Over 3,000 Students Charged Up for "Stampede of Service"

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 9, 2009) – More than 3,000 students have signed up to participate in the University of South Florida’s 2009 Stampede of Service, to be held Jan. 17.  Kick-off starts 9 a.m. at the Marshall Student Center with a send-off by USF President Judy Genshaft, SOS Founder, Maxon Victor, Rocky the Bull, the Herd of Thunder and USF’s cheer leaders. 


The students will volunteer at more than 60 organizations and not-for-profit groups located throughout Tampa Bay including Lowry Park Zoo, the American Legion, Metropolitan Ministries, Seniors in Service, Parents & Children Advance Together and the Mayor’s Beautification Program.   One group of student volunteers will be joined by President Genshaft in service at the YET Center in the East Tampa neighborhood of Jackson Heights located at 3310 Lake Avenue.  Service hours are between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a post event gathering at USF’s Greek Village until 3 p.m.


“The University of South Florida is absolutely committed to the community in every way,” said President Genshaft.  “The Stampede of Service began in 2002, as part of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and has grown into a firmly established and growing tradition.  I am so proud of our students and their commitment to service, especially to the Tampa Bay region.  Since 2002, the SOS has increased from 300 to almost 2,000 student volunteers.  I look forward to seeing even more students participating this year.”


USF is the only university in Florida recognized nationally as a Community Engaged University by the Carnegie Foundation.  USF ranked first in Florida and fifth in the nation for participation in Alternative Spring Break service programs. 


“A committee of students has been working tirelessly to make this the biggest and best SOS to date,” said Amy Simon, associate director for the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, a department within the Division of Student Affairs.  “SOS offers students a special opportunity to give back to their community by volunteering their time, skills and compassion but we see this spirit all year round.  In a year’s time, we’ve seen students provide more than 128,000 hours of volunteer service.  I believe USF is doing a great job of instilling the spirit of community service we see reflected in so much of what we do academically and in our research.” 


Buses will take most of the students to their respective locations immediately following the kick-off event (9:20 a.m.), leaving from the Visual Arts parking Lot.


For more information on this project, contact Simon at (813) 974-5317 or asimon@admin.usf.edu.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

– USF –