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  • In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. Theodore Roosevelt
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Graduate from the Stetson University

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Stetson University was founded in 1883 by Henry Addison DeLand, a New York philanthropist, as DeLand Academy. In 1887, the Florida Legislature enacted the Charter of DeLand University as an independent institution of higher learning.

DeLand University's name was changed in 1889 to honor hat manufacturer John B. Stetson, a benefactor of the university, who served with town founder, Henry A. DeLand, and others as a founding trustee of the university. Stetson also provided substantial assistance to the university after DeLand, on account of financial reverses, was no longer able to do so.

Stetson University was affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention from its founding in 1885 until 1907, when the Convention was defeated in its effort to force Stetson to amend its charter. From 1907 to 1919, the Florida Baptist Convention operated Columbia College in Lake City, Florida, but it failed for lack of adequate financial support. According to Gilbert Lycan, a Stetson history professor who wrote the university's official centennial history in 1983, the relationship between Stetson University and the Florida Baptist Convention was reestablished in 1919,[8] and continued until 1995, when it was officially terminated.