History of Stetson Law
Florida's First Law School
Stetson University College of Law humbly began on Oct. 2, 1900, with five students from Florida. Since then, the state's oldest law school has trained thousands to become legal experts and societal leaders.
In 1954, Stetson Law moved from DeLand to a beautiful new 21-acre campus in Gulfport. An enrollment boom after World War II spurred the relocation to the 17 buildings which had been part of the Hotel Rolyat built in 1925. Today, the student body exceeds 1,000 and Stetson Law has grown to become home of the nation's top-ranked advocacy program and LL.M. degree programs in advocacy, elder law and international law. The Tampa Law Center opened in 2004 as a major hub for legal activity -- housing evening law classes, the Tampa branch of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, and legal conferences.
Stetson Law founded in DeLand
First graduating class
Stetson Law becomes three-year school
Stetson Law applicants need two years of college
Hotel Rolyat opens
The Stetson University College of Law campus in Gulfport once housed a magnificent "Florida boom period" hotel known as the Rolyat. The hotel opened in January 1926 and was a re-creation of a Spanish walled settlement of the feudal ages. On opening night, the main fountain in the Plaza Mayor was filled with champagne.
Stetson Law becomes ABA approved
Stetson Law joins AALS
Babe Ruth visits Hotel Rolyat
Babe Ruth signed his 1932 Yankees contract officially in the lounge and a second time for photographs in the Plaza Mayor at the Rolyat Hotel.
Florida Military Academy opens
In 1932, the Hotel Rolyat closed due to poor economic conditions. Instead of selling the land, the hotel's owners purchased a boys' school and moved it to Gulfport, where it was located until 1952.
Stetson Law closes until end of WWII
Stetson Law moves to naval base at DeLand Airport, enrollment grows to 194 due to G.I. Bill
Stetson Law relocated to Gulfport
First Law College Board of Overseers
Charles A. Dana Library opens
Stetson is first law school in Florida to establish clinical program
J.D. replaces LL.B.
H. Jackson Crummer classroom building and Eleanor Naylor Dana Administrative Hall open
Stetson Law Review is first published
Harold L. Sebring Courtroom opens
Stetson wins all five National Trial Advocacy competitions, Carey & Florin Courtroom dedicated
Stetson Law ranked No. 1 for trial skills education
LL.M. program begins, Law Library and Legal Information Center opens
Student Center opens, part-time J.D. program launched
Tampa Law Center opens, Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Courtroom dedicated
William Eleazer Courtroom dedicated
Florin Roebig Courtroom upgraded and rededicated
Dolly & Homer Hand Library named
Veterans Law Institute opens
Veterans Law Institute moves to new building
Professor Michèle Alexandre selected as Dean
Professor Michèle Alexandre, J.D., a leading civil rights scholar, administrator and trailblazer, is selected as the next dean of the College of Law at Stetson University. Alexandre is the College of Law's first African American dean.