University of South Florida
USF was the first independent state university conceived, planned, and built during the 20th century. Former U.S. Representative Sam Gibbons was instrumental in the school's creation when he was a state representative and is considered by many to be the "Father of USF." Though founded in 1956, the university was not officially named until the following year, and courses did not begin until 1960. The university was built off Fowler Avenue on the site of Henderson Air Field, a World War II airstrip. In 1957, the Florida Cabinet approved the name "University of South Florida." At the time, USF was the southernmost university in the state university system. In 1962, the official USF mascot was unveiled as the "Golden Brahman." In the late 1980s, the mascot evolved into the "Bulls." The university grew under the leadership of John Allen, who served as its first president from 1957 until his retirement in 1970.
During this time, the university expanded rapidly, due in part to the first master's degree programs commencing in 1964. Allen was known for his opposition to college sports in favor of an environment more academically-centered. Allen's ultimate legacy was to be the first person to build a modern state university from scratch: "As a completely new and separate institution, the University of South Florida became the first new institution of its kind to be conceived, planned and built in the United States in the 20th century." Today the John and Grace Allen Administration Building, named after the university's founding president and his wife, houses vital Tampa campus departments including Student Affairs, the Admissions Welcome Center, and the Controller's Office. In 1970, M. Cecil Mackey became the university's second president. During his time at USF, Mackey opened the university's medical school, School of Nursing, and first-ever Ph.D program.
Additionally, Mackey worked to strengthen the St. Petersburg campus, while opening new satellite campuses in Sarasota and Fort Myers. While serving as university president, Mackey continued to teach economics courses in a conference room across from his office. Mackey first coined a new descriptor for USF: "a metropolitan university." The term is still used to describe USF today. Moffitt Cancer Center on the USF campus. USF emerged as a major research institution during the 1980s under the leadership of the university's third president John Lott Brown. During his tenure, the USF Graduate School was established in 1980. In 1986, Brown oversaw the opening of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute on the USF Tampa campus. USF became the first university in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in applied anthropology and the first in the State University System of Florida to offer a degree program in women's studies. In January 1988, USF Lakeland opened. On February 15, 1988, Francis T. Borkowski was inaugurated as the university's fourth president. He served as president for five years, laying the groundwork for the university's football program, establishing on-campus housing for the USF president at the Lifsey House, and merging several colleges into the College of Arts and Sciences.
Betty Castor became the university's fifth president and first female president when she was inaugurated in January 1994. She served as USF president for six years until 1999. During this time, USF grew to be one of the largest universities in the nation in terms of enrollment. The Florida Board of Regents named USF a "Research 1" University in 1998. In 1997, the university began its inaugural season of NCAA football. Two years later, the Herd of Thunder marching band debuted. In 2006, Castor returned to USF to lead the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions. Castor stepped down from her position as director in 2009. The university is currently led by its sixth president, Dr. Judy Genshaft, who took office in July 2000.
The University of South Florida is a comprehensive metropolitan research university. Intercollegiate Athletics are an integral part of USF and its mission is to sponsor a diverse and nationally competitive Division I program. The program serves several significant constituencies, including its student athletes, who are students first. The most important priority of the program is the progress of the student athletes toward graduation. Other priorities include the health, fitness, and emotional development of student athletes at USF.
Ed Baird Eric M. Bost John Chiang Lincoln Diaz-Balart Leo Gallagher Hulk Hogan Drake Hogestyn Lauren Hutton Pam Iorio Nicole Johnson Richard Kerlikowske Tony LaRussa Lobo Aasif Mandvi Michael Rao Adam M. Robinson Jr. Frank Shannon Kissy Simmons Tony Zappone.
The USF Tampa campus provides multiple services and resources necessary for students to succeed both in the classroom and in their personal lives. Under the Division of Student Affairs, USF students have access to involvement opportunities, on-campus housing, dining facilities, recreational outlets, health and wellness services, and more.