USF President Genshaft, Steven Greenbaum Donate $1 Million

Passport Scholarships will open new educational doors for USF System student who want to travel abroad.


USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg comments on the scholarship gift announced by USF President Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steven Greenbaum. Photo credit: Aimee Blodgett / USF News


By Vickie Chachere

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2011)  - The University of South Florida Foundation announced Friday that USF System President Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steven Greenbaum, are creating an endowment of $1 million dedicated to the financial support of USF students who want to study abroad. The gift will create the new Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholars Fund.

The Genshaft/Greenbaum donation of $1 million over five years is eligible for matching funds from the state of Florida through the University Major Gifts Challenge Grant Program, creating a total endowment of $1.75 million.

 “From the beginning of my tenure at USF, Steve and I have dreamed that every student would have an opportunity to travel abroad,” said Genshaft. “With this fund, we want to ensure that students with important, innovative ideas can fulfill their goals of doing scholarship and research around the globe.”

International travel is increasingly becoming an essential part of students’ education if they are to be competitive and successful in a global economy, Genshaft noted. Passport Scholarships will allow students to have this opportunity for a few weeks, a summer, a semester or even longer.

Genshaft said students will be selected based on the educational opportunity they are pursuing and its potential to fulfill their educational goals, rather than just on traditional scholarship criteria such as grade point average.

While other travel scholarship programs are available, many have strict criteria on specific majors. The Genshaft/Greenbaum Scholarship will be available to all undergraduate and graduate students in the USF System who want to participate in sanctioned education programs abroad.

Last year, 810 USF students were studying abroad, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. The Education Abroad Office administered 30 Faculty-led programs in approximately 20 countries. Nationally, study abroad participation has been on an upward trajectory for more than two decades.

“We strongly believe that international travel is an essential part of a student’s education. When they travel, they learn about other cultures, they learn understanding and they learn how to care for one another,” the President said. “It is an experience students never forget.”

“Why this program?” Greenbaum added. “We believe in education and we also believe that travel can expand your horizons.  As parents we have made a point of travelling with our sons from the time they were very young, to expose them to different people and different cultures.”

Increasingly, employers are looking for new graduates to have overseas travel on their resumes and broad understanding of global issues. For USF students to be properly prepared for the workforce, they must have experienced different cultures and traditions, Genshaft added.

USF Foundation and USF: Unstoppable Campaign Chairman Les Muma said President Genshaft’s gift is indicative of her leadership style and her love for the USF System.

“President Genshaft has once again led by example,” said Muma. “True leadership requires action, and this gift from Judy and Steve signals their continuing commitment to the USF System and the USF: Unstoppable Campaign. I know their generosity will serve as an inspiration to everyone in the Tampa Bay region.”

Today’s gift is part of a larger pattern of giving by Genshaft and Greenbaum. Past giving has focused on the Genshaft Fellowship for Graduate Students and numerous programs around the university.

 “Like so many other faculty and staff in the USF System, President Genshaft has consistently supported the institutions we cherish,” said USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg. “We are grateful for the generosity shown today by Judy and Steve. This remarkable gift cements an extraordinary legacy for them both at USF.”

The USF: Unstoppable Campaign is a comprehensive fundraising effort by the University of South Florida System to celebrate the energy, vision and future of one of the country’s most exciting and engaged universities. To date, the campaign has raised more than $400 million toward a $600 million goal.

Vickie Chachere can be reached at 813-974-6251.