Stetson University helps homeless family in Central Florida

A homeless family in Central Florida captured the attention of Stetson University staff, students and alumni.

This past week has been an extraordinary one for Stetson University. If you’ve been following CBS and the 60 Minutes segment on the homeless in Florida, which aired Nov. 29, you know the story of the Metzger family of Sanford. Watch the CBS 60 Minutes video segment here.

Arielle Metzger, 15, was wearing a green and gray Stetson T-shirt during her interview. Arielle, who lives in a truck with her brother Austin, 13, and father Tom, talked about how important education is to the family and how she eventually wants to become a lawyer to help children and homeless people.

Stetson reached out to the Metzger family with the following:

  • A financial aid package to cover the full cost of attending the university for Arielle and Austin. Watch as Fox News follows up with the family in Sanford after Arielle and Austin Metzger learned that Stetson University guaranteed them a full scholarship.
  • To help guide them, three undergraduates from the Stetson Bonner Scholars Program will mentor Arielle and Austin as they continue their public school education. The Bonner Scholars Program is a prestigious national program dedicated to opening access to education for all students who are seeking an opportunity to serve others. Stetson is the only Bonner school in Florida.
  • Members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority committed to raise funds to help support some of the immediate needs of the family.
  • The Metzger family met
 with President Libby on the CBS Early Show. Watch as the Metzgers discuss receiving the full scholarship from Stetson University.
  • Stetson has always had a significant commitment to serving the greater community. From DeLand to Gulfport, the university distinguishes herself through a university-wide commitment to affirming the worth and dignity of every human being and to bettering the world.
  • Hundreds of alumni, parents and friends have contacted the university inquiring as to how they can help families like the Metzgers. You can be a part of the university’s efforts to assist families with extreme financial need by making a contribution to one or more of the following funds or programs (by anthony). Just link to Stetson’s online gift form, click on “other” and enter the name of the following fund or program you would like to support:

Dr. Wendy Libby, right, appeared on the CBS Early Show with Arielle and Austin Metzger.

The Bonner Scholars Program — Supporting students who are actively engaged in service to people in need
The Student Coalition to End Homelessness — Stetson University student organization that works directly with the homeless in Volusia County
The Opportunity Stetson Scholarship — Providing scholarship suport for students in extreme need
The Annual Fund — Providing scholarship support each year for students with financial need
Law General Scholarship Fund — Supporting law students with financial need
Public Service Fellows — Providing resources for law students who work with the indigent

For more information, call the Office of Development at 386-822-7455 
or e-mail

Alumni Event featured entertainment, camaraderie and great prizes

Members of Cohort 7 reunited at the Alumni Event, after graduating only one week prior.

The Stetson University Executive MBA Alumni Event 2011, held May 14 at the Celebration Golf Club, brought together friends, colleagues, professors … and a comedian!

The night was a great success, in which alumni reconnected with each other, befriended new connections and visited with professors. In addition, the alumni raised funds for the Stetson University Executive MBA program, totaling $5,275. The monies were raised through a combination of silent auction items purchased, an optional donation to attend, and various donations on-site. A tip jar was posted at the bar so alumni could make donations directly to Cohort 8’s philanthropy effort in South Africa at the Oakhaven Home for the Aged. Alumni contributed $73 toward Cohort 8’s project there next month.

Cohort 6 was the most generous at the silent auction tables, with winning bids totaling $1,121. Cohort 5 was not far behind with $788.

Mark Mattern and his wife, Sonya Snyder, will be relaxing at Hontoon Resort soon, using the certificate they won at the silent auction.

A few alumni have signed themselves up for future adventures. In fact, Russ Lowe of Cohort 5 will be jumping out of a plane, courtesy of the sky dive package he won at the silent auction. Rich and Verena Tetley, Cohort 5, have plenty of leisure in store with four Park Hopper passes to Walt Disney World and four multiple-day passes to Sea World and Aquatica. Their furry family friends won’t go un-entertained either because the Tetleys also took home a pet basket from Woof Gang Bakery in Celebration. And Mark Mattern of Cohort 1 will find himself floating downriver on a Hontoon Landing pontoon boat, along with a two-night stay at the resort, while Anne Hamilton, Cohort 6, scooped up the Catering Auction items and will enjoy personal catering from Puff ‘n Stuff, Too Jay’s and Foodie in the coming year. 

The silent auction wasn’t the only method of winning, though. Mark Snider of Cohort 6 was the winner of the night of the grand door prize. Each alumnus who RSVP’d by May 1 was automatically entered into a drawing for a getaway. Snider won the drawing and, in turn, three days and two nights, plus breakfast each day, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, a value of $458. Congratulations, Mark!

Dr. Vincent Brenner, the accounting professor who slips wry jokes into his mostly-numbers teaching presentations, won the faculty prize, a $25 gift certificate to Café D’Antonio in Celebration and a bottle of wine from Imperium Food & Wine in Celebration (by jones). Dr. Brenner has been teaching the accounting courses regularly in the Executive MBA program and is a cohort favorite.

Comedy entertainer Brian Staron cuts open a fresh lemon that contained something Dr. Stuart Michelson had lost.

The entertainment for the evening consisted of both classical music and comedy. Harry Rios played the keyboard throughout the evening. Rios is a recent graduate of the Stetson University School of Music. Brian Staron of Comedy Entertainment performed a couple of magic tricks that kept everyone guessing. Let’s just say that Dr. Michelson found his signed $100 bill — but it left a sour taste in his mouth!

Many thanks go to all the companies that donated products to the silent auction; to Wendy Lowe, Dr. Stuart Michelson and Stetson president Dr. Wendy Libby for hosting and organizing the event; to Russell Sirmans for the excellent photography; to entertainers Harry Rios and Brian Staron; and of course, to all the students of the Stetson University Executive MBA program — past, present and future.

To view photos from the trip, check out Russell Sirmans’ site, Stetson’s alumni page or Flickr.

2011 Stetson University Executive MBA Alumni Reception

One lucky alumnus who RSVPs by May 1 will win a two-night stay at the Hilton in Daytona Beach.

The 2011 Stetson University Executive MBA Alumni Reception is just around the corner! It will be a great opportunity to rekindle old friendships and make new connections with others who have gone through the Executive MBA program in Celebration. The event begins with cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, and a brief awards/recognition program. The rest of the time is yours to visit with your fellow alumni. Here are the details:

Saturday, May 14, 6-9 p.m.; Celebration Golf Club, 701 Golfpark Drive, Celebration, FL 34747; RSVP here; a $25 per person donation is suggested but not required.

Dr. Wendy B. Libby, president of Stetson University, will be in attendance, as will many Stetson University Executive MBA faculty members, including Dr. Carolyn Nicholson (Marketing), Dr. Carolyn Mueller (International Business and Finance) and Peggy Stahl (Organizational Management). Dr. Stuart Michelson, dean of the Stetson School of Business and director of the Executive MBA program, and Wendy Lowe, program coordinator, will host the event.

Alumni who RSVP by May 1 will be entered into a drawing for a three-day, two-night stay at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort worth $458. In addition, all attendees will be able to set your own price on a number of great silent auction items! Below is the list of products gathered to date (subject to change). It’s the perfect opportunity to get a deal on a getaway, a meal or a gift. Check them out, and we’ll see you May 14 in Celebration!



Personal Catering


Sweet Tooth

Gifts, Pampering and Miscellaneous