About HATS

Students Painting Fence

A History of HATS

The HATS (High Achieving Talented Students) Program was founded in 1996 by Stetson alum Cindy Lovell. Originally called "Following the Equator," the program later became known as HATS. Lovell joined the Stetson faculty in 1999 and oversaw the program until 2007 when Lynn Albinson became the director.

The HATS Program has served more than 3,000 students in summer programs and administered academic talent searches for 15,000+ students through its collaboration with the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa.

In 2005, Jenna Colonel was the first HATS Program student to receive a Belin-Blank/HATS scholarship at Stetson. Approximately 50 HATS participants have gone on to receive this scholarship.

Mission Statement

The mission of the HATS Program at Stetson University is to identify and serve high-achieving talented students through challenging, engaging and meaningful learning experiences within a culture of excellence.

We realize that not all students take traditional paths to college. Some students attend public school, some attend private school and some are homeschooled. Some are immigrant children who are learning English as their second language, so perhaps their academic gifts are not clearly evident to classroom teachers. Some will be the first person in their family to attend college, while others come from a long line of college graduates.

No matter who you are - regardless of your culture, your financial resources and your educational experiences - if you are a high-achieving student, we want to encourage you to consider Stetson University as your future home, whether as a participant in the HATS Program or as a university student (or both!). We salute your achievement and are committed to nurturing your continued success.

You are our future. You will change the world in ways too wonderful to imagine. We encourage you to imagine - to explore, to dream, to achieve.