TODAY’s Here Today!

Break out the beachwear! Everyone’s invited to the Tropical Paradise-themed welcome event.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2012) – Throw on your best green and gold beach wear Thursday morning to welcome the TODAY Show to USF and show the world what life is like in our “tropical paradise.” That’s the theme.


TODAY’s Fourth Hour hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda have correspondent Sara Haines doing live segments on the show between 10 and 11 a.m. at the Marshall Student Center bull fountains. Our crowd begins forming at 8:30 and breakfast will be served to early-arriving students.


USF is one of the top six finalists in TODAY’s College Challenge to find the school with the greatest creativity, originality and most school spirit. The winner will have the fourth hour of TODAY broadcasting live during the first week of October.


But first the winning school has to get the most votes. Voting is easy. Click here or visit The deadline to get your vote in is Sept. 24, 10 a.m. The winner will be announced Sept. 25, at


The show broadcasted live from Syracuse University on Monday, Ohio State Tuesday and the University of Tennessee today. It’s USF’s turn to make a memorable showing tomorrow.


“We’re expecting lots of sunglasses, flip flops, towels, board shorts and sun tan lotion,” said Media and Public Affairs Manager Lara Wade-Martinez. “No one has to look hard for those items. And who knows? Maybe we can convince the TODAY Show to move from Times Square when they see how great our folks look here.”


And a colorful crowd it is. Rocky in his beach outfit, the Herd of Thunder, the Sun Dolls, USF’s athletes and cheerleaders, the Green and Gold Guys, and the Beef Studs will be there joining USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard. A WBUL disc jockey will be spinning tunes to add to the tropical atmosphere.


“We just found out on Monday that USF is a finalist and we’ve put together quite a welcome party,” said Wade-Martinez. “Our originality, creativity and school spirit are going to shine through brilliantly.”


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.