s first African-American baseball player. Photo: Stetson University/ Bobby Fishbough


STETSON | Spring 2018

Sharing Their Stories Jim Johnson ’68 helped to desegregate Stetson University. Now, he brings back alumni to help today’s multicultural students.


im Johnson welcomed Stetson students to the annual Multicultural Alumni Networking Lunch on campus last fall, as he reminisced and joked with his old classmates. Johnson, Maurice Woodard and Franklin Biggins enrolled at Stetson in the fall of 1964, three of six African-American men in the incoming class. They were not the first to integrate Stetson — that had happened with a few “test students” in 1962, when Stetson became one of the first private universities in Florida to admit African-Americans. But the six freshmen who arrived in 1964 would be the first to live in the residence halls, eat meals in the cafeteria and experience campus life like other undergraduates. After graduating in 1968, Johnson went to work for IBM and eventually retired as a corporate sales executive. Woodard retired as a dentist; Biggins, as a judge. Another classmate retired as a vascular surgeon. These are impressive accomplishments for any student, and more so for these six, who were pioneers of their time. As any historian will tell you, at that time black students experienced significant challenges in pursuit of higher education. Across the South in the 1950s and ’60s, protesters marched against segregation and staged sit-ins at “whites only” lunch counters. They were often beaten by angry mobs, attacked by police dogs and doused with water from fire hoses — images carried by the national news that galvanized public support for integration. Weeks after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington in


1963, a bomb exploded in a Birmingham, Alabama, church one Sunday morning and killed four young girls. At Stetson in 1964, the African-American students recalled seeing a racist banner in a fraternity during Greek Week that prohibited blacks, Hispanics and Jews. Once or twice, drunken fraternity members would call out racist names. Johnson, the first African-American on Stetson’s baseball team, spotted a substance like liquid heat in his jockstrap in his locker one day. When the team trainer saw it, he started yelling at the white players, threatening to hit them with a baseball bat if they ever did it again. No one did. Most of all, the new students felt isolated and unwelcome on campus, they said. Stetson opened the door for African-Americans, but their path was not easy and, as a consequence, some did not return to the campus for decades. “When I graduated in 1968, I did not step back on this campus until 1999, maybe 2000-and-something,” said Woodard, “… because I didn’t enjoy the environment. But it polished me.” “Stetson helped to develop us to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities,” said Johnson, who credits the university for helping his career success, including serving in ROTC at Stetson and later as an officer in the U.S. Army. “I learned so much at Stetson.” For Johnson, organizing the Multicultural Alumni Networking event is a way to give back to Stetson and students. “I found over the years that you have to be steeped in your faith, you have to have someone who’s pushing and encouraging, and you have to have people who are supportive, and I had all of that,” he said. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON


‘DETOURED TO STETSON’ The son of fern workers in DeLeon Springs, Johnson was a top student throughout school and graduated as valedictorian of his class at the segregated all-black Euclid High School in DeLand. “My mother kept saying she was going to beat it into us to get an education because she didn’t want us to be where she was, working in the fields, standing on her head every day,” Johnson said. “To explain that, she worked right next to my father in the fernery. They cut fern and, you may not know it, but the fern grows about 12 inches high, and when you cut it, you cut it about a half inch from the ground, so you bend over and that’s the concept of standing on their head all day.” His parents were his role models. But they couldn’t afford to send him and his younger sister to college, so he excelled at sports, becoming captain of the football team and earning a partial football scholarship to Florida A&M. Then, near the end of his senior year in high school, he “got detoured to Stetson,” as he put it. His guidance counselor, George R. Williams, called him to the office and asked if he would be interested in attending Stetson. Johnson said, yes, if Stetson offered him a full scholarship. “I went to see Admissions and Financial Aid, and lo and behold, they offered a full scholarship,” Johnson recalled. “Now some of that, of course, was work study and some was a loan. ... It wasn’t like it was all grant, but it didn’t matter. I was able to go to school, and I knew that I could have it for four years.” Johnson wanted to major in math, but according to his high school transcript, he hadn’t taken trigonometry and calculus. Johnson explained those classes weren’t offered at the black high school, so Stetson’s dean of the math department lined up a student to tutor him over the summer. On the first day, the tutor asked questions to assess his knowledge. She expressed surprise because Johnson knew the basics of advanced math, including calculus. His high school math teacher, Earl McCrary, had taken him and five other students aside and taught them advanced math, without ever using words like “calculus.” “He knew these six kids would probably go to college,” Johnson explained. And they did.

THE FOREST OF ARDEN When Johnson first met Stetson President J. Ollie Edmunds, the president said he would like to learn more about Johnson’s background. The president suggested they take a walk and so began a series of walks for the two in the Forest of Arden, a wooded area near Sampson Hall, where the Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center stands today. During the summer of 1964 and into the fall, the two discussed desegregation and what it meant for Stetson and African-American students, like Johnson. The Stetson faculty had favored desegregation in 1951, years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled in 1954 that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. In 1955, the executive council of the Baptist Student Union voted in support of integration, but a campuswide vote by the student body 26

STETSON | Spring 2018

Breaking the color barrier: Cornelius “Neil” Hunter was the first AfricanAmerican to enroll at Stetson as a full-time undergraduate student, in 1962, and the first graduate in 1966. His wife, Mae Andrews Hunter, was admitted in 1965 and graduated in ’69.

defeated the idea, according to newspaper articles from the time. Instead, Edmunds and Dean William Hugh McEniry, a longstanding advocate for racial integration, were quietly working to enroll a black student. Cornelius “Neil” Hunter, a top student from Starke, Florida, became Stetson’s first African-American full-time student in August 1962. He was joined by Herdie Baisden, the first part-time African-American (commuter) student, according to records in Stetson’s archives. “I spent a lot of time talking to Dr. J. Ollie Edmunds the summer before actually starting school, walking through the Forest of Arden, and he explained that Neil was an experiment and he was happy that he was passing, and because of that, I’m here,” Johnson remembered. “He said, ‘you six guys’ — and that was the first time I realized I wasn’t the only one, and I was glad — he said ‘you six guys coming in this year will be the first to live on campus. You’ll be the first to eat in the cafeteria on a regular basis.’ “Neil lived with a professor, and it was a professor in his major. And it’s not that they gave him anything, but he had someone to talk to and a support person, where we would be on campus like all the other students living in the dorms, and like any other student leaving home, you’re kind of on your own.” But Johnson wasn’t worried. “I had faith in God,” he said. “I believed I could do it. There was a quote by St. Francis of Assisi that I always remember. He said: ‘Do the necessary, do the possible and you’ll find yourself doing the impossible.’” On one of these walks, Edmunds asked if Johnson knew why he was at Stetson. Johnson said he did, adding, “But are you asking why I want to be here? Or, are you asking why you want me here?’ “And he said, ‘both,’” Johnson recalled. Johnson explained to Edmunds that he wanted an education and Stetson was providing a full scholarship. Stetson, Johnson believed, wanted him to attend because the university needed funding from the federal government and grants from private foundations to construct new buildings and expand the campus. Johnson was working in the duPont-Ball Library and had read newspaper stories about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which became law

that July. He knew it allowed the federal government to cut off federal funding if an institution discriminated against blacks. And he knew some private foundations supported integration, such as the Ford Foundation, which had awarded a $1.5 million grant to Stetson in 1963. Stetson Professor Emeritus T. Wayne Bailey, Ph.D., arrived at Stetson in 1963 and said the university’s decision to desegregate was based on “conscience and morality,” not funding. He knew Edmunds closely and, as a former Duval County judge, the decision for the president was based on the law. “I think he was convinced that Brown v. Board of Education was the law, and separate could not be equal,” said Bailey, who retired from the Political Science Department in 2016 after 53 years. “His determination to carry forward the desegregation mandate — nowadays, most people can’t appreciate how courageous all that was.” Even today, Johnson says he was just grateful for the chance to be educated. As time passed, he didn’t see Edmunds much, but remembers the president stopped him a few times to congratulate him and the other African-American students for getting good grades. “I actually believe he genuinely wanted us to succeed,” Johnson said. “I believe that over time it was more than money.”

‘THE NEED TO BELONG’ Like Johnson, most of the African-American students admitted that fall were top students in their high schools. Maurice Woodard ’68 grew up in the projects in Orlando, excelled in school and was president of student government at the all-black segregated Jones High School. Woodard remembered a leader in Orlando’s African-American community, the Rev. Canon Nelson W. Pinder, called him one day when he was in high school. “He said, ‘Maurice, I don’t want you to participate in any of those

sit-ins and marches and stuff. I want you to keep your record clean because you’re going to go to Stetson University and you’re going to integrate the school because you have the capability.’ And I remember those were my marching orders for a movement,” he said. But Woodard felt isolated at Stetson, especially after being “the big man on campus” in high school. During his senior year at Stetson, with more African-Americans being admitted, he made an impassioned request to the Panhellenic Council to approve a black fraternity, citing psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. “People have the need to belong, and, of course, we weren’t getting that at Stetson,” recalled Woodard, a math major and soccer player for the Stetson team. The Panhellenic Council approved the request. Woodard also would become one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry, where again he was “a pioneer,” encountering the same challenges and the same environment that he faced at Stetson, he said. He later served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Central Florida. “I fully believe that Stetson was very, very pivotal in me being able to accomplish all of those things, along with spiritual guidance, of course,” Woodard said. “I would not do it any differently, because my record speaks for itself — not for me, but for how much Stetson supported me to be able to have opportunities to do the things that I did in life. “The critical thing that Stetson provided me was real-world issues that I was going to have to face in the workforce. And for that, I am very thankful because I was able to understand how things work, how people thought, and I needed to know that — not so that I could be bitter, but so I could know how to handle it. And that really sharpened me, took me from coal and turned me into a diamond, as I look at it.”

J. Ollie Edmunds: Stetson Student, Trustee, President and Chancellor J. Ollie Edmunds, ’25, ’27, ’28, was the first and only alumnus so far to serve as Stetson University president. Edmunds was associated with Stetson for 60 years, starting as an undergraduate student in 1921 until he retired as chancellor. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Stetson in 1925, a master’s degree in 1927 and a law degree in 1928. Stetson presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1943. Among his many accomplishments: • He helped organize Stetson’s National Alumni Association and served three terms as its president in 1927, 1929 and 1930. • He was elected to Stetson’s Board of Trustees in 1934. • He was a judge in Duval County in Jacksonville, and left his law practice to become Stetson’s fourth president in 1947.

• During his 19 years as president, he raised academic standards and expanded the campus from 33 to 80 acres. • He raised $18.4 million during his tenure and built 16 new buildings, including the duPont-Ball Library, the Carlton Student Union Building, Allen Hall, Sage Hall, Davis Hall and several new dormitories. • The College of Law moved from DeLand to Gulfport (near St. Petersburg) in 1954, during his presidency. • He resigned in 1967 to return to private business and was named first Stetson Chancellor by the Board of Trustees. Edmunds passed away in 1984. Today, the J. Ollie Edmunds Distinguished Scholarship Program at Stetson is named in his honor and funded by his family through a generous endowment gift. His daughter, Jane Edmunds Novak, grew up on the Stetson campus and has been an active member of the Board of Trustees since 1995.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON


More coverage online: To watch video interviews with Jim and Dottie Johnson, visit Stetson Today at Stetson.edu/today.

For Jim Johnson, organizing the Multicultural Alumni Networking event is a way to give back to Stetson and students: “I found over the years that you have to be steeped in your faith, you have to have someone who’s pushing and encouraging, and you have to have people who are supportive, and I had all of that.”


STETSON | Spring 2018

Then and now: A story in the DeLand Sun News on Nov. 5, 1967, featured a story about Stetson students Dorothy Pompey, above, left, and Jim Johnson tutoring students at DeLand’s Southwestern High School. Jim and Dorothy “Dottie” Pompey Johnson ’69, a math major, have been married for 49 years and have two children. Photo: Stetson University/Bobby Fishbough

A lifetime of friendships: Old Hatter yearbooks from the 1960s include, from left to right, Franklin Biggins, Jim Johnson and Maurice Woodard. The three men reminisced about their time at Stetson during the annual Multicultural Alumni Networking event, during Homecoming Weekend in November 2017. Event photo: Stetson University/ Will Phillips

‘CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY’ Of the six African-American men who enrolled in fall 1964, three graduated from Stetson: Johnson, Woodard and William Strawter, M.D., the retired vascular surgeon who now lives in California. Two of the six students didn’t return after their freshman year, and Franklin Biggins, the retired judge, left after his sophomore year. Biggins had attended an integrated high school in Pennsylvania and hadn’t been a victim of segregation. While attending Stetson, he found it difficult to live in the small, segregated Southern town of DeLand. Instead, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. “You have to understand the atmosphere of DeLand, Florida,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Atlanta. “DeLand, Florida, in terms of black economics is not very high. In fact, there was a club where we students used to go hang out on the black side of town. To this day, I swear it had a dirt floor. … Here I am under those conditions, and you know I finally got to the point where I said, ‘I give up. This is not for me.’” Added Johnson, with a laugh, “Frank was a militant. We had to warn him: Tell us if you’re going to do something, so we can get away from you and we don’t get kicked out. He could afford to go anywhere. He had money. But we needed scholarships to graduate.” A year after the men arrived, Stetson admitted six AfricanAmerican women, including Johnson’s future wife, Dorothy Pompey Johnson ’69. She majored in math and had been head of her class at the segregated all-black Roulhac High School in Chipley in the Florida Panhandle. “I didn’t have any problems. I was not called names,” she said, adding the white women in her residence hall taught her to play bridge, although they never invited her to eat with them in the cafeteria. “I love Stetson. It was a very pleasant experience for me. You remember where I came from was very much segregated, so I was used to that.” She later worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, analyzing data on computers, before deciding to stay home to raise the couple’s two children. Her younger sister, Mattie Patricia Pompey, followed her to Stetson and graduated in 1973. “I had a lot of confidence in my ability from high school,” Dorothy said. “I never lost that confidence.”

‘DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT’ Yellowed newspaper clippings, as well as other documents about Stetson’s integration, are preserved in the university archives, housed in the basement of the duPont-Ball Library. Johnson helps to keep those stories alive, too, through the annual Multicultural Alumni Networking event. As the event organizer, he is a bridge, connecting African-American students of the 1960s with a new generation of multicultural students. The event traces its beginnings to 2009, when Johnson’s cousin, Jessica Sally ’12, enrolled at Stetson and invited him to a barbecue for the Black Student Association. It was held in the backyard of the First

Year Studies’ office on campus by Dean Leonard Nance, Ph.D., also a university adviser on diversity. Before Johnson knew it, he was surrounded by a crowd of students asking questions about his career and his time at Stetson. Nance and Professor Patrick Coggins, Ph.D., asked Johnson to return a few months later to talk to more students, and again six months later. The Multicultural Alumni Networking event was born, and soon Johnson was inviting his former classmates to tell their stories, serve as mentors and teach students what it takes to be successful. “I like having the opportunity to help the young folk get over challenges, to get over obstacles,” said Johnson, who also is a Trustee and chairman of the Men’s Ministry at his church, Mount Calvary Baptist Church of Palm Coast. Stetson President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., has been a big supporter of the event. It was her idea, Johnson added, to provide a nice meal to increase student attendance — and it did. Speaking at the seventh annual event last fall during Homecoming Weekend, Libby said she had recently met with members of Stetson’s Multicultural Student Council, which sponsors the event, along with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “I appreciated their candor, and I was also thankful because they felt this campus is becoming a place that’s more open to conversation — sometimes uncomfortable conversation and sometimes just straightforward conversation, and we’re all about that,” Libby said. Libby credited the Many Voices, One Stetson program for helping to improve the campus climate. Launched in 2016, the program is part of the university’s foundational priority to “Be a Diverse Community of Inclusive Excellence.” The Many Voices, One Stetson website notes the university’s “rich institutional history of commitment to civil rights” while still acknowledging that exclusion and alienation based on age, race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation and other differences have “marred both United States history and Stetson’s own past experiences.” “It’s not always easy to understand other people,” Libby said at the event. “If we’re willing to show a little bit of ourselves and learn a little bit about somebody else, we’ve come a long, long way.” Coggins agreed and said the campus environment is “dramatically different” today for multicultural students. Students find it easier to make friendships across racial lines, and the entire Stetson community is committed to welcoming multicultural students, he said, citing that the foundation for change was laid by Johnson and the other students of the Civil Rights Era. “What I like personally about Jim is that he is able to tell his story in a way that is not bitter, in a way that is not punitive, but in a way that provides balance,” said Coggins, a professor of education and multicultural education, and adviser to multicultural student groups. “There were people who called him names, but for the most part the president, the faculty, the staff and for the most part students provided support for him. And that’s something I want students [today] to hear, not from me, but from someone who’s an alumnus, because that makes a better impression on their lives.” Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Fact or Fake? Learning to discern the truth, especially in uncertain times, is at the core of a liberal-arts education. BY WE NDY B. LIBBY, P H .D ., PRESI DENT, S TE T SON U N IVER S IT Y


he 2016 presidential-election process got me thinking about the value of a liberal education, and I haven’t stopped since then — but not for the reasons you might suppose.

My intent isn’t to continue adding fuel to our nation’s still-heated political environment. Instead, I’d like to reflect on higher education’s role at a time when “alternative facts” and “fake news” remain a fixture in our national conversation, stirring up a mood of uncivil discontent and mistrust. Let’s pause for a moment and look beyond unsettling headlines. Colleges and universities are part of a pervasive media narrative that reflects and feeds public concern about the affordability, return on investment, and even the necessity of a liberal-arts degree. According to Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the devaluing of a college degree has been “exacerbated by the recent political jockeying and appeals to people’s fears and prejudices, in which rational inquiry built on evidence has all but been abandoned.” Pasquerella made the statement in January 2017. It remains valid today. As president of Stetson — a private liberal-arts university, of course — I hold myself accountable for doing more to champion the outcomes of liberal education. I urge other educators to join me in that crusade.


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In particular, I see an opportunity to reaffirm liberal education’s role in discerning the truth, not as an ivory-tower exercise but as a requisite for building the next generation of informed citizens. Fundamentally, a liberal-arts education helps students understand that facts can mislead, particularly when taken in isolation or without proper context. An ironic case in point: fake news. The rise of alternative facts may seem like an aberration of our current political environment, but fake news is actually a time-honored American tradition. Back in the founding days of the republic, John Adams and his fellow Boston patriots planted fake stories aimed at undermining royal authority in Massachusetts. Benjamin Franklin was an especially skilled

Benjamin Franklin was an especially skilled fabricator of indictments against King George. In a fit of industriousness, he published an entire fake issue of a real newspaper to sway public opinion. fabricator of indictments against King George. In a fit of industrimyself returning to the words of Stetson University’s first president. ousness, he published an entire fake issue of a real newspaper to Dr. John Forbes (1885-1904) championed the ideals of a creative sway public opinion. “By the press we can speak to nations,” community where students can develop the habit of “independent Franklin wrote with a wink. judgment” and the “skills of investigating statements and principles His makeshift printing press seems downright quaint compared to for oneself, and thus discover their truth or falsity.” the sophisticated tools today’s opinion-makers use in creating, curating His prescient words remain at the core of Stetson’s mission. Our and disseminating their opinions to the world. The information cycle is language today may be different, but the goal remains the same, 24/7, thanks to social media’s exponential ability to spread stories, but namely “to foster in students the qualities of mind and heart that will that freedom comes with a cost. Separating fact from fiction can feel prepare them to reach their full potential as informed citizens of local just about as futile as using a bailer to save a sinking ship. communities and the world.” Two recent studies reveal the unsettling influence of fake news in Especially now, institutions of higher learning must make a stronour daily lives. A 2016 Pew Research Center study found that 64 ger case for preparing graduates for a lifetime of civic engagement. percent of adults in America believe biased news stories are sowing a We seriously undershoot the mark if we reduce the value of a liberalgreat deal of confusion about the basic facts surrounding current arts degree to career readiness or the size of the first paycheck. events. By contrast, many younger adults face a different problem: It’s simply not enough to prepare graduates for gainful employThey are overly trusting of their sources of news, according to a 2016 ment. And offering quick degrees at a low cost, without due considerStanford study. ation for the quality of the learning, isn’t going to get our communiStanford’s History Education Group spent a year evaluating ties and higher education where they need to be. students from middle school to college. More than 80 percent of Education should lead to a job, absolutely, but it should also lead to those students could not distinguish ads from articles, activist groups a fulfilling and personally satisfying life in a society we want to live in, from neutral sources, or fake accounts from real ones. The students fight for and improve. Viewed this way, education serves as a powerful also struggled to discriminate agent of change, a source of deep between real and fake photographs, learning that comes from reflection, as well as authentic and staged rigor and application. A liberal Especially now, institutions of videos. The Stanford researchers education, at its best, is threaded higher learning must make a used words like “bleak” and “dismaythrough with values that are characing” to describe their findings. teristic features of the enlightened stronger case for preparing At stake is something deeper than citizen — informed convictions, graduates for a lifetime of civic an inability to distinguish between intercultural literacy, personal engagement. We seriously what’s real and what is not. integrity, creative expression and the As citizens, we increasingly find it capacity for courageous debate on the undershoot the mark if we reduce difficult to know where to place our real issues. the value of a liberal-arts degree trust. This uncertainty can make us If I am sure of anything, it’s the to career readiness or the size of wary, cynical, even apathetic. raw potential of our students as Without even realizing it, we may rising leaders. They have the passion the first paycheck. It’s simply not find ourselves retreating to an echo to solve the world’s most pressing enough to prepare graduates for chamber, where we filter out dissentproblems using technology and the gainful employment. And offering ing views and listen only to the legacy of an excellent education. multiplying sound of our own Let’s give students the tools they quick degrees at a low cost, beliefs. This is a troubling developneed to build a more trusting, open without due consideration for the ment, to say the least. When citizens society. I am well-aware this smacks quality of the learning, isn’t going stop seeking the truth, and shut out of idealism, but it’s a badge I am diverse points of view, we effectively proud to wear. to get our communities and put our nation’s democratic — and higher education where they need educational — ideals out to pasture. Editor’s note: This article originally to be. — Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. In these disquieting times, I find appeared in The Orlando Sentinel. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



DEFINING VALUE Merriam-Webster defines value as, among other terms, the “relative worth, utility or importance.” The Oxford English Dictionary reads “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something.” Also, of course, there is a monetary component, as in this delineation from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s

Noel Painter, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Provost, Professor of Music

In our recent work to define the value of education at Stetson, I heard from many people — students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees — about their personal Stetson experiences. Equally important as what students learned was how they learned it and what it meant for them after they graduated. That learning is an intentional interlinking of ideas broader than a major, from experts who care as much about the student as they do what they are teaching, and beneficial not only for a term but for a lifetime … those experiences, which we aim for all of our students to receive, speak powerfully about the value of education at Stetson.

Dictionary: “the amount of money that can be received for something.” The meanings are pretty much all the same. So, what is the greatest value of a Stetson education? Similarly, while the following perspectives among Stetson stakeholders can be considered somewhat different, their corresponding views largely are alike. And, as Stetson moves through its timeline of strategic planning, that’s welcome news.



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The greatest value of a Stetson education is the learning accomplished by our students. At Stetson, our students engage in a highly experiential educational experience that delivers broad training in the liberal arts combined with deep disciplinary expertise. This culminates in a capstone experience that mirrors professional expectations, be it a graduate thesis or professional performance or exhibit. This training prepares students to become experts in their disciplines or to transfer those skills into new areas of learning. What makes Stetson unique is that this learning occurs via close interaction with faculty mentors, especially at the capstone level.

Alicia Slater, Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Department of Biology; Chair, Department of Health Sciences; Director of Curriculum and Assessment

Nina L. Hayden, J.D., LL.M., Professor of Practice; Director of Academic Success and Bar Prep Services, Stetson University College of Law

The greatest value of a Stetson education at the College of Law is reflective of our high rankings in trial advocacy and legal research and writing. A student coming from Stetson is well-trained in doctrine, skill and the professional etiquette needed to be a success in the legal field and surrounding community. In addition, being a Stetson lawyer comes with a full array of alumni support, including connections to many of those who are currently working as business owners, judges, elected officials and administrators. A Stetson education is invaluable.

There is nothing more distinctive for a Stetson student than to have the opportunity to do independent and creative research. Whether it be a traditional paper, a work of literature, an art portfolio or a master performance, Stetson students have the chance to make an original mark on their chosen field of study, present and perform in front of their peers across the university, and travel to professional conferences as a colleague scholar. The values of undergraduate research, be it in the lab, the library or the studio, mark Stetson values as rooted in the world of independent thought.

A Stetson education means your heart and mind are resilient, creative and curious. Here, we hone and sharpen your insight, so that you can use it to help others. Here, we teach you how to encounter the new and make it the known. A Stetson education means you’re equipped with the skills to think, write, speak, and act on your world as your journey takes you further and deeper into it. It’s easy to lose sight of the greatest value of a Stetson education: Having first learned how to learn, you will never forget, and that is the best preparation for life I can think of.

Alyssa Morley, President, Stetson Student Government Association, Political Science Major, Class of 2018 Kimberly D. S. Reiter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History; Chair, Stetson Undergraduate Research Committee and Stetson Showcase; Director, Stetson Public History Concentration; Vice Chair, Stetson Faculty Senate

Megan O’Neill, Ph.D., Director, The Writing Program; Jane Heman Language Professor, Department of English

I believe the greatest value of a Stetson education is in the relationships that are built, and then fostered through our time with Stetson. We have the opportunity to connect to other students in the classroom, to our faculty, the staff and alumni across the globe. These connections are what help to foster academic success and personal growth, which is exactly what we hope to gain out of a college education.

At Stetson, all students have the opportunity to work directly with world-class faculty on research projects in their chosen fields. This allows students to take abstract ideas from the classroom and put them into practice in authentic ways that help to prepare them for their future careers. This is an incredibly valuable facet of a Stetson education: While only a select few students typically have this opportunity at other institutions, every Stetson student gets to participate in this potentially transformative experience.

John York, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON




A Timeline of Achievement


hen Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., arrived at Stetson in 2009, one of her priorities was the strategic direction and planning of the university. Although Stetson was graced by beauty and tradition, Libby, as the new president, sought to ensure its promising future. Using a comprehensive strategic-planning process, her goal was to build a stronger, shared university identity.

Initial work resulted in the Stetson University Strategic Map: 2011-2014, which represented the overarching goal of fostering innovation to move Stetson from “success to significance.” In 2014, some of the same people who worked on the original map gathered again to create a second Strategic Map for 2014 to 2019, this time shifting the target to establishing Stetson as a university of choice for “innovative approaches to tackling complex challenges.” Today, the university stands more than halfway through that strategic-map process, pushing forward while remaining focused on that complex-challenges goal. As a summary, here is a partial timeline of progress, highlighted by some of the results of strategic initiatives that date back to 2014.


2014 U.S. News & World Report ranks Stetson University College of Law No. 1 nationally in trial advocacy.

GOAL Demonstrate Stetson’s Distinctiveness and Value Proposition


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2015 Stetson in DeLand welcomes its largest incoming class to date (1,073), achieving a goal of 3,000 undergraduate students in DeLand a year earlier than planned. Stetson Law welcomes 919 students and retains its top trial-advocacy ranking. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stetson No. 8 in its annual “10 MBA Programs with the Most Diversity.”


Establish Stetson as a University of Choice for Innovative Approaches to Tackling Complex Challenges Demonstrate Stetson’s Distinctiveness and Value Proposition Enhance Excellence and Innovation in Learning Empower Lifelong Success and Significance Secure the Resources to Ensure Success Increase Organizational Resilience and Adaptability Expand and Strengthen Strategic Partnerships Be a Diverse Community of Inclusive Excellence Comprehensive information: stetson.edu/other/ strategic-planning



Stetson is the only college/ university nationwide to receive President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognition “with distinction” — cited in all four categories of the honor roll for the second consecutive year.

Stetson graduates its largest class, with 879 students, eclipsing the 2016 total of 830.

Stetson’s Department of Education is awarded accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation for seven years.

Student-athletes who entered Stetson in 2010 graduated at a rate of 91 percent, according to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate Report — marking the fourth consecutive year Stetson achieves at least a 90-percent rate.

Stetson Law remains No. 1 in trial advocacy.

Stetson ranks fifth out of 132 schools on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of Best Regional Universities in the South. U.S. News ranks Stetson University College of Law first for Trial Advocacy and third for Legal Writing.

Stetson receives the Collegiate Engagement Hunger Hero Award from Feeding Children Everywhere. Stetson is the only college or university recognized nationally by the group.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



GOAL Enhance Excellence and Innovation in Learning

The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience is created to focus on water and environmental research in partnership with other institutions and community stakeholders. Stetson’s La Casa Cultural Latina is established, enabling faculty and students to help people learn English as a second language. Education Associate Professor Rajni ShankarBrown is awarded education and culture grants by the U.S. Department of State and Partners for America.


The Environmental Sustainability Fellow Scholarship is established to empower students to engage their passion for environmental responsibility as part of their professional development. Biology Assistant Professor Roslyn Crowder leads undergraduate student research into natural, plant-based cancer therapies.

2015 Stetson students perform 130,000 hours of community-engagement projects and services.

GOAL Empower Lifelong Success and Significance


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Stetson’s Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence introduces its annual Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, highlighted by inspiration, innovation, and thought-provoking discussions and engagement.

Community Catalyst Houses are introduced as a project that brings together students with common interests to live under one roof and serve as catalysts for positive change. Economics Professor Alan Green, Ph.D., is one of 50 instructors at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools worldwide selected as part of the inaugural Virtual Reality Grant Program. Stetson Law wins multiple awards at 23rd Annual Willem C. Vis International Abitration Moot in Vienna, Austria.


The MFA of the Americas program, the Prince Entrepreneurship program and an international law program become indicative of strategic priorities underway at the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration and College of Law to develop innovative ways to attract the best and brightest students. A group of students wins first place in the Startup Showcase (university category) at the eMerge Americas technology conference in Miami. The team, formed in 2015, presents a business plan for The Story of Life, or TSOLife. A total of 178 Hatter student-athletes earn ASUN academic honor-roll recognition, and 67 percent of Stetson’s ASUN student-athletes achieve a 3.0 GPA or better.


A total of 29 Bonner Scholars participate in summer-of-service projects nationally and abroad.

Stetson hosts its first Student Employee Appreciation Day. Stetson employs 957 students in 1,132 different jobs, impacting more than 100 departments on the DeLand campus.

Sarah Caudill ‘06 is a member of the gravitational-waves’ “Discovery of the Century” team.

Enrollment Management launches a set of summer programs designed to inspire learning in children and teens, including camps for computer science, robotics and leadership.

Student-run Green, White & YOU debuts with a mission to educate, engage and develop campus awareness, understanding and participation in philanthropy.

Classes begin for a new online/on-campus Adult Degree Completion program, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



The $150 million Beyond Success — Significance fundraising campaign launches. (By mid-February 2018, the total raised had reached $119 million.)

GOAL Secure the Resources to Ensure Success

Sandra Stetson, great-granddaughter of the university’s namesake, donates $6 million to build a new aquatic center to house the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, as well as Stetson’s rowing teams. (Construction began in November 2017.) Stetson’s Board of Trustees approves more than $35.7 million in capital improvements, with most of the funding planned for projects in DeLand over the next three years. Computer Science Associate Professor Hala ElAarag receives a Faculty Mentoring Award from the Mathematics and Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.


GOAL Increase Organizational Resilience and Adaptability


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2015 A partnership is formed with Cenergistic, a company that leverages data and technology, to help implement energyconservation measures across all Stetson campuses and sites. As a result, the university reduces electricity usage and water consumption by 11.3 percent.

The $7 million Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center opens, providing new spaces for students, alumni and prospective employers. The center results largely from charitable giving. Renovation and expansion work begins on the Carlton Union Building — a three-year project that will increase the CUB’s square footage by 67 percent.


The Rinker Welcome Center is named Florida Outstanding Sustainability Project by the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.


Stetson makes cutting-edge use of Microsoft’s Power BI to manage data analytics.

Computer Science marks 10 years of ethical hacking classes that provide students with a real-time environment and strengthens the university’s digital security.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recognizes Stetson as a model of excellence regarding the use of prepaid debit cards for students’ college-sponsored accounts.

Admission and Enrollment Management utilize EAB (formerly Royall & Company) for university program research projects.

Stetson Public Safety introduces an app designed to help ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus, as well as the parents of students. It is free to download on smartphones. Stetson implements AdAstra to manage facility usage.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



GOAL Expand and Strengthen Strategic Partnerships

The Volusia Center for Excellence in Education, a new partnership among Stetson, BethuneCookman University, Volusia County Schools and the national New Teacher Center, begins work on a three-year project to improve teacher effectiveness.


GOAL Be a Diverse Community of Inclusive Excellence


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Stetson’s study-abroad opportunities grow. A total of 244 students study abroad, a nearly 13-percent increase from the previous year. Stetson has 157 students on campus from 61 foreign countries, an increase of 65 percent since 2011.

The Carnegie Foundation selects Stetson to receive a prestigious Advancement of Teaching honor in recognition of exemplary commitment to student learning through community impact.


Stetson’s Honors Program partners with Daytona State College’s QuantaHonors, enabling up to 16 Daytona State students annually to receive transfer admission and a Stetson Select Honors scholarship. Stetson and Adventist University of Health Sciences sign a milestone agreement to collaborate in the creation of new career pathways for students. Stetson University College of Law partners with Eckerd College, enabling high-performing Eckerd students, including graduates of Eckerd’s Program for Experienced Learners, to gain direct admission to Stetson Law. VITA, Stetson’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, reaches $1 million in tax refunds and 1,000 returns filed for the local community.

2016 College Magazine lists Stetson as one of the country’s top 10 culturally dynamic universities, stating, “Head over to Stetson if you plan to change the world.”

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee unveils a Direct Admission Program that offers qualified graduates entry (with a scholarship) into Stetson University College of Law. Stetson Law partners with Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Bay Area Legal Services and Gulfcoast Legal Services to assist veterans with noncriminal offenses, including veteran and Social Security issues, family law, guardianship and landlordtenant disputes. The medicallegal partnership is the first nationwide involving a law school.

2017 Stetson’s Inclusive Implementation Strategy Group begins research on how its DeLand community defines diversity and inclusion. A similar survey starts at the College of Law, with responses eventually resulting in a universitywide statement on diversity and inclusion.

Consulting firm Rankin & Associates begins conducting a campus-climate survey, as part of the university’s initiative toward inclusive excellence. Stetson officially launches Many Voices, One Stetson, a comprehensive effort to “provide the community with the space and support needed to have dialogue and civil discussions that allow all to disagree without being disagreeable.”

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON




STETSON | Spring 2018

Falling Down to Stand Out Lessons learned over 60 years bring the University Honors Program right back to where it started. Thankfully. By Micha el A . D enne r, Ph. D .

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON




hen I took over as director of the University Honors Program at Stetson back in 2005, it was a paradigmatic program. It carefully adhered to every articulated expectation of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s “Basic Characteristics of a Fully-Developed Honors Program,” as elaborately outlined in some publication of the Honors Council dating to 2001. (I found the article hiding in my desk!) In 2005, Stetson offered eight innovative, team-taught, interdisciplinary Honors courses, one for every semester a student attended Stetson. The courses were codified, systematized, sequential, consecutive and arranged to “maximize student outcomes.” Honors classes accounted for exactly half of a student’s credit hours during his or her career at Stetson. We had a stellar program on paper! Man, what a wreck of a program it was in reality. Seriously. The first day I became the director, students from the Honors 3 class nailed a list of grievances — a la Martin Luther’s chapel in Germany — to my door. (The hole is still there.) I think I crumpled and threw the list at Greg Nolan, one of its authors, in exasperation. Students were unhappy but couldn’t quite articulate what they resented. Faculty were dissatisfied but couldn’t quite articulate their dissatisfaction. We had a 75-percent dropout rate. (I tried to cast it in a better light: a 25-percent retention rate!) No faculty member wanted to teach the “brats.”

A couple years of emergent care later, we were still in crisis. It was 2007, so we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Honors at Stetson. (That makes this year the 60th.) I did some research on the emergence of Honors back in the 1950s and found a history of the program’s founding, as outlined by John Hague, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program during the 1960s. Hague was a widely admired teacher, scholar and academic leader who led Stetson’s application to earn a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1982, the first chapter established at a private university in Florida. Excerpted, his description read: In the spring of 1956, Dean William Hugh McEniry decided that Stetson ought to have an Honors Program. After consulting with several faculty members, he announced the formation of a program, which in the first year would only be available to rising seniors. In the fall of 1956, Mary Ann Coslow, Rod Dugliss, Sid Knight, John Morgan and John Riser became the charter members of the Program. John Hicks was named the faculty director. The students were, upon entering the Program, forgiven whatever requirements were at that time unmet, whether general or departmental in nature. Each student proposed a senior project and asked three or four faculty members to supervise it. [...] During the year, the students wrote a number of short papers related to the major project and discussed each with the members of the committee. A major paper brought the year’s work to an end. All of the work was ungraded: Successful completion of the projects was noted by H’s on the students’ transcripts. An H meant simply that the work completed was of Honors caliber.

John Hague, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program during the 1960s, sits with current Honors director Michael A. Denner, Ph.D. Hague, a professor of American studies, passed away in 2009.


STETSON | Spring 2018

It’s hard to imagine how different the world, Stetson and the Honors program must have been in 1956. Eisenhower. Elvis Presley. Khrushchev denounces Stalin. Segregated buses. And, in the midst of all that, maybe as a result of all that, the Honors Program was really radical. Requirements were forgiven. Students were allowed to, you know, explore their education. Make their own choices. In 2007, we couldn’t possibly be so progressive as we had been in 1956.

The “new” University Honors Program, as of 2017, is as close to the “old” one as possible, writes Denner, who took over as director of the program in 2005. Photo: Stetson University/Bobby Fishbough

What John Hague didn’t say in the “official” history is that all five students “failed.” Yep. They were graded as “non-Honors caliber.” I don’t know how, but they graduated, nonetheless. When I got the list of alumni in 2007, all five graduates of the first Honors class were still alive. Four of them were doctors (some the real kind, some the medical kind). The fifth, for his sins, had become a well-regarded lawyer. About that time, Hague got a letter from one of the original Honors class members, Rod Dugliss ’57, who was then the dean of the School of Deacons for the Episcopal Church in California. He shared it with me. Here’s a bit of what Rod Dugliss said: “The Honors program gave me a foundational experience of the excitement and adventure of learning — of ‘education’ as learner driven. It gave me the courage to take risks in thought and life. It gave me an understanding of learning that informed all my teaching, to the present moment. It made lifelong learning an imperative. I know the program is now quite structured. I am so grateful to have had the experience of the radical freedom of its beginnings. You, and those who conceived the program and then worked to make it real, did a marvelous, indeed, unique thing.”

This struck me. Not like a bell or a pretty picture. Like a lightning bolt. I knew what had to happen. I had to destroy the Honors Program. It took the better part of five years to destroy it. Maybe predictably, it was as hard to tear down as it was to erect. I’ve tried my best to return the program to its roots, as “learner-driven,” a program that would give students courage. The “new” Honors program, as of 2017, is as close to the “old” one as possible. There are hardly any requirements in the “new-old” program; we just require that students find their own way, find their own challenges. I tell them all the time that we give them the freedom to figure it all out, and just enough support to do it. Whatever it is. Smart kids don’t like being told what to do. They like to do it themselves. They aren’t afraid of mistakes. They stand back up when they’ve fallen down. In fact, they like falling down. Michael A. Denner, Ph.D., is director of the Stetson University Honors Program and a professor of Russian Studies. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



STARTUP ENTERPRISE As Stetson’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program takes shape, students and the region stand to benefit. B Y J A C K R O T H


ntrepreneurship is a very big deal. And growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, small businesses account for 54 percent of all sales, 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all new net jobs across the nation.

Similarly, Stetson’s School of Business Administration is using entrepreneurship to drive its own sphere of influence — in academics, community involvement and economic impact. Students are being equipped with all the real-world skills necessary to succeed in an everexpanding and ever-changing entrepreneurial environment. The local and regional business community is being engaged on multiple levels. Meanwhile, by all statistical counts, as the university’s initiatives achieve success and entrepreneurship blooms, the economy will benefit. Welcome to the Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program. The program, housed in the Department of Management, has added a new major — Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship — along with an advisory board stocked with local business leaders and a renewed commitment toward innovative thinking. Further, the program’s director, Bill Jackson, D.B.A., has made it his mission to not limit potential impact — he seeks to connect students from all across campus. That’s just for starters (and for startups). “When I got [to Stetson] a little over a year ago, the charge was to advance the program,” says Jackson. “We asked what needed to be in place to become a nationally recognized program, and we’ve made great strides to that end.”


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Jackson, who was responsible for building the entrepreneurial program from the ground up at the University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, is a nationally recognized leader in entrepreneurship education. In 2015, the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship named him the Entrepreneur Educator of the Year. “I was drawn to Stetson because there’s a large demographic of students involved in family business, and the faculty embraces the spirit of true entrepreneurship,” Jackson continues. “We’re creating an entrepreneurial mindset with a real focus on the students, teaching them to solve real-world problems and inspiring them to make the world a better place.” Notably, the Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program comes largely by virtue of charitable giving from Tom Prince ’67, a successful hotel entrepreneur. Founded

in the early 1990s, the program was named in honor of Prince’s father. In addition, other components already were in place for success, such as the Coleman Fellows. In 2014, the Coleman Foundation named Stetson one of 19 colleges and universities nationwide to participate in its Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program. The program creates awareness and builds support for entrepreneurial education in interdisciplinary departments across the campuses of participating institutions. Now, Jackson is seeking to establish a full-blown supportive, nurturing “entrepreneurial ecosystem” — under the moniker HatterTrep (Hatter Entrepreneur). The new major became a reality in fall 2017, with all courses designed to help students through the various phases of entrepreneurship. “We focus on several toolboxes when it comes to skill sets,” Jackson explains. “Creative problem solving is critical, as we want to spur on innovation and creativity. The key is taking basic business skill sets such as accounting, marketing and finance, and tailoring them to the uniqueness of an entrepreneurial endeavor.” Jackson also wanted to engage students by getting them involved in competitions and community business interests. Mentorship was deemed a chief component. So, Jackson looked to local professionals who could help guide students along the way. In turn, Jackson tapped Luis Paris ’01, M.B.A. ’07, as the program’s assistant director. Paris had been a Stetson instructor of international business and new venture creation, and had launched three startup businesses in the past. He is particularly active in the business community with organizations such as 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach, Innovate Daytona, the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and the CEO Business Alliance. Perhaps most importantly, Paris has a keen understanding of the modern business landscape. “Businesses are looking for an entrepreneurial mindset,” Paris says. “They want to innovate and need people who are capable of understanding opportunities, solving problems creatively and building a business model around that solution.”

“We’re creating an entrepreneurial mindset with a real focus on the student, teaching them to solve real-world problems and inspiring them to make the world a better place.” — Bill Jackson, D.B.A. Jackson also is working to integrate entrepreneurship throughout the university. Great ideas come from all students across campus regardless of their majors, Jackson believes. As a result, he wants to make it possible to “vet” those ideas to experts and develop them. Jackson compares what he is attempting to accomplish with what occurred in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century. At that time, one of the most powerful families was the Medicis. The family and other like-minded supporters decided to bring together great thinkers of the day from many disciplines and cultures from around the world. Not only were sculptors, poets, philosophers and painters included, but also scientists and those focused on business and trade. They came together, shared thoughts and ideas, and broke down the barriers between disciplines and cultures. The result was the beginning of the Renaissance, with Florence at the center of activity. The explosion of creative ideas and innovation has been referred to as the Medici Effect.

“The vision of the entrepreneurship program is to create a Medici Effect at Stetson University and the community around it,” Jackson says. To create that kind of connectivity, Jackson is intent on building a facility outside of the School of Business Administration. This “think tank” or “hatchery of ideas” will pull everything together and create a community of creativity and entrepreneurship, he says. Similarly, the establishment of an advisory board brings stature and experience. Specifically, the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board consists of local business leaders and entrepreneurs who will be available to consult and mentor, as well as judge student competitions. Among the supporters of entrepreneurship at Stetson is Board of Trustees Chair Joe Cooper ’79, M.B.A. ’82, retired past president of Big Lots Canada and executive vice president of Big Lots Inc. Cooper is especially excited about the multiple academic options now being offered. “Students can tap into these [entrepreneurship] courses regardless of their major,” says Cooper. “That’s going to benefit them in whatever direction their careers take them.” Cooper points to the general business environment, where companies are seeking employees with broad vision. “Regardless of how large the overall business is, the entrepreneurial mindset is more critical now than ever. Ideas need to be tapped, nurtured and driven through an organization, regardless of whether there are 10 or 10,000 associates at that company,” Cooper explains. With much now in place, Jackson believes the business school is on the way to creating a nationally recognized program — for students, the community and the economy. Soon, he says, people will recognize the connection between what is happening at Stetson and the entrepreneurial activity occurring throughout the region. Jackson is confident the university’s own startup strategies will pay off. “This generation isn’t scared by entrepreneurship,” he concludes. “They have great ideas, and we want to provide the mechanism to help fine-tune those ideas.” Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



No Emoji Necessary Stetson’s Writing Center in two carefully chosen words: innovative, effective



e’ve all heard the stories — the bright, ambitious students who inadvertently slip “textese” into their SAT essay or confuse their, there and they’re in a college application. Then there are the young writers who think a semicolon is a regular colon suffering from an identity crisis. OMG, is traditional writing going the way of the quill pen? Not a chance, at least not at Stetson University. In an era that favors speed writing on tiny high-tech devices, Stetson adheres to a classic concept in education: teaching students to write. Writing holds first place on the list of Stetson’s cross-curricular learning outcomes as a gateway for success in college, in the new workplace and in a participatory democracy. At a time when language purists bemoan the decline of literacy levels in America, Stetson is harnessing an innovative pedagogy of collaborative learning and teaching in its quest to help students grow as deliberate, conscious writers. “We are actually lucky in our day and age,” says Leigh Ann Dunning, director of the Writing Center and assistant director of Stetson’s Writing Program, whose doctoral coursework is in Composition and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). “Even students who say they don’t love writing do a ton of it — texting, Instagram, Snapchat. Whether they realize it or not, they’re communicating with different audiences for different purposes. One of our jobs as tutors is to help them develop genre awareness, first and foremost in academic writing, and to enable them to see that their decisions on the page have rhetorical effects.”

PEER APPROACH When Dunning joined Stetson in 2015, the Writing Center had moved into a new space tucked away in a corner of the duPont-Ball Library. With its glass walls and bright contemporary vibe, the Writing Center serves as a welcoming haven where students can sit down and collaborate with a tutor — a peer — on ways to develop as writers, critical thinkers and readers. What takes place behind glass is both an art and a science, but not always in the ways you might think. “Our tutors think a lot about making sure students feel comfortable,” says Dunning. “We want all students, of all writing abilities and levels, to find their own space here.” 48

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Hovering red pencils and stern looks have no place at the Writing Center. Tutors see themselves as coaches, guides and mentors, not linguistic surgeons. Interested students simply drop by, or better yet, book appointments with a tutor of their choice. To get started, all they need is an open mind, enthusiasm and a writing project. Most anything written qualifies: class essays, lab reports, graduate school applications, cover letters, even love letters. At the Writing Center, “meeting students where they are” carries more weight than a mere slogan. It’s a bedrock value that expressed itself in the choice of furniture. All desks and chairs roll on wheels to accommodate flexible groupings of tutors and students, and in the writing philosophy itself. As a bridge from the real world to academic essays, for example, tutors encourage students to pause and think more critically about their social media posts. “When students realize their grandmother is reading their posts on Facebook, they might start using more formal language,” Dunning explains. “It’s the same principle in academic assignments where students must adjust their writing to fit the purpose and the audience.” Writing centers at many colleges and universities report to their English department and rely on tutors with literature backgrounds. As a microcosm of the university at large, Stetson’s Writing Center “belongs” to all of the university’s academic areas, reporting to Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., associate vice provost of faculty development. In the same multidisciplinary vein, the Writing Center’s 25 undergraduate tutors bring disciplines and life interests from across the university, ranging from business, music and digital arts to biology, student government, athletics and more. “All tutors have their own way of looking at writing,” says Dunning. “In our mission statement, we talk about diversity and inclusivity, so we hire tutors based on those values.” This past year, 50 students applied to become tutors at the Writing Center; only 11 made the cut. Dunning recruits prospective tutors based on faculty recommendations, and then puts candidates through a rigorous screening process with the help of her lead tutors. Candidates who come in saying, “I’m the best writer in the department; hire me,” don’t always make it to the next stage. Listening, empathy and problem-solving skills also matter a great deal. All tutors receive extensive training on how to create an empowering environment where students learn how to frame an argument, synthesize different points of view, and catch their own grammatical or spelling errors.

Stetson’s Writing Center, tucked away in a firstfloor corner of the duPont-Ball Library, serves as a welcoming haven where students can sit down and collaborate. Leigh Ann Dunning, wearing red pants in the photo, typically is in the center of the action. Photo: Stetson University/Bobby Fishbough

LEARNING WHILE TEACHING Jeremy Jackman, a senior business management major and one of the lead tutors, says the experience has revealed the complexity of the writing process, both creatively and academically. Each tutoring situation is different, he says, and it all starts with building rapport and asking open-ended questions. Jackman has learned to slow down, especially with students who don’t speak English as a first language. “I love helping students who have great ideas but have trouble expressing them,” he comments. “The goal isn’t just to earn a top grade, but become the best writer possible.” “Best” writing could also lead to the best chances of promotion later in life. That was the conclusion of a recent Grammarly study of LinkedIn profiles. Over a 10-year period, grammar “sticklers” got promoted far more often than their peers with faulty grammar. You won’t get an argument from TracyLynn Cleary ’16, now a doctoral student in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame. Paying attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation, along with careful word choice and a consistent style, got “drummed into”

“Even students who say they don’t love writing do a ton of it — texting, Instagram, Snapchat. Whether they realize it or not, they’re communicating with different audiences for different purposes.” — Leigh Ann Dunning her as a lead writing tutor at Stetson’s Writing Center. That strong foundation is proving “extremely beneficial” across many different facets of Cleary’s academic and teaching career. Hardly a day goes by without some echo of what she learned as a peer writing tutor. “Using consistent capitalization isn’t just good grammar,” Cleary says. “When you

write well, you get noticed as a professional who’s likely to succeed in other areas unrelated to writing.” In addition to their “day job,” Stetson’s writing tutors take advantage of other opportunities for professional development. They work with faculty, host writing workshops, conduct research, and present at regional and national conferences. Stetson regularly participates in the field of writing-center research, one of the fastest-growing areas of academic scholarship. During a national conference in October, peer tutors and Dunning shared best practices for transitioning from a skills-based course (English 101) to a writing-across-the-curriculum model. Recently at the Writing Center, a special place on one wall was set aside where students can post comments about their experiences. They read: Extremely helpful! ... My tutor gave me big-picture advice while focusing on word choice and grammar. ... This guy deserves a promotion! ... I would definitely recommend this experience to any student. The tributes aren’t especially wordy, but they make their point: Writing, real writing, truly is alive and well at Stetson. Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



PROTECTING WETLANDS As part of Stetson Law’s strategic goal of global influence, its Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy is participating in a grant to help identify mitigation best practices.



tetson’s Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy has its sights set on wetlands mitigation across the nation.

The biodiversity institute, a part of Stetson University College of Law, is collaborating with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, D.C., which recently received a two-year Wetland Program Development Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The grant will help support the ability of states, tribes and local governments to develop rigorous in-lieu fee mitigation programs through the review and analysis of program documents and the identification of best practices. An in-lieu fee mitigation program involves the restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation of aquatic resources through funds paid to a program sponsor to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements for unavoidable impacts to wetlands and other aquatic resources. In 2008, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA issued regulations that cover all mitigation-involved wetlands. Invited to participate in the grant by ELI, Stetson’s biodiversity institute will focus on the legal and policy aspects of those efforts. For Stetson Law, label the effort a continuation of environmental


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vigilance on a global scale. In 2016, for example, the biodiversity institute received the American Bar Association’s annual Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy Award. Notably, the institute was established in 2005, partly as a result of strategic moves to raise Stetson Law’s international profile. The moves are proving fruitful. “We’ve been working with ELI for years and have a great relationship with them,” comments Roy Gardner, Stetson professor of law and founder/director of the institute. “When wetland development occurs, the goal is to avoid or minimize the impact to the environment. And at the very least compensate, which means if you impact 10 acres of wetlands, you have to restore a functionally equivalent amount in the same watershed.” The overall goal of the project is to enhance the ability of government entities and nongovernmental organizations to achieve positive ecological effects, affirms Erin Okuno ’13, the institute’s Foreman Biodiversity Fellow. “We approach this from a legal and policy standpoint and ultimately help by identifying best practices that can help policymakers and administrators,” Okuno says. Gardner and Okuno believe that to effectively protect the environ-

Roy Gardner, Stetson law professor and founder/director of the biodiversity institute: “We’re exposing students to the nuances of environmental law, which can be quite complicated in practice. By experiencing these concepts in a tangible way, they’re getting a real-world understanding of how environmental law works and how to approach it from a professional standpoint.”

DID YOU KNOW? Stetson University College of Law is the only law school in the world with a memorandum of cooperation with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international environmental treaty dedicated to conserving wetlands. Also, the Stetson University International Environmental Moot Court Competition is the world’s largest moot-court competition devoted exclusively to global environmental issues.

ment, a multidisciplined effort is needed, with environmentalists, scientists, attorneys and policymakers all engaged. By doing so, a comprehensive approach can be applied to all mitigation. “From the research side, we review the program and see if certain requirements are covered,” Okuno explains. “For example, what is the geographic service area, and what is the prioritization strategy for projects?”

BENEFIT TO STUDENTS Being involved in the grant study not only is a natural fit for the institute, but such activity also provides great benefits to students, notes Gardner. Several law students will be assisting in the research and review of the mitigation programs, which perpetuates a major goal for the College of Law. “We’re exposing students to the nuances of environmental law, which can be quite complicated in practice,” Gardner says. “By experiencing these concepts in a tangible way, they’re getting a realworld understanding of how environmental law works and how to approach it from a professional standpoint.” According to Gardner, the work with ELI also enables students to “get a feel for these collaborative processes.”

There will be various outcomes associated with the work, and the final report will be published, so policymakers and administrators of these programs can benefit from it. Stetson and ELI also will publish a paper in a law journal, outlining the process and how conclusions were drawn. Additionally, an educational webinar will be created for those working on in-lieu fee programs. Notably, on a broader scope throughout the year, the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy hosts international speakers and conferences, and coordinates courses, seminars and internships on a variety of topics, including environmental law, natural resources and international environmental law. “These partnerships and grants are critically important if we’re to make any progress on these environmental issues,” Gardner adds. Okuno agrees and asserts that the importance of the work cannot be overstated. “Wetlands aren’t simply places that provide habitat for different species; they also provide critical benefits to human society such as flood control,” Okuno explains. “Flooding during hurricanes such as Harvey and Irma is exacerbated because we have failed to protect these natural resources. By being involved in this grant and identifying best practices, hopefully we can help change that.” Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Logan Gilbert is among the nation’s top pitching prospects, according to Major League Baseball scouts.


Logan Gilbert takes the mound this spring with the past on his side and a future of promise riding on his considerable right arm. BY JACK ROTH


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n the classroom, junior Logan Gilbert majors in business systems and analytics, where he learns how to predict the future based on patterns of the past. On the baseball mound this spring, Gilbert is living his own trend line: Will he become Stetson’s next?

The Hatters have two dominating right-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball, Corey Kluber ’07 of the Cleveland Indians and the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom ’10. Each wowed while pitching at Stetson and then was selected in the MLB Draft following his junior season. Now in the big leagues, the two are all-stars. In 2014, Kluber won the American League Cy Young Award as the league’s best pitcher. That year, deGrom won National League Rookie of the Year. Gilbert could be right behind them. To be sure, the Hatters have enjoyed excellent pitching prospects in their recent past. For example, Mitchell Jordan ’16 is in the minor leagues after being selected by the Oakland Athletics. In June 2017, Brooks Wilson was a late-round draftee as a junior — but instead opted to return to school this year. Also, Jack Perkins is on scouts’ radar this season. Last spring, Wilson and Perkins each struck out more than 100 batters. (Note: In college baseball, players completing their junior season become eligible for the MLB Draft. Even if selected, they can return to their college team if they don’t sign a pro contract.)

Scouting Report: Logan Gilbert Tall, lanky frame with long arms an

d room

for growth; loose, live arm and thr Then there is Gilbert. Something The lessons have paid off. ows free appears different about this fire-baller Coming out of Apopka High, and easy; ball explodes out of his from nearby Apopka, who measures a Gilbert was considered good, hand; lean 6 feet, 6 inches. At least that’s what not great, ranked among the double-plus fastball (93 to 97 mp scouts say. top 500 prospects nationally h) Here’s how one scouting report and No. 75 in Florida. While with explosive late life; heavy sin begins: “Tall, lanky frame with long he received interest from other k action arms and room for growth; loose, live schools, it wasn’t overwhelmwith hard run and tail; true swing arm and throws free and easy; ball ing. Meanwhile, Stetson had -andexplodes out of his hand ... .” “everything I was looking for” miss pitch; projectable; plus-cu The report is typical in its assessment in terms of academics and rveball of Gilbert; most others don’t differ much. athletics, and legendary former (74 to 76 mph) with two-plane ac At the same time, it’s extraordinary. coach Pete Dunn made recruittion “He’s considered a superstar; I’ll ing Gilbert a priority at a time and solid depth; will be one of the premier tell you that,” comments Hatters head when the young player felt coach Steve Trimper, adding that somewhat overlooked. right-handed college pitchers for the Gilbert has “a rocket for an arm.” “Coach Dunn saw something Last season, Gilbert was named in me and gave me a chance. I 2018 Draft. Pitcher of the Year in the ASUN will always be grateful to him for Conference along with being selected letting me play here,” says Gilbert. a Collegiate Baseball All-American. In turn, thanks to steady For the record, he won 10 games and lost none. In a game improvement, Stetson could say against Florida Gulf Coast, he struck out the first 10 batters he faced. the same about Gilbert. He has played with a bit of a chip on his And, like Wilson and Perkins, he struck out more than 100 batters shoulder from perceived past neglect. Among Apopka High’s for the season, putting the trio in historic college-baseball company. alumni is Zack Greinke, who was the sixth overall choice in the So, that brings Gilbert to this spring, where in a few months many 2002 draft and continues to shine as one of the MLB’s best hurlers. in the know predict he will be chosen in the first round of the Gilbert didn’t get nearly the same early attention. It’s happening baseball draft. In fact, No. 30 in Hatter green could go No. 1 overall. now, though. Will Gilbert follow Kluber and deGrom to the Major Leagues? Trimper believes Gilbert has all the tools needed to reach baseHis response is casual, easy and characteristic. ball’s pinnacle, plus three other attributes the coach describes as “I try to not even think about it,” says Gilbert with a smile. “You “hidden”: demeanor, personality and work ethic. “He’s a guy that don’t want to get caught up in all of it.” you like to have a lot of people emulate,” Trimper says. “Phenomenal Only when further prodded about the future and patterns of the baseball player. He’s going to have a long professional career.” past does Gilbert offer more insight. “Of course, that’s the goal; Gilbert insists that he’s not quite there yet — because he’s still that’s what I’m shooting for,” he says. “Maybe one day down the road learning and has more to prove, and to improve. I’ll get to answer that question. … It’s nice to have those guys to look “I’ve gotten sharper and more in tune over the past year,” he says. up to and hopefully follow in their footsteps.” “The mental side really helped me shape what I could do, and being For now, Gilbert is decidedly even-keeled. That’s the word used by consistent on the mound.” Trimper, who arrived a year ago just as Gilbert was beginning his Working with pitching coach Dave Therneau, a former pitcher in ascent. Trimper says he’s seen nothing but down-to-earth. the Cincinnati Reds organization, Gilbert is studying the fine arts of “Human nature is to kind of get a little big for your britches. I will a different form, such as pitch placement, new grips on the ball, tell you, of all the guys I’ve had, Logan is one of the most humble using both sides of the plate and enhancing his “secondary” pitches. individuals I’ve ever been around,” says Trimper, who has coached “It might look like I have it together at least somewhat on the approximately three dozen players who advanced to the professional mound,” Gilbert describes, “but I feel like I’m not where I need to be.” level. While pitching is complex, Gilbert seeks to keep things simple. “He’s so even-keeled. He doesn’t get too high, and he doesn’t get “Once you’re on the mound, it’s not thinking. It’s shutting that too low. That’s something hard to teach.” off; you want to be complete instincts out there,” he says. Gilbert says he’s learned a lot at Stetson, like handling his “You should know what you want to do and just go out there and emotions. do it.” “With baseball being such a tough sport, there’s going to be Mostly, Gilbert wants to finish big. Not big leagues for now, but extreme highs and extreme lows. I found that out,” he explains. “I big winner. At Stetson. thought I would be able to handle myself better if I wasn’t on a roller “It’s first and foremost Hatter baseball. That’s all I’m focused on,” coaster [emotionally].” Gilbert concludes. “If I’m helping the team, I’m helping myself.” Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



WIN-WIN EXPANSION The game plan called for increasing student enrollment while also adding intercollegiate sports. The scoreboard indicates victory. BY JACK ROTH


n July, Stetson earned academic honors from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association as one of 310 teams at all levels nationwide to be recognized as an Academic Honor Squad. To qualify, teams must post a 3.0 or higher team GPA for the year. Stetson Lacrosse finished the 2016-2017 academic year with a 3.20.

Football was viewed as a no-brainer that could add 85 participants as new student-athletes. That total was the average count among teams in the Pioneer Football League, the conference that Stetson sought to enter. The Hatters’ first football group in 2012 (a year prior to official games beginning) consisted of 105 players. At the time, women’s lacrosse had just been added as a club sport on campus (along with men’s lacrosse), because of strong interest among students. With similar popularity also visible across the nation, Stetson made women’s lacrosse an official intercollegiate sport, beginning on the field in 2013. The move has attracted approximately 30 new student-athletes. The decision about women’s beach volleyball wasn’t as easy. While the sport was gaining traction on the Olympic stage, the NCAA — the chief governing body for intercollegiate sports — was not a big fan, viewing the sport as simply an extension of indoor volleyball. Altier worked with others at Stetson in hopes of getting the NCAA to treat beach volleyball as a separate, distinct sport. They were successful and added the sport for 2012 play. Initially, the thought was that the coaches who headed indoor volleyball would serve double duty as beach volleyball coaches, and that many of the athletes would play both sports. In December 2016, the Stetson indoor and beach programs were officially “separated,” which has resulted in another 18 studentathletes being netted for each team.

Also, four Hatter lacrosse players earned individual places on the IWLCA’s Zag Sports Division I Academic Honor Roll, joining student-athletes from 101 other institutions who achieved GPAs of 3.50 or greater. On the field, 2017 was a recordsetting season for the program, as the Hatters showed improvements in nearly every area and set or tied a total of 20 school records. In beach volleyball, Stetson won its third consecutive ASUN regular-season title with a 10-0 record and was ranked among the nation’s top 15 teams throughout the season. Additionally, for the fifth time in a row, the beach volleyball program was selected for the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award, presented annually to programs that maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. The Hatters have received that Team Academic Award each year since the program debuted in 2012. Stetson also saw 18 of its beach volleyball student-athletes named to the ASUN Honor Roll for maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better. Call it a win-win. The game plan for Stetson Athletics was to help boost the university’s overall enrollment while enhancing the Hatters’ intercollegiate sports scene. The effort has scored big. In 2011, Stetson Athletics Director Jeff Altier surveyed the college-sports landscape and saw a wide-open playing field to add teams, ultimately with an eye on increasing Stetson’s enrollment from approximately 2,100 students to 3,000. The strategic effort was labeled the Athletics Expansion Initiative, encompassing both the addition of teams plus the reconfiguration and construction of sports facilities. The Wilson Athletic Center, for example, was built to house training and offices for several sports. Also, an existing soccer complex and intramural field were reconfigured to accommodate the new center, two football fields, two soccer fields and a lacrosse field, among other maneuvers. The highlight, however, was the prospect of establishing new teams. “We asked ourselves what are the best sports for us to do this?” Altier recalls, noting that a committee composed of faculty, staff and administrators led the expansion effort. Under the direction of coach Christy Leach, Stetson Lacrosse is working to build a “culture” of success. 54

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Stetson Beach Volleyball has quickly risen to national prominence.

By the numbers, all of the new sports have exceeded their projected total of new student-athletes, with geographic diversity widely evident. “We looked to see if [adding sports] would help grow enrollment. And I have to tell you, it did,” Altier says. Altier pointed to a ripple effect revealed in enrollment studies. Research indicates that for the arrival of each new football studentathlete on campus, two other non-playing students also arrive by virtue of regional media attention, among other factors, with similar effects occurring for other sports. Notably, there was, and remains, another important element in all of this, Title IX. The national legislation was passed in 1972 to mandate gender equity for males and females in every educational program that receives federal funding, including athletics. Stetson, like other colleges and universities, must maintain a balance in number of intercollegiate teams, participants and budgeted dollars. Currently at Stetson, although there are more male Hatter student-athletes on campus, more money is spent on women’s athletics, Altier says.

BUILDING A ‘CULTURE’ Heading into the spring lacrosse season, coach Christy Leach was focused on continuing to build her program, which is one of only three in Division I statewide. Leach is the program’s second coach; this is her fourth season at Stetson. A 2008 graduate of Northwestern, Leach helped lead the Wildcats to four consecutive national championships and was named National Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008. She then spent four seasons as an assistant coach with Ohio State before arriving at Stetson in June 2014. Her intent this season is to continue advancing beyond growing pains into stronger performances on the field. The team won five games last season, its most ever in conference play. The seniors on her team were first-year players when she arrived, and in August she added 10 new first-year players.

Leach emphasizes “culture” and talks about greater player maturity and accountability. “Culture starts with every decision you make. You’re either hurting it or making it better. This year you’ll start to see the success on the field from all the work we’ve been putting in the last three years,” Leach says, adding that the classroom success isn’t a coincidence. “We’re heading in the right direction.”

NETTING IMMEDIATE RESULTS The beach volleyball team has enjoyed instant success on the field to complement the team members’ classroom work, gaining a top-10 national ranking in each of the past four seasons. Head coach Kristina Hernandez, now in her fifth year, was named the ASUN Coach of the Year for the second time in 2017. Meanwhile, Hatters Kristin Lind and Darby Dunn earned ASUN Pair of the Year honors, and Sunniva Helland-Hansen was named ASUN Freshman of the Year. Although the team wasn’t selected to compete in the NCAA Championship last spring, members stayed busy representing the program throughout the summer. Most notably, Dunn and Quinci Birker represented Canada Volleyball at the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championship in China. Also, Alexa Richardson participated in USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach National Team training in Southern California, and Hernandez coached young standout players at the USA Volleyball High Performance Camp and Zonal Championship in Iowa. “We feel really good about getting back there [to the NCAA Championship],” comments Hernandez, pointing to the recruitment of players worldwide. “The expectations are always very high. I don’t think we have plateaued or leveled out. I just think there’s this kind of constant marker that we want to do more and keep getting better.” Similarly, the sport continues to advance, Hernandez adds, noting that it is, by percentage increase, the fastest-growing sport in NCAA history. Her words: “It’s awesome growth; it’s great growth.” Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Derek Jansante ’11

Location: Washington, D.C. Major: Management Employer: American University/Academic Adviser Email: derek.jansante@gmail.com Position: Chair/Regional Vice President – National Region Greek: Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity

Meet the 2017-2018 Stetson University Alumni Association Board of Directors The Stetson University Alumni Board is composed of members representing various class years, majors, backgrounds, professions and geographic areas. These members are charged with assisting the university in engaging alumni, parents, students and friends of Stetson toward helping support the university’s strategic plan. If there is an established chapter in your area, we encourage you to reach out to your representatives to find out how to get involved!

Ranell Tinsley Mason ’00

Location: Clearwater, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: Masonite Corp./ Senior Corporate Compliance Paralegal Email: flred13@hotmail.com Position: Executive Committee (Regional Vice President) Athletics: Dance Team

Florida Boca Raton Chapter Anthony “Tony” L. Guzzetta ’85

Location: Boca Raton, Florida Major: Economics, Finance Employer: Inland Securities Corp./ Senior Vice President, External Wholesaler Email: zootie10@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

Executive Committee Ray Holley ’91, MPA ’97, JD ’97

Location: Jacksonville, Florida Major: Political Science Employer: Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims/Judge of Compensation Claims Email: ralaw002@aol.com Position: President Greek: Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity

Scott Boore ’76

Location: Novato, California Major: Business Administration Employer: MORE Health/ Senior Vice President, Head of Sales Email: seboore@gmail.com; scott.boore@ morehealth.com Position: Executive Committee (Alumni Leadership Development Committee) Greek: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

Allison Foster ’04

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Inc./ Advancement Officer Email: allisonjfoster@gmail.com Position: Executive Committee (Regional Vice President) Greek: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority


STETSON | Spring 2018

DeLand Chapter Tim Ballesteros ’88

Location: DeLand, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: Crossbow Consulting/ Vice President, Employee Benefits Email: Timballesteros@gmail.com Position: Chair Athletics: Baseball

Fort Lauderdale Chapter Edward “Ned” Skiff ’75

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: Skiff and Co. Inc./ President-Owner Email: typ356sc@hotmail.com Position: Chair Greek/Athletics: Sigma Nu Fraternity/Soccer

Michele Shepherd ’85

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Major: Public Accounting Employer: Fuller, Witcher & Co., P.A. Email: micheles4011@yahoo.com Position: Vice Chair Greek: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority

Gainesville Chapter Lillian Vargas ’08

Location: Gainesville, Florida Major: Elementary Education Employer: SharpSpring/ Talent and Culture Specialist Email: lvargas@stetson.edu Position: Chair

Jacksonville Chapter Blane G. McCarthy ’92, J.D. ’95

Location: Jacksonville, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: The Law Office of Blane G. McCarthy/ Sole Practitioner Email: bgm@bgmccarthy.com Position: Chair Greek: Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

William F. “Bill” Laird ’99

Location: Orange Park, Florida Major: Finance Employer: DHG Wealth Advisors LLC/ Financial Advisor (CFA, CFP) Email: wlaird1@yahoo.com Position: Vice Chair Greek: Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity

Miami Chapter

New Port Richey Chapter Jean “Abby” Loreto Hamilton ’94 Location: New Port Richey, Florida Major: Management Employer: Keiser University/ Associate Dean of Academics Email: abbyhamilton@ymail.com Position: Chair Greek: Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

New Smyrna Beach Chapter Deborah “Debbie” Lamb Magruder ’89 Location: Winter Park, Florida Major: Accounting Employer: Full Sail University/ Chief Financial Officer Email: dmagruder@fullsail.com Position: Chair

Orlando Chapter William J. “Billy” Wieland ’07, J.D. ’10 Location: Orlando, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre, P.A./ Attorney Email: williamwieland@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

Amanda Sharkey Ross ’99

Doug Pringle ’91

Mallory Manning Sosinski ’11

Erin Lovell Ebanks ’08

Location: Miami, Florida Major: Political Science Employer: Foreman Friedman, P.A./ Partner Email: sharkeya@hotmail.com Position: Chair Athletics: Women’s Rowing Location: Hollywood, Florida Major: Psychology Employer: Humane Society of Broward County/ Human Resources Manager Email: mmanning@stetson.edu Position: Vice Chair Greek: Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

Naples Chapter

Location: Longwood, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: Merrill Lynch PAR Wealth Management/ Relationship Manager Position: Co-Chair Email: adpringle@me.com Greek/Athletics: Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity/Baseball Location: Orlando, Florida Major: Communications Employer: Valencia College/ Communication Professor Email: ebankserin@gmail.com Position: Vice Chair Greek: Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Seminole County Chapter Brooke Erin Thompson ’15

Location: Naples, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: Cool Zone Inc./Project Coordinator Email: bethomps@stetson.edu Position: Chair Greek: Delta Delta Delta Sorority

Elizabeth Harper Kilgore ’90

Location: Longwood, Florida Major: English Employer: FARO/Global Director, Talent Acquistion Greek: Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

Harold G. Kilgore ’90

Major: Geography Employer: Lockheed Martin/Software Engineer Position: Co-Chairs Email: Lliba@aol.com

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



St. Petersburg Chapter

West Palm Beach Chapter

Annemarie Boss ’13

Derrick L. Smith ’13

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida Major: Humanities Employer: UMBN – Human Centered Design Collaborative: The Dali Museum – Innovation Labs/ Innovation Consultant Email: annemarie@umbn.com Position: Vice Chair

Justine Talmadge Sanford ’04

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida Major: Psychology Employer: Eckerd College/ Executive Director of Constituent Relations Email: JustineLSanford@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Tallahassee Chapter April Letitia McCray ’04

Location: Tallahassee, Florida Major: English Employer: FAMU/Assistant Professor of English Email: april.mccray@famu.edu Position: Chair

Tampa Bay Chapter Deborah “Debbie” Lynn Monaco ’88 Location: Riverview, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: Sun Trust Bank/ Card Technology Officer/Vice President Email: dlm0531@yahoo.com Position: Chair Greek: Alpha Kappa Psi

The Villages Chapter

Location: West Palm Beach, Florida Major: Political Science Employer: Goode Compliance International/ Talent Acquisition Email: dsmith1@stetson.edu Position: Chair

Out of State California – San Diego Chapter Dennis Martin ’83

Location: San Diego, California Major: Math Employer: Nikkiso America/President and CEO Email: dmartin17sd@gmail.com Position: Chair Athletics: Baseball

California – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Keith Casto ’69, J.D. ’73

Location: Campbell, California Major: College of Arts and Sciences, Law Employer: Cooper, White & Cooper LLP/Partner Email: kcasto@cwclaw.com Position: Chair Greek/Athletics: Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity/ Men’s Soccer

Colorado Chapter Charles “Charlie” Joseph Hiller ’12

Location: Ridgway, Colorado Major: Computer Information Systems Employer: Citizens State Bank/IT Officer Email: Charlie.hiller@gmail.com Position: Chair

Steven Roy ’75

Location: The Villages, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: McLin & Burnsed PA (Retired)/Partner Email: SteveR@mclinburnsed.com Position: Chair Greek: Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity

Treasure Coast Chapter Steven Wunderlich ’82

Location: Palm City, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: Department of Homeland Security/ (Retired) Supervisory Special Agent Email: wunderlichs@bellsouth.net Position: Chair


STETSON | Spring 2018

Illinois – Bloomington/Chicago Chapter Jennifer Bellomy Bonenfant ’93, M.B.A. ’94 Location: Bloomington, Illinois Major: Business, Public Accounting Employer: Serenic Software/ Senior Application Consultant Email: jenbonenfant@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority

North Carolina – Charlotte Chapter Chelsea Knox Perez ’11

Location: Cornelius, North Carolina Major: Management Employer: ettain group/Technical Recruiter Email: chelsea8989@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Alpha Kappa Psi

South Carolina – Charleston Chapter Jennifer Small ’93, M.B.A. ’10

Location: Charleston, South Carolina Major: Music Employer: Local Pulse/Startup Consultant Email: jenniferlsmall@graduate.org Position: Chair Greek: Alpha Xi Delta Sorority

South Carolina – Myrtle Beach Chapter Richard “Rick” Koethe ’77

Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Major: Political Science Employer: Retired Army Colonel currently working with INTEGRAS (ministry helping Wounded Veterans Conquer)/Training and Development Director Email: rkoethe@bellsouth.net Position: Chair Greek/Other: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity/ ROTC

Texas – Houston Chapter B. Marie Villard ’08

Location: Houston, Texas Major: Finance Employer: Financial Synergies Asset Management Inc./Director of Operations Email: marievillard@gmail.com Position: Chair Greek: Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Nathalia Mattos ’14

Location: Houston, Texas Major: International Studies Employer: Tricon Energy/Compliance Analyst Email: mattosn@triconenergy.com Position: Vice Chair Greek: Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

Affinity Representatives Sonja James-Gaitor ’14

Location: DeLand, Florida Major: Social Science Employer: Stetson University/ Production Coordinator Email: sgaitor@stetson.edu Position: Member-at-Large (Marketing and Communications Chair)

Joanna “JJ” Jennifer Payette ’06 Location: DeLand, Florida Major: Integrative Health Science Employer: Stetson University/ Assistant Softball Coach Email: jpayette@stetson.edu Position: Member-at-Large (Athletics Staff Representative) Athletics: Softball

D. Gregory Sapp ’88

Location: DeLand, Florida Major: Religious Studies Employer: Stetson University/ Professor of Religious Studies, Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility Email: gsapp@stetson.edu Position: Faculty Representative

T. Glenn Kindred ’89

Location: Orlando, Florida Major: Economics Employer: VEREIT Inc./Executive Vice President Email: tglennkindred@gmail.com Position: Member-at-Large (Fraternities Representative) Greek: Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity

Dawn Proffitt ’03

Location: Orlando, Florida Major: Marketing Employer: R. C. Stevens Construction Co./ Director of Business Development Email: dawneproffitt@icloud.com Position: Member-at-Large (Sororities Representative) Greek: Alpha Xi Delta Sorority

Scott Uguccioni ’89

Location: Orlando, Florida Major: Business Administration Employer: Barnie’s Coffee and Tea/ Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Email: suguccioni@barniescoffee.com Position: Member-at-Large (Career and Professional Development Chair) Greek: Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Leadership Stetson


eadership Stetson is a prestigious and competitive opportunity for Stetson alumni to experience their alma mater and university leaders on an in-depth, personal level. In February, Leadership Stetson members gathered on campus to network and discuss the future of their university.

Front Row: Roger Hughes, Carol Ann Edwards Nasser ’83, Debbie Monaco ’88, Kristi Tyrrell ’83, Lynn Hardman-Craske, Marilyn Talton Johnston ’53, Lorna Jean Hagstrom MA ’64, Trinity Hundredmark Fitzpatrick ’01, Dina Nesheiwat ’03, Tara Simone McAlonan ’03, Tracy Richards Morency ’84, Susan Lane, Lauren True, Pia Clarke, Victoria Ashley Johnston ’11 Back Row: Woody O’Cain, David Scott Rinker ’91, Victor Manuel Olivera ’09, Marcus A. Buckley ’92, Trish Cowert ’75, D. Jefferson Hamrick ’02, Mark Hamilton ’93, Derek Jansante ’11, Steve Roy ’75, David Keith ’06, Josef McNeal ’04, Elizabeth Harper Kilgore ’90, Gino Santos ’82, Ray Holley ’91, J.D. ’97, Zina Grau ’05, Danny Humphrey ’16, Amanda Hastings Tully ’09, MEd ’14, Allison Jean Foster ’04, Dan McCarthy, Danielle Sanderson ’13 J. Ollie Edmunds Distinguished Scholars reunite: Danielle Sanderson ’13, East Lansing, Michigan; Danny Humphrey ’16, New York, New York; Leia Schwartz ’18, Palmetto Bay, Florida; D. Jefferson “Jeff” Hamrick ’02, San Francisco, California; Trinity Hundredmark Fitzpatrick ’01, Chamblee, Georgia Orestes V. “Gino” Santos ’82, Weston, Florida; Carol Ann Edwards Nasser ’83, Chicago, Illinois


STETSON | Spring 2018

Trinity Hundredmark Fitzpatrick ’01, Chamblee, Georgia; Woody O’Cain, assistant vice president of Alumni and Parent Engagement; Dina Nesheiwat ’03, New York, New York

Patty Guevara ’17, assistant director of Alumni and Parent Engagement; Debbie Monaco ’88, Riverview, Florida; Amy Scaturro Dedes ’04, associate director of Alumni and Parent Engagement; Lynn Hardman-Craske, Largo, Florida; Joanna “JJ” Payette ’06, Stetson softball coach; Sonja JamesGaitor ’14, University Marketing; Kristi Tyrrell ’83, DeLand, Florida; Zina Grau ’05, Palm Coast, Florida Patty Guevara ’17; Dan McCarthy, parent of Colleen McCarthy ’21, Sandy Hook, Connecticut; The Hon. Judge Raymond Holley ’91, J.D. ’97, president, Stetson University Alumni Board of Directors, Jacksonville, Florida Josef Lawrence McNeal ’04, McKinney, Texas, offers his takeaway from Leadership Stetson.

Marilyn Talton Johnston ’53, Jeff Ulmer, vice president for Development and Alumni Engagement

Michelle Fitzgibbons ’18, Wellington, Florida; David Scott Rinker ’91, Lake Worth, Florida

Tara Simone McAlonan ’03, Lake Worth, Florida; Kristi Baetzman Tyrrell ’83, DeLand, Florida — the two finalists of a rock, paper, scissors icebreaker!

Pia A. Clarke, parent of Kendall Coakley ’19, Miami, Florida; Amanda Hastings Tully ’09, ’14, Winter Springs, Florida

Victor Manuel Olivera ’09, Dallas, Texas; Tracy Richards Morency ’84, Port Charlotte, Florida; Josef Lawrence McNeal ’04, McKinney, Texas

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Send Us Your Class Note STETSON UNIVERSITY is proud of its alumni and their accomplishments. We would love to hear about your achievements. If you are a graduate from the DeLand or Celebration campus, please send your class note to Stetson University,

1960s Grover Wilkins ’65, Dallas, Texas, was awarded the Cruz de Oficial of the Order of Isabel the Catholic by the Spanish Government. The Order of Isabel, created in 1815, distinguishes outstanding careers and achievements of individuals from any nation, whose works and activities have “contributed to the strengthening of relations between the people of Spain and the World.”

to Florida Super Lawyer’s “Top 100 Lawyers” and is chair of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section’s Real Property Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.


Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8257, DeLand, FL 32723, or email your news to alumni@stetson.edu. If you are a graduate of the College of Law, send your class note to Stetson University College of Law, Office of Development and Alumni Engagement, 1401 61st St. South, Gulfport, FL 33707, or email your class note to alumni@law.stetson. edu. College of Law graduates also can fill out the online form at Stetson.edu/ lawalumninews. We can only use photos that are high-resolution, and because of space limitations, we cannot guarantee use of all photographs.


Harry O. Thomas, J.D. ’75, Tallahassee, Florida, of Radey Law, was chosen by his peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition of the Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Insurance Law.

Lynne Wilson ’83, Winter Park, Florida, was selected by her peers for inclusion in 2018 Best Lawyers in America, published by U.S. News & World Report. Since it was established in 1983, Best Lawyers has become a definitive guide to legal excellence.


1980s Manuel Farach ’81, Hobe Sound, Florida, a member of McGlinchey Stafford’s Fort Lauderdale office, was elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Admission to the College follows considerable peer review and is by invitation only. The lawyers are viewed as highly distinguished real estate practitioners who observe high standards of professional and ethical conduct and have contributed substantially to improvement of real estate law. Farach also was named

STETSON | Spring 2018

Brian D. Ray ’91, Gainesville, Florida, was named Teacher of the Year for 2017 at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. David M. Gould ’97, Tampa, Florida, became board certified in juvenile law by The Florida Bar. Davina Yetter Gould ’97, Tampa, Florida, is now director of communications and marketing at the University of South Florida Health Development and Alumni Relations. She also won an International CASE Silver Award in the Fundraising Publications Package category. Jason W. Crockett ’98, Durham, North Carolina, was promoted to Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner at Duke Primary Care in Oxford, North Carolina.


Thomas J. Gray ’91, Concord, North Carolina, published his book, “Pedaling: Diaries of my cross country cycling adventure” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). The book covers his trip from Los Angeles to Boston in nearly 50 days, pedaling with other like-minded adventurers. It’s available on Amazon.

Sarah EvansonAtkinson ’00, MA ’03, Greenville, South Carolina, was elected president of

the South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education. EvansonAtkinson’s passion-project is transforming the way teachers view the management of their middlelevel classrooms, so they can find joy in their work. She works as the instructional coach at Ralph Chandler Middle School in Simpsonville, South Carolina, and has nearly two decades of experience in middle-level education. Aaron J. Anderson ’02, MAcc ’03, Coppell, Texas, and his company, Accumatch, ranked No. 480 in Inc. magazine’s annual 500|5000 — a ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Accumatch provides a variety of property-tax tracking services.

Ryan G. Benson ’03, Fort Myers, Florida, a principal with A. Vernon Allen Builder in nearby Naples, has been appointed to serve as a delegate on the board of directors of the National Association of Home Builders for 2018. Benson, a 16-year industry veteran, earned his M.B.A. from Florida International University. In 2017, he was named as one of Gulfshore Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 recipients.

Jacqueline Ramsey, MEd. ’04, Orlando, Florida, was awarded the 2018 Assistant Principal of the Year for Orange County Public Schools. Ramsey also was named a finalist for Florida Department of Education Assistant Principal of the Year. The belief that all students can succeed when given the opportunity is at the core of her educational philosophy. Zachary Chalifour ’06, MAcc ’07, Port Orange, Florida, was admitted as partner at James Moore & Company in nearby Daytona Beach. Chalifour joined the firm in 2008 and has spent his entire career with James Moore, primarily focused on audit and consulting services for local governments and government-related organizations. In addition, he is a financial-report reviewer for the Government Finance Officers Association and an instructor for the Florida Government Finance Officers Association. Michelle Crozier Nash ’06, Titusville, Florida, graduated from the University of South Florida College of Public Health in August 2017 with a doctorate in Public Health (epidemiology concentration). Nash has since

become a visiting assistant professor of epidemiology at the same university. David R. Keith ’06, DeLand, Florida, has returned to an old passion but with new technology – using his tablet to create digital art. Keith’s work can be seen on his website: 4-david-keith.pixels.com. John C. Tinnell ’07, Denver, Colorado, is an assistant professor of English at the University of Colorado. Tinnell had his new book, “Actionable Media: Digital Communication Beyond the Desktop,” published by Oxford University Press.


Caitlyn Foster ’13, Deltona, Florida, earned an MSc degree in Filmmaking and Media Arts with Distinction from the University of Glasgow in November 2017.

R. Ethan Wagnon ’13, Inverness, Florida, was promoted to captain in the U.S. Army by his former ROTC instructor, retired Lt. Col. Oakland McCulloch. After serving four years as an infantry

In Memoriam 1940s Martha White Parker ’44 Hugh Carlton ’49


Kristi Anderson Benson ’12, J.D. ’16, Longwood, Florida, has joined the firm of BrewerLong as an associate attorney in its nearby Maitland office. Benson will be working alongside partners Michael Long and Trevor Brewer in corporate litigation, intellectual property and general business matters. She will be assisting business clients in areas such as commercial litigation, business sale transactions, employee agreements, private loan transactions, ownership agreements and contractual negotiations.

officer, Wagnon transitioned to the Signal Corps to continue his Army career. In his next position, he will serve as a space company commander out of Fort Meade, Maryland. J. Drew Neitzey ’15, Bowie, Maryland, is joining the production management team at Aurora Productions in Washington, D.C., to work on the pre-Broadway, world-premiere production of the Tina Fey musical “Mean Girls.” The show is expected to begin on Broadway in 2018.

Willie L. Halbert ’50 William M. Morison ’50 David J. Kadyk, J.D. ’51 Willie B. McGough ’51 Basilia Cavarnos Haygood ’52 Fred B. Ellinor ’54 Betty Farlow Lassiter ’54 Delbert C. Reinke ’54 John H. Bohanan ’56 William E. Pate ’57 Mel H. Gregory ’58 Arthur B. Holmes ’58

1960s Charles Diez ’61 Thomas J. Prior, J.D. ’61 Russell K. Peavyhouse, J.D. ’63 Rom W. Powell, J.D.’63 Susannah Carr ’65 Harry N. Janowski ’65 Richard W. Baksa ’66 Gail Floyd Richter ’66 John L. Graham ’67 Frank G. Cibula, J.D. ’68 Richard F. Conrad, J.D.’68 John P. Frazer, J.D. ’68 Albert P. Lima, J.D. ’68 Edward N. Paslick, J.D. ’68

Robert S. Dravecky, J.D. ’69 Charles H. Meyer ’69

1970s Burton Ginsberg, J.D. ’70 Mary Anne Crum Armour, M.A. ’71 Barbara Becht Kirkpatrick ’72 Michael R. Fronk ’74 James R. Campbell, J.D. ’75 John A. Ouimet, J.D. ’75 Peter M. Tourison, J.D. ’75 Roger L. Ashby, J.D. ’76 Philip Greenstein, J.D. ’76

1980s Mark E. Becker, J.D. ’80 Daniel P. Mitchell, J.D. ’80 Peter J. Aldrich, J.D. ’81 Joseph B. Crace, J.D. ’86 Mansureh S. Iravani ’88 Lincoln B. Hunt, J.D. ’89

1990s Sheree Clann Fish, J.D. ’90 John W. Schwanneke ’90 Meredith Level, J.D. ’94

2000s Audrey Johnson, J.D. ’05 Amy Swan, J.D. ’05

2010s Michelle Crowe ’14

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



Marriages 1 Shanna Stark ’06 to Jason Fawcett, July 27, 2017

2 Kevin King ’08 to Megan Blahnik, July 22, 2017

3 Selina Murallo ’10 to Darin Redeker,


July 14, 2017

4 Grant Patterson ’11 to Hannah DeBevoise ’11, Oct. 14, 2017

5 Jonathan Katalenic, MA ’12 to

Guillermo Villalobos, Nov. 19, 2016

6 Brianna Stiles ’13 to Christopher Hall, July 22, 2017

7 Marcia Myers ’14 to James Lew, June 9, 2017





Alumni Affair: The Patterson-DeBevoise Wedding From left to right: Sean Tamm ‘09, Andrea Coggins Toivakka ’10, Eric Washington ’10, Max DeJulio ’12, Jeff Wacksman ’08, Meghan Moist Franklin ’12, Erica Pasko ’12, Grant Patterson ‘11 (groom), Hannah Patterson ’11 (DeBevoise, bride), Kaitlin Ponce ’10, Lauren Clarke ’12, Jordan Foley ’11, Sarah Merriman ’13, Laura Hill Palisi ’11, Brennan Palisi ’11, Ella Shepherd ’10, Scott Waller ’11, Cayla Culver Wacksman ’07, Danielle Lind ’11, Jared Wacksman ’11, Tom Narducci ’11, Meghan Johnston Muccigrosso ’11


Births Jason Crockett ’98 and wife Erin Gallagher, a son, Luke Murphy, in September 2017

8 Kara Duysters Blaskowski ’04, MEd ’06 and husband Ed, a son, Reid, in July 2017

At the Stiles-Hall wedding on July 22, 2017, 10 sorority sisters from Alpha Chi Omega attended, seven of whom were from Stetson: Ashley Strauss ’12, Shelby Scraper ’13, Lauren Cepero ’13, Savannah Abel ’14, Kayla Hiller ’12, Leigha Munizzi ’13 and Jenna Overcast (attended Stetson before transferring).


STETSON | Spring 2018




9 Jessica Walton Hike ’08 and husband Tayven, a son, Parker William, in August 2017 9

Seminole Story

Speaking Greek When the Laytons think of Stetson, the family is likely to turn the calendar back to 1926. That’s the year their Hatter fraternal legacy began. John Lloyd Layton (pictured) actually isn’t a Stetson alumnus (University of Florida, Alpha Eta ’51). But his parents (Alonzo Lloyd Layton ’28, J.D. ’30 and Merceda Wilson Lloyd ’28) met at Stetson in 1926. When John Lloyd Layton’s son, Jeffrey Lloyd Layton ’97, decided to attend Stetson as a nontraditional older student, Pi Kappa Alpha, his fraternity of choice, wasn’t yet back on campus. So, his father’s Alpha Eta chapter at UF made a special concession that enabled son to be initiated at Alpha Eta but attend Stetson (as a brother in Stetson’s Delta Upsilon chapter). Later, Jeffrey met his eventual wife, Christina Freeman ’96, at Stetson. Freeman was president of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority and Miss Stetson University in 1994. Shortly after graduation, Jeff and Freeman were married and moved to Silicon Valley in California, where Jeff is a senior executive account manager for EMC Corp. Also pictured is their son, Christian, a hopeful 2028 new member of Pi Kappa Alpha, according to Dad. (Pi Kappa Alpha now has returned to campus.) Editor’s note: Recently, John Lloyd Layton created a $25,000 scholarship in the name of Delta Upsilon-Stetson University — in honor of family and decades of memories. He encourages other friends/alumni to create scholarships at Stetson.

Mere coincidence among three sorority sisters and a friend? In April 2017, when the Omega Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta at Stetson celebrated its 100th year, many alumnae returned to join in the celebration. Among them were Nancy Slater Larkin ’58 and Alice Worthington Schmidlin ’61. At the opening reception, Larkin and Schmidlin sat together and talked about their lives and most recent activities. When Schmidlin happened to mention her membership in, and service to, the Plantation Historical Museum in Plantation, Florida, Larkin’s eyes lit up. She had been searching for such a venue in South Florida, where she and a childhood friend could go and share their story and book, “Living Seminole.” In the book, Edna DeHass Siniff wrote about her childhood experiences while living among the Seminole Indians in the 1940s, and Larkin illustrated the book with watercolor art. In December 2017, Larkin and Siniff presented at the Plantation museum, complete with photos that Siniff had taken, including pictures taken by Siniff and two standing dress forms with outfits that were gifts to Siniff from the Seminoles. One outfit consisted of a skirt that was made to fit Siniff as a 9-yearold. When the skirt got too short, Siniff’s mother added a strip of green material at the bottom. The second outfit, given later, was a longer skirt, along with a sleeveless blouse (called a cape) made of parachute material. At another presentation two days later, Schmidlin invited fellow Stetson alumna and Alpha Xi Delta sister Mary Jo Braddy Eakin ’53, who decades earlier had a Seminole experience similar to Siniff’s. In the 1920s, Eakin’s family had a bakery that was often frequented by Seminoles who arrived via canoe. During one visit a decade later, they gave Eakin a dress that turned out to be much like one given to Siniff. Coincidentally (or not), Eakin’s mother also had added a strip of green material to her daughter’s skirt when it became too short to wear. In this photo, the three Stetson alumnae — Schmidlin (left), Larkin (middle) and Eakin — are standing behind Eakin’s dress from the 1930s. As a result of chance meetings, Siniff contacted the Seminole tribe, and her book is being included in the education of Seminole youth.

Stetson.edu/today | STETSON



James Allen Dator ’54, a noted “futurist,” returned to campus for Homecoming last November.

Back to the Future What are the chances of a “futurist” from the Class of 1954 returning to campus — with the visit by way of the University of Hawaii at Manoa from a Professor Emeritus and former director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies? The chances are precisely 100 percent‚ because it happened to James Allen Dator, Ph.D. Dator’s Hatter bloodlines run deep. He was literally raised on the Stetson campus in DeLand. His mother, Kathleen Johnson, Ph.D., was a professor and the second recipient of the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stetson (1976). His stepfather, Carl “Doc” Johnson ’31, was an assistant professor, along with being the baseball coach and dean of men. Dator’s aunt, Elizabeth Allen, Ph.D., was a professor and a dedicated supporter of women’s athletics. And the first male graduate of Stetson (then called DeLand Academy) was Harry Winters, Dator’s great-uncle. A bit more legacy: Elizabeth Allen worked at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, where the Holler Fountain at Stetson was first displayed as part of a General Motors “city of the future” exhibit. As a boy, Dator rode the exhibit’s ride “over and over again.” Dator attended Stetson from summer 1951 to spring 1954, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Ancient and Medieval History and Philosophy and eventually a political-science doctorate from American University. So, there Dator was in November, soaking up the sights by Holler Fountain and, as he’s made a life of doing, looking back to make sense of what’s ahead. 66

STETSON | Spring 2018

Dator called himself a consulting futurist, explaining that “it’s about predicting the future,” helping individuals and organizations envision and invent a preferred future based on trends of the past. The job encompasses race, religion, human behavior, economics, environment, politics, industrialization, technology, media, ethics and much more. The work involves a movement through history in macro cycles — essentially studying the past and helping others see the future. He spoke fondly of both about Stetson. Dator played on the football team for two seasons, but not as a starter. “I can’t say that I was a great athlete here,” he commented. He still follows Hatter sports. Dator remembered enjoying mandatory chapel at what then was a Baptist university. With a smile, he reminisced about the student population — “there were lots of women,” he joked. As for social life, he gave it a thumbs-down, noting, “We had serenades. They were dances where you didn’t dance; you sat!” In addition, he recalled that although the campus had been friendly and filled with comforts like the “slop-shop” for food, it wasn’t particularly aesthetic. Then he gushed about today. Similarly, current students brought a smile, with their eagerness and openness to new ideas, even ideas born from the distant past. “Students want to hear the truth, and they’ll make the best of it,” he said. Mostly, Dator reflected, Stetson really hasn’t changed, still with a focus on educating young minds, just as it did all those years ago. “Stetson played a huge part in developing my ideas,” he said. “I would never have wanted to go anywhere other than Stetson.”— Michael Candelaria


VICTORY While Donald Payne ’16 and the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t quite make it to top of the National Football League, Payne’s personal journey was a success. The former Hatter All-American, a three-time selection, entered the NFL as an undrafted player in a tryout camp before carving out a considerable niche for the Jags, which fell one win short of the Super Bowl. Payne led the team in tackles on punts and kickoffs. Here, Payne celebrates following a triumph in the playoffs (Jan. 7 against the Buffalo Bills).

Photo: Associated Press/Stephen B. Morton

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Great Organists at Stetson series Boyd Jones, organ 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

March 22

Great Guitarists at Stetson series Andrew Zohn, guitar 220 Duo (Adam Larison and Andrew Stroud, guitars) 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

March 23

Great Guitarists at Stetson series Jason Vieaux, guitar 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

April 3

Stetson Chamber Orchestra Anthony Hose, conductor Dan Ferri, saxophone 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall $10 adult, $5 youth/student, free with Stetson ID

April 6

Stetson Sounds New XIX First Glimpse World premieres by Stetson composers 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

April 11

Stetson Guitar Ensemble Stephen Robinson, director 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

April 20

Stetson Concert Choir Timothy Peter, conductor 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall $10 adult, $5 youth/student, free with Stetson ID

April 21

Stetson University Symphonic Band Douglas Phillips, conductor 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall $10 adult, $5 youth/student, free with Stetson ID

Stetson student musicians perform on stage in Lee Chapel at Elizabeth Hall.

April 25

Stetson Jazz Ensemble Patrick Hennessey, director 7:30 p.m. Athens Theatre, DeLand $10 adult, $5 youth/student, free with Stetson ID

April 27

Stetson University Symphony Orchestra Anthony Hose, conductor Gabriel Bergeron-Langlois, bassoon 7:30 p.m. Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall

All events are free and open to the public, except when noted. For a complete list of concerts, go to stetson.edu/music/calendar.

Pre-concert talk by Daniil Zavlunov, musicologist 6:30-7:00 p.m. Tinsley Room, Presser Hall $10 adult, $5 youth/student, free with Stetson ID

Profile for Stetson University

Stetson Magazine  

Spring 2018

Stetson Magazine  

Spring 2018

Profile for stetsonu