The Hague-Critoph Fund is named in honor of the department's founding members, who each made large impacts on the field of American studies and their students. For example, John Hague received the Bode-Pearson Prize of the American Studies Association and was named a Florida Teacher of the Year; the Southern American Studies Association established the Jerry Critoph Prize for the best student papers at the association's conferences. They inaugurated the department's tradition of passionate commitment to learning about American culture. Ann Croce started the fund with contributions from alumni of the department. The fund is used to pay for student research and to host guest speakers and class visits (many times the Hague-Critoph Fund provides a supplement to another campus source of money to make a visit possible):
- In collaboration with the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, John Lambie of Sarasota's Florida House, a showcase for marketing environmentally-friendly building materials and techniques, spoke about "Sustainable Development for the Twenty-First Century" (1996).
- Edward Tenner, the author of Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences. With the collaboration of the Hollis Leadership Development Program and the Honors Program, we had a "book feast" on his book. Tenner himself spoke on "Technological Standards: So Many to Choose From, A Sequel to Why Things Bite Back" (1997).
- John Haught, Department of Religious Studies, Georgetown University. The department, in collaboration with the Honors Program and the Hollis Leadership Development Center, hosted Haught's public lecture, "Evolution and the Quest for Cosmic Purpose," and his visits to an honors and an economics class (1997).
- Colleen McDannell, author of The Christian Home in Victorian America, Heaven: A History (with Bernhard Lang), and Material Christianity gave a presentation in AS 408: The Cult of Womanhood in Nineteenth-Century America (1997).
- AS 496, Reading and Writing Media Culture (fall 1997) featured a public lecture series, "Journalism and American Culture: Six Regional Perspectives." The speakers included:
- Mark Lane, Daytona Beach News-Journal
- Barbara Shepherd, DeLand Beacon
- Joni James, Orlando Sentinel
- John E. Evans, Halifax Magazine
- Kent Morton, WESH-TV
- Bob Press, Christian Science Monitor and the Daytona Beach News-Journal
- Lawrence Rourke, McClatchey Newspapers
- Michael Carlebach, of the University of Miami, talked on "The Shooting War: Photojournalism During the Vietnam War," which enlisted the support of the Hollis Leadership Development Program, the photography program of the art department and the Stetson Reporter (1998).
- Karen Winkle '98 received a Hague-Critoph grant to travel to the archives at Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage, in Tennessee, to research Jackson's adopted Native American son Laquoia. This research was a centerpiece of her senior research, and she presented her work at Stetson Showcase in April 1998.
- Michael Haridopolos '93 and Amy Hendricks, both of Brevard Community College, talked about "Ten Big Issues Facing Our Generation," which is also the title of their recent book (1998).
- Jay Mechling '68, professor of American studies at the University of California - Davis, graciously met with students during his visits to campus and has visited many classes.
- David Orr, a professor of geography at Oberlin College wrote the book Earth in Mind, which was the subject of a book feast organized by Paul Croce and members of his AS 452: Nature and the American Marketplace class in 1998. Orr came in person to give a talk on "Campus Greening and Environmental Responsibility," which became a key component of AS 452 in spring 2000. Based on Orr's talk and material in the class, students researched local environmental issues and then produced a video, "A Day in the Life of a Stetson Student." They then made presentations to first-year students on the environmental impacts of everyday items such as coffee and soft drinks.
- James Twitchell, Department of English at University of Florida, and author of Adcult USA and many other books on contemporary consumer society gave a presentation and slideshow in Emily Mieras's Popular Culture class in fall 2001. He highlighted the stories commercials use to appeal to our hopes and dreams.