Stetson University President Retiring In June 2020


DeLand, FL - For the first time in over a decade, Stetson University will be looking for a new leader.

Dr. Wendy B. Libby - the first female President in school history when hired in July 2009 - announced her retirement today (February 15th) during a Board of Trustees meeting.

“It has been a privilege to be president of an institution as fine as Stetson University,” Libby said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished and I thank the Board for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to Stetson’s upward trajectory through my presidency."

Libby - the ninth President since hat maker John B. Stetson founded the university in 1883 - plans to stay in DeLand once she steps down in June 2020.

"My husband, Richard, and I are looking forward to continuing our lives in DeLand and our support of Stetson,” Libby added.

Undergraduate enrollment went up nearly 50% during Libby's time at Stetson, reaching an all-time high of 4,340 across all campuses in Fall 2018. Most of those (3,150) were at Stetson's main campus in DeLand.

She's also overseen the implementation of several academic programs during her tenure, including a sales program at the university's School of Business Administration, a creative writing masters program through the College of Arts and Sciences, a college-wide undergraduate research program and the Advocacy Center and Veterans Law Institute in the College of Law.

“We have moved Stetson forward on all fronts,” Libby noted, “I congratulate everyone – from our students, faculty and staff to our alumni, friends and the community we serve – on our successes in enhancing the university’s reputation, strengthening our academic rigor and the vibrancy of our campus life, and updating our facilities while maintaining the historic and inviting feel of our beautiful campuses.”

Stetson's endowment also more than doubled under Libby to $246 million, allowing the school to increase faculty salaries by 70% and add 50 new teaching positions to keep up with the increasing enrollment.

The University also had several facilities built and renovated during Libby's time, including the Rinker Welcome Center, the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center and the Carlton Union Building. A new health and science building is also in the works thanks to an $18 million gift from Brown & Brown Insurance heads Hyatt & Cici Brown, the largest in school history.

Significant gains have been seen in Hatters athletics during the past decade, notably the return of the football program in 2013 after a 57-year hiatus, the creation of women's lacrosse and beach volleyball squads and the Hatters baseball team hosting and winning its first ever NCAA Regional at Melching Field in 2018. A golf practice facility is also in the works.

A search committee will be formed to find Libby's replacement, per school officials.


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