Hatter Traditions

Here at Stetson University, we’re big on spirit and tradition. Hatters, both present and past, take a great deal of pride in the rich, 140+ year history of the University. From the first day, our students step on campus to the momentous milestone of graduation, you can tell there’s something special about this place.

students around big bonfire during the night


Every year Stetson welcomes alumni, students and the community to participate in our Homecoming events full of traditions like Hatter Howl, Airwaves and our kick-off bonfire that dates to the 1950s.


students during late night breakfast about space

Late Night Breakfast

Every semester on the last day of class, the university faculty and staff serve a themed Late Night Breakfast to students in the Lynn Dining Commons to celebrate the end of another semester.

presentation in lee chapel during values days

Values Day

An annual tradition established by Stetson University's eighth president, H. Douglas Lee, is designed to continue the dialogue between students, faculty, staff, and community members so that the Stetson University community reflects and acts upon our shared core values.

Values Day

students gviving presentataions about their research during showcase day

Stetson Showcase

A celebration of achievement established to foster an appreciation for academic excellence where student presenters share their research through presentations, portfolios, posters, readings, music and theater performances, art shows, and multimedia work.


stetson entrance gates

Pass-Through the Gates

Event to welcome first-year students where they line in processions and walk through the stetson gates as they are welcomed by students and staff into their new home.

students raising their glasses for a toast with the president during senior toast

Orange and Senior Toast

A the end of every year before graduation, the seniors about to graduate join the president for a senior toast as they reminisce in their accomplishments and how far they have made it. 

student celebrating with confetti during values day

Victory Bell

Hatter Saturday is held every Spring for students who are making their final decisions to be #NewHatters, where they can discover faculty, connect with peers, and prepare for a successful start. The Victory bell is rung by the students after their decision is finalized.

Hatter Saturday

Hatter Spirit

Stetson University has a storied athletic tradition that dates back to the university's founding, and over that time several athletic traditions, cheers, and songs have developed that get our fans pumped up!

Go Green! Fight White!

At Stetson University, whenever you hear, "Go Green!" you must respond, "Fight White!" This cheer is mostly used at athletic events. One side of the stadium yells "Gooooooo Green!" and the other side responds "Fight White!" This cheer sometimes goes on for several minutes.

We Are The Pride

We are all proud to be Hatters, so when you hear someone start the call with "We!," you respond with "WE!" When they say "We ARE," you yell back "WE ARE!" When they say "WE ARE THE PRIDE," you respond with "WE ARE THE PRIDE," and then the yell leader says, "WE ARE THE PRIDE OF STETSON U," and everyone repeats while clapping.

stetson students jumping in front of fountain

Holler Fountain is a special place on campus that has traditions and lore surrounding it. Student organizations, Greek organizations, athletic teams, and academic classes all take group photos in and around the fountain every year. It's a popular place for first-year photos and graduation photos too! It's said that if first-time ring wearers don't dunk the ring, they will lose the ring and never graduate. We love the fountain and pay respect to what it represents and care for it deeply.

Though not officially endorsed by the university, students have also been known to throw their friends in the fountain on their birthday.

group of students smiling with their caps and gows sitting with John B

Whether it be your first day, or maybe on your last wearing while you are wearing your cap and gown, you can take a selfie with the John B statue. 

two students with stetson shirts outside

Wear green on Fridays to show your school spirit, both students and employees are encouraged to wear green or one of your stetson shirts! 

class photo of graduating class 2027

class photo of 1920

Every year when students get to Stetson they take a picture of the year they are supposed to graduate on, looking forward together. The class size and the means have changed a lot, but the spirit is the same. 

John B Mascot ringing victory bell

Stetson University’s Hatter mascot has taken on a variety of looks over the past 60 years – from a 10-gallon hat with big eyes and curled eyelashes to a leprechaun-looking Mad Hatter. There was even a pot-bellied statue that stood on the Hat Rack patio from 1959-67. 

The previous version, a Mad Hatter with a crazy “Doc Brown” hair-style and giant teeth, was rumored to have scared children and stopped making public appearances in the 1990s.

In spring 2011, Stetson kicked off a Mascot Challenge to give the Hatters a new look and personality. Alumni, students, faculty, staff, student organizations and university departments were invited to submit ideas and drawings, and everyone including the general public was given an opportunity to vote on the 70 creative submissions. Ideas ranged from a Hatter-pillar, a bear, several cowboy types and even a few fictitious creatures.

On Jan. 20, 2012, John B. made his first public appearance at halftime of the Hatters’ Atlantic Sun Conference basketball game against Florida Gulf Coast. With his signature Stetson hat, green bandana and alligator skin boots, John B. delighted the crowd while performing with the Stetson cheerleaders.  

On. Oct. 2, 2021, John B. was given a makeover to a more slimmed-down, muscular version to compliment Stetson's rebranding efforts.  He is a fixture at Stetson athletic competitions and other campus and community events. 

Dear Alma Mater,
Smile Upon Thy Children;
Gladly We Greet Thee,
Altogether Lovely;
Peace Be Within Thy
Classic Halls And Temples.
Hail, Alma Mater Dear

Dear Alma Mater,
Tenderly Thy Children
Gather And Bring To Thee
Gracious Salutations;
Comrades, Your Voices
Lift Once Again In Chorus,
Hail, Alma Mater Dear.

The official Stetson colors are a rich dark green (PMS 343) and white, representing the trees and orange blossoms prevalent in the Central Florida area. White represents purity, and green, significant growth. At the first commencement in 1893, the stage was decorated in green and white. These colors also were used first at the beginning of intercollegiate athletics in Florida. Newspaper accounts of the first Florida college football game in 1901 told of Stetson fans waving their colors of green and white as they cheered their team to victory.

palm court during the day


Stetson University's historic DeLand campus is one of the major landmarks of the area, and its buildings and spaces all have stories to tell. Have you ever heard that Elizabeth Hall is haunted? Do you know what it means when you hear the Victory Bells ringing?

Elizabeth Hall

The second oldest building on campus, Elizabeth Hall is also said to be haunted. Students studying late at night on the top floor often report hearing sounds from the attic. It is also rumored that Elizabeth Hall is the building where the Senior Week committee first meets.



Holler Fountain

The fountain is a common meeting spot and place of reflection for students. Holler Fountain is also part of many traditions. Those receiving their University Ring traditionally dunk the ring in the fountain when they first wear it.

Hulley Tower

Completed in 1934, the 116-foot Hulley Tower originally contained an 11-bell carillon, and a mausoleum for Stetson's second president, Lincoln Hulley, and his wife Eloise. Hulley served as president for 30 years (1904-34), and he and his family built the tower as a gift to the university. He died before it was finished. Unfortunately, the infrastructure of the tower and bells was compromised by weather damage. Citing safety reasons, university officials in 2005 made the decision to dismantle the upper part of the structure, leaving the mausoleum intact. 



Victory Bell

The Victory Bell is housed in a tower connected to the Hollis Center. Donated by the Hollis family, the bell signifies Stetson University's drive to victory and features the phrase, "Victory comes from doing your best" emblazoned on the side. The university seeks success and victory academically, through service, on the court or field, and in living its values every day. The bell is only rung at special moments in the year, and it is considered an honor to actually pull the rope that rings the bell. Among other celebrations, the Victory Bell rings after Convocation, after Commencement, each night of Senior Week, and when the football team wins a game. Maybe you will be selected to ring the bell someday!


John B. Stetson Statue

Installed in Palm Court, the larger-than-life statue and bench weighs approximately 1,600 pounds and features a relaxed Stetson sitting on the bench while tipping one of his famous hats and beckoning folks to grab a seat or strike a selfie pose.