"USF: Unstoppable" Campaign Kicks Off
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2009) Amid green and gold festivity and fanfare, the University of South Florida launched the public phase of the most ambitious, comprehensive campaign in the university’s 53-year history at a gala held Tuesday evening in the USF Marshall Student Center.
Called USF: Unstoppable, the campaign’s goal is to raise $600 million. Judy Genshaft, President of the USF System, USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg and Campaign Chair Les Muma made the announcement before more than 500 donors, distinguished alumni, faculty, staff and friends who attended the system-wide kick-off event.
To date, a total of $317 million has been raised in donor gifts and pledges.
“Tonight is a night to celebrate two things: perseverance and promise,” said Genshaft. “Our students are solving big problems. Our faculty is changing the world. USF is building the university of the future. We believe our mission to serve the educational, economic and health needs of our community, Florida and the world is too important to be deterred or delayed.”
Twenty-two booths demonstrating some of these ways in which USF has become an unstoppable university were on display at the kick-off event.
Genshaft stated that the USF System now educates more than 47,000 students with academic credentials rising each year. This year’s freshman class boasts an average high school GPA of 3.8 and has an average SAT score of 1185. Genshaft also cited the recent Chronicle of Higher Education designation that USF is the fastest-growing research university in the nation with a staggering 213 percent increase.
The USF: Unstoppable Campaign will raise funds for academic enhancements, capital, faculty, scholarships and priority needs throughout the entire USF System. Specifically, the five areas of the university that will be impacted by the campaign include students and faculty, interdisciplinary research, global and community impact, health and athletics.
Muma (shown left) noted that USF: Unstoppable is more than a campaign slogan. “USF: Unstoppable is an apt description of who we are, what we are made of, and where we are going,” he said.
The USF: Unstoppable Campaign is the third comprehensive campaign in the university’s history. In 1991, USF successfully completed a $117 million campaign titled Campaign USF; and in 2001 USF exceeded its fundraising goal to raise $256 million to complete the Great Achievements – Great Expectations Campaign.
The University of South Florida System 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 $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.
Media contact: Jay Wilson