|The Stetson Hatter|
The unlikely combination of a famous hat manufacturer and a university produced a novel nickname for Stetson University. The athletic teams are called "Hatters," reflecting the university's association with John B. Stetson, maker of the well-known Stetson hats. It all began in 1883 when Henry DeLand founded the DeLand Academy. Three years later, after a disastrous freeze affecting the citrus industry left DeLand in financial distress, Stetson, who had a winter home in DeLand, became interested in the school. At Deland's request, Stetson was made chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1889 and the university was renamed in his honor. Stetson University fielded the first football team in Florida in 1901. The name "Hatter" was used then and is still in use today.