USF Sarasota-Manatee Celebrates Re-opening of Clyde G. Nixon Courtyard

SARASOTA-MANATEE, Fla. (September 2, 2009) -- USF Sarasota-Manatee celebrated a grand re-opening of the Clyde G. Nixon campus courtyard during the first week of the fall semester. The event was attended by over 200 people and included a ribbon cutting celebration and a barbeque lunch sponsored by the Student Government Association at the new outdoor barbeque space near the pond. 


The courtyard was under construction during the summer, and the opening coincided with the first week of fall semester classes, the Week of Welcome, the opening of Jonathan’s Café (which replaces Einstein Bros. Bagels), and the new fitness center on the campus.


“Clyde would have loved this new courtyard,” said Joan Nixon, wife of the late Clyde G. Nixon, for whom the courtyard is named. “He was a great appreciator of beautiful spaces and gardens. As much as he loved this building and the thrill of watching it go up, to him education was more than bricks and mortar – more than classrooms and books. He considered learning a lifelong process, and would consider this a truly inspired –and inspiring space.”


The new space features trees, three large fountains/reflection pools, an outdoor barbeque, a huge shade structure, benches for seating, and a raised statue of a Bull on a platform. School board members, elected officials, community leaders, donors and students participated in the ribbon-cutting.


The Student Government Association and the Facilities Planning and Management Department have been working hard all summer to make this courtyard re-design a reality, and we are so excited and proud of how it turned out,” said Alyssa Anderson, Student Government Association President. “This courtyard will be the center of campus life and students, staff, faculty, and the community will benefit from it for years to come.”


The funding for the courtyard project comes from Capital Improvement Trust funds derived from student tuition activity fees and PECO Infrastructure funds. By Florida Statutes, both of these funding categories must be used for the construction of capital "bricks and mortar" improvements and the improvement of student life only, and cannot be used to fund other campus needs. The Student Government Association voted to make the courtyard more “student friendly” and worked very closely with the Facilities Planning and Management Department to design a space.



USF Sarasota-Manatee is an upper-level campus for those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit. The regional campus offers the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown campus, including classes in south Sarasota County at Manatee Community College Venice.