We have a beautiful, Mediterranean Revival-style campus on 21 acres of lush tropical landscape just minutes from Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches.
Founded in 1900 as Florida's first law school, Stetson University College of Law has educated outstanding lawyers, judges and other leaders for more than a century. In 1954, the College moved from Stetson's main campus in DeLand to Gulfport, nestled in one of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The College of Law opened a satellite campus in downtown Tampa in 2004.
Opened in January 1926, the Rolyat Hotel (Taylor spelled backwards) was built by "Handsome Jack" Taylor. It was a re-creation of a Spanish walled settlement of the feudal ages. The courtyard, or Plaza Mayor, featured a well and two large fountains, and was designed to be the meeting place for hotel guests. On opening night, the main fountain was filled with champagne.
The main entrance to the plaza is a reproduction of the entrance to the Old Alcantara Bridge in Toledo, Spain. Once adjacent to the hotel were stables and a golf course. Guests played a wide range of sports from tennis and croquet to Tarpon fishing. With its life cut short by the Great Depression, the Rolyat was open for only a few seasons. From 1932 until 1951, the hotel housed the Florida Military Academy.
Access and Justice for All
The Eleazer Courtroom is the first courtroom in the nation designed specifically to address the needs of people who are elderly or disabled.
The courtroom serves as a national model with every feature, from carpet to ceiling, designed to improve access. It also offers an array of advanced technology, including an electronic evidence display, cameras, microphones and speakers for observing court participants and jury deliberations.
The courtroom was dedicated in honor of Professor William R. Eleazer on Sept. 16, 2005. For 20 years, William R. Eleazer inspired and led a generation of trial lawyers and through his tireless efforts made Stetson the powerhouse in law school advocacy education that it is today.
In the Mann Lounge are two Talaveras vases (named for the Spanish city of their origin). These vases were part of a group of nine made especially for the 1895 Colombian exposition in Chicago. Another Talaveras vase is on display in the law library. These are the only ones of their kind in the world owned privately. The remaining six vases are in museums.
The paintings on the walls of the Lounge are the work of Peruvian artist Victor Robian from the early 1900s. Much of the furniture in Mann Lounge is from the Rolyat Hotel's original collection.