Cornelius Hunter, Stetson's Law School becomes first in Florida to admit women, Billy Cypress

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Historical Timeline


Phase One (Building a Culture of Respect) of the Campus Climate Action Plan is completed and Phase Two (Cultivating Strong and Collaborative Relationships) begins.


Carmen Johnson becomes Stetson's Executive Officer for Diversity, Inclusion, and Collaboration.

Values Day 2021 is based around the theme Building a Culture of Respect and Empathy.


President Christopher Roellke creates a high-level president’s advisory council on diversity and inclusion.

The President’s Cabinet members define diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments for their units.

Diversity and inclusion becomes a key strategic priority for the University and the Board of Trustees.


Michele Alexandre is appointed the first Black dean of the College of Law.

Maureen Breakiron-Evans (class of 1976) becomes the first female chair of the Board of Trustees.


Daniel Mejia is the first Hispanic SGA president.


Hillel comes to Stetson and Sam Friedman is chosen as the first Hillel director.


Prelaw ranks Stetson College of Law as one of the nation's most diverse law schools.


The Community Education Project begins as a reading group for those incarcerated at the Tomoka Correctional Institution and grows into a non-profit multidisciplinary college-in-prison program.

WORLD: International Learning is endowed by the Rinker family.


Wendy Libby is selected as the first woman, first non-Baptist President of Stetson University.


James Scheiner is appointed Dean of the School of Business Administration, becoming the first dean of the Jewish faith.

Harlan Paul becomes the first Jewish Board of Trustees member.


Michael Davis is elected the first Black president of the Student Government Association. Davis would become a Stetson University trustee in 2018.


The University mission statement is revised to emphasize six values, including being a diverse and inclusive community.

The Cross Cultural Center is established to foster a diverse community.


Luz E. Nagle becomes the first female Hispanic professor hired at the College of Law. In 2004, Nagle would become the first Hispanic College of Law faculty member to earn tenure.

Board of Trustees approves a Commitment to Diversity Plan.


The ALANA (Asian, Latino, African-American, Native American) Council is formed to identify issues and create solutions that foster an inclusive campus community that values diversity.


Stetson and the Florida Baptist Convention sever formal ties. Religious diversity and inclusiveness are reaffirmed as University priorities.


The Stetson University Catalog is revised to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination clause.

Lizabeth "Liz" A. Moody is appointed the first female dean and first female Vice President of the College of Law.


Stetson initiates gender equity in Athletics.


Thomas E. Stringer, Sr. ('74, College of Law) is the first Black member of the Board of Trustees, elected Secretary of the Board

Manual Ramos is the first Hispanic professor hired by the College of Law.


Stetson establishes the Multicultural Educational Institute to help foster multicultural and diversity education that enhances harmony, understanding, and positive cross-cultural communication.


Dorothea Beane becomes the first Black professor hired by the College of Law. In 1995, Beane would be the first Black professor at the College of Law to earn tenure.


Leonard Nance is the second Black faculty member hired at the DeLand campus, and the first Black professor to spend his career at Stetson. Nance would become Dean of First Year Studies in 2005, the first Black dean at Stetson.


President H. Douglas Lee announces Stetson’s commitment to be a diverse and inclusive community.


Jim Shore is the first Native American (from the Seminole Brighton Reservation) to graduate from the College of Law.


Sally Ginsberg Waters becomes the first Jewish law librarian at the College of Law.


Nansi Carroll is the first Black faculty member hired at the DeLand campus. Carroll was a voice and opera instructor in the School of Music.


Ruth Fleet Thurman ('63, College of Law) becomes the first female tenured professor at the College of Law.


Thomas Stringer is the first Black graduate of the College of Law. Elizabeth Leeman becomes the first full-time female law professor.


Student Marva Dawkins ('71) is appointed as the first Black dormitory counselor.


Billy Cypress, a member of the Seminole Tribe, is the first Native American to graduate from Stetson, and is the first Seminole in the state of Florida to receive a commission as a U.S. Army officer.


Cornelius "Neil" Hunter and Herdie Baisden are admitted as Stetson’s first Black students. Hunter would be the first Black graduate in 1966.


Elizabeth Stetson, Countess of Santa Eulalia, and widow of John B. Stetson, becomes the first female member of the John B. Stetson University Board of Trustees.


Mary Stewart is Stetson’s first female Law School graduate and the first woman to earn a law degree in Florida.


Stetson’s Law School becomes the first law school in Florida to admit women.


The first graduate of John B. Stetson University is a female student, Leila M. Child.


DeLand Academy, the preparatory school that would become Stetson University, opens with both male and female students.