Jason Blake


Henry A. DeLand and John B. Stetson founded a school in 1883, and even at that early date, both men considered the possibility of a biracial institution. They opted against it for various reasons, not the least of which was the school's geographical location. Upon establishing DeLand Academy strictly as an all-white institution, however, DeLand and Stetson institutionalized their vision by deciding against any rules in the charter that would specifically forbid integration.1 Nearly seventy years later, Stetson University struggled with the issue that its founders had left unresolved. Consequently, by the early 1960s, Stetson became the first private university in Florida to integrate.