Board of Trustees Supports Expansion of Faculty-Mentored, Hands-On Learning for Students  

Cupola atop Elizabeth Hall on the DeLand campus.

Stetson will offer dozens of hands-on learning opportunities for students this fall, such as researching the Dead Sea Scrolls or participating in ethical hacking competitions. Students also can enter contests to make the perfect pitch to land a job or develop the best business strategies.

About 80 faculty members across the DeLand campus will provide these experiential learning opportunities for students under a new pilot program for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

Christopher F. Roellke, PhD

The Stetson University Board of Trustees received updated information about the pilot program at its May meeting in DeLand. The faculty-led initiative is a key element in the university’s Forward Together strategic priorities for 2023-2030, which calls for new efforts to build on Stetson’s reputation for providing a relationship-rich education.

“Stetson offers a unique value proposition by providing our students with close connections and mentoring from world-class faculty. This relationship-rich education can be transformational,” said President Christopher F. Roellke, PhD. “Students will not find that at a larger university, in online virtual classes or through more traditional lectures.”

Steven Alexander

University Budget Passes
Also at the meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a 2024-2025 budget that will provide salary increases for employees, including market adjustments for several positions, along with support for myriad projects, programs and services across the university. 

“As chair, I’m very excited that we are increasing our compensation for our faculty,” said Steven Alexander, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Stetson is a nationally ranked university and our faculty are at the center of the success. It has been one of my goals as chair to increase their compensation.”

Newly Elected Trustees 
The Board of Trustees elected four new members at the meeting: 

Gregory Coleman

• Gregory Coleman, BBA ’85,  JD ’89, is a partner at the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman, LLP, and Past-President of The Florida Bar (2014-2015). He has been awarded the President’s Award of Merit by The Florida Bar three times and was the first lawyer in history to receive such a distinction. He received both his BBA degree in Finance and his JD from Stetson. Coleman has served on Stetson’s College of Law Board of Overseers since 2011, and as Chair from 2020-2024. For the past four years as chair, he concurrently served as ex-officio on the Board of Trustees.  Coleman has now been elected to a four-year term during this meeting. He resides in Palm Beach and has one son.

Gayle Littleton

• Gayle Littleton, BA ’94, graduated from Stetson with a degree in Political Science, was a member of Delta Delta Delta and served as President of the Student Government Association. She earned a JD from Cornell Law School in 1999, worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and now serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Exelon Corporation. At Stetson, she served on the Alumni Association Board of Advisors from 1999 – 2005 and joined the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board in July of 2023. She and her husband Andrew Levy have three sons. 

Scott Marcello

• Scott Marcello, BBA ’84, MAcc ’85, earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Stetson in accounting, and serves as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He worked for KPMG LLP for 31 years and now is president of African Mission Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization that aspires to provide access to quality, compassionate healthcare for everyone in Africa. Marcello has served on the School of Business Administration’s Board of Advisors since 2016, and as Chair since 2021. For the past three years as chair, he concurrently served as ex-officio on the Board of Trustees. Scott has now been elected to a four-year term during this meeting, as well as Chair of the Financial Health Committee. He and his wife Dené, also a Stetson accounting graduate, have four children.

Jeffery A. Smith

• Jeffery A. Smith, JD ’73, graduated from Stetson Law after earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and serving in the U.S. Army. He worked as an attorney in a criminal prosecution task force, moved to private practice and later returned to the state prosecutor’s office. He is credited with establishing the first drug, mental health, and juvenile court in Citrus County. Smith has been a member of the College of Law’s Board of Overseers since July of 2021. He and his wife have two daughters and five grandchildren. 

Lori Baggett

Newly Elected Board Chairs

Lori Baggett, JD ’02, was elected as Chair of Stetson’s College of Law Board of Overseers.

Linda Swayne, ’68, MBA ’71, was elected as Chair of the School of Business Administration Board of Advisors for a two-year term.

Linda Swayne

“We are excited that we are welcoming new board members that bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the board,” said Alexander, the Trustee board chair.

Summer Construction Projects

The DeLand campus is busy with construction projects this summer:

• Construction will begin later this month on a new four-story residence hall in the center of campus. Scheduled to open in 2026, the 305-bed residence hall will offer a variety of living spaces for students and create a new hub where students can gather. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in conjunction with Convocation when the community is back for the fall semester. 

Rendering of residence hall
Construction will start this summer on a new four-story residence hall.

• Renovations will wrap up in early August on historic Elizabeth Hall, adding an elevator, new restrooms, and a new accessible ramp and stairs at the east entrances.

• The first phase of renovations also will be completed on the Edmunds Center by the start of the fall semester, adding new restrooms, new seating and a new sound system to Stetson’s largest facility, used for athletics and university events. 

“We set the plan to develop three strategic projects that would be significant for our students and I’m excited to announce that we have issued bonds to pay for these three projects and all of these critical investments are underway,” Alexander added.