Gifts to the Archives

The Stetson Library Archives is pleased to receive many treasures from our alumni. This page features just a few of the gifts to the Archives pertaining to Stetson history.

Robert Jordon (’69) asked if we might like some Stetson Hat Company memorabilia that had belonged to his father, a Stetson Hat Company employee. We were delighted to receive many wonderful items from Bob, including six hat boxes, four Stetson hats (two men’s and two women’s), and a variety of printed material on the Stetson Hat Company.

Also included in the gift were several pieces of jewelry, a ceramic Stetson hat ashtray, and a book of over-size matches from the ranch of G. Henry Stetson, son of University benefactor John B. Stetson.

One of the most interesting items in the collection is a little book titled Stetson Hats that has pictures, descriptions, and prices of various styles of hats sold by the company.

Jack Gibson (’56) stopped by the library and brought us two beautiful greek pins — his Pi Kappa Phi fraternity pin and his wife’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority pin. Jack has them displayed on this tiny jacket – intertwined just as his future wife, Diane Smith Gibson (’56), wore them after she was “pinned.” See a close up of the pins. The quill on the ZTA pin signified that Diane served as secretary for the sorority.

If you look closely at this yearbook photo of Diane and Jack, you can see that Diane is wearing the pins.

Donor Jack Gibson is the son of Dr. Byron Gibson, Stetson professor of English from 1946 to 1973.

Barbara Brundage Colegrove (’51) has visited campus during recent years and, along with some news-filled scrapbooks from her Stetson years, she has donated six wonderful pieces of Stetson jewelry to our collection. Her Pi Beta Phi pin is set with tiny rubies and pearls and she often wore it with her Theta Alpha Phi pin which represented membership in the national theatre honorary. A third pin is from the Mortar Board national honorary. Also donated were several charms representing “The Honor” (a local honorary for junior and senior girls based on scholarship which later became part of Mortar Board), and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. All of these gifts will be on periodic display with other pieces of jewelry in our Archives collection.

Marcia M. (Baldwin) Paulson, class of 1960, stopped by the library with her husband Roy (’59). She had some wonderful scrapbooks of her Stetson years and of subsequent class reunions on campus. The Paulsons gave us some great memorabilia, including the 1959 Alpha Xi Delta calendar, an old Commons Meal Ticket, a Chaudoin Hall sign-out sheet (remember having to get permission to leave the dorm with your male caller?), a list of Rat Week Rules, and a hand-made Rat Week sign. The Paulsons gave us a number of other interesting items from their scrapbooks — all of which will be indexed and carefully preserved in our Archives to be used in periodic displays.

This Stetson class ring was designed by Tom Cornelius “T.C.” Lane, Jr., class of 2004, and created of 18-K gold. It is engraved with his major, Political Science, and, as shown above, with his fraternity’s initials, ATO. See also the opposite side of the ring which depicts Elizabeth Hall. Tragically, T.C. was killed while home for the Christmas holidays in 2003 by a driver who had been drinking. He was able to wear the ring only a short time, but his parents said he was so proud of the ring as an indication of his love for Stetson.T.C.’s family donated the ring to the University as the first class ring to become a part of the University Archives memorabilia collection. T.C.’s family and friends have created an organization in his memory which is dedicated to making a difference for crime victims and to promote education. For more on T.C.’s life, see:

Marilyn Jean Stuart (now Sullins), class of 1955, shown in her freshman Rat Cap in 1951. This photo is a gift from Marilyn to our Archives and Marilyn has also donated her “Rat Stuart” cap to Stetson’s Archives collection.

Read a letter that Marilyn sent home describing life at Stetson during Rat Week. (PDF version of the letter.)