JMLC Auditorium Named in Honor of Kokolakis Family

TAMPA, FL (Friday, January 25, 2008) -- A ceremony was held today to officially name the main auditorium of C.W. Bill Young Hall as the Kokolakis Family Auditorium, in honor of the Kokolakis’ family $100,000 contribution to the University of South Florida’s Joint Military Leadership Center to support construction of C.W. Bill Young Hall.

J. Kokolakis Contracting, Inc. and Baker-Barrios Architects are the Design-Build Team responsible for the construction of C.W. Bill Young Hall. Eight members of the Kokolakis family attended including John Kokolakis, founder of J. Kokolakis Contracting, and his son, Joseph Kokolakis, President and Owner of J. Kokolakis Contracting.

The ceremony was conducted in recognition of the Kokolakis Family’s monetary contribution to the construction of C.W. Bill Young Hall and outstanding support to the university’s JMLC throughout the construction. During the ceremony John Sarao, Interim Director of the JMLC highlighted Joseph Kokolakis’ personal interest and active participation in the construction of C.W. Bill Young Hall to ensure that the JMLC and the university received a high quality, state-of-the-art facility as well as the Kokolakis family’s commitment to their company’s values of quality, integrity, and accountability.

After the official naming of the auditorium, Sarao also presented certificates of appreciation to various individuals of J. Kokolakis Contracting, Baker-Barrios Architects, Corporate Interiors and USF’s Facilities Planning department, Classroom Technology Services department and Undergraduate Studies, who went above and beyond their normal responsibilities in the construction of C.W. Bill Young Hall.

The nation’s future military leaders will be trained in C.W. Bill Young Hall, the newest building on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida which is home to the JMLC and USF’s ROTC programs. The Kokolakis Family Auditorium seats 220 and has 3 large projectors with accompanying screens for multi-media presentations. It is also video conference capable to support transmission of ROTC classes to affiliate schools while reducing instructor/student commuting. The auditorium’s moveable walls adjoin 4 individual classrooms of 36 seats each, ultimately giving the auditorium a total capacity of 360 seats when fully open.

This arrangement of auditorium and classrooms will offer maximum flexibility and support the Joint Military Leadership Center’s sponsored symposiums for ROTC students and webcast to remote locations; ROTC war gaming opportunities; web casting of guest lecturers and remote participation in various professional conferences and events.

The JMLC’s mission is to provide ROTC cadets/midshipmen/officer candidates with unique core competencies and skills in leadership development, global understanding, and military/national defense strategies. They will oversee and provide an academically-structured, research-based, and values-driven program that educates, trains, and prepares military Officers and Service Leaders for their leadership roles in the continuing transformation of America’s Armed Forces in the dynamic and challenging global environment. The Director of the JMLC, Luis Visot, is currently on active duty in the Middle East.

The University of South Florida is one of only 38 campuses in the Nation that have ROTC programs from all of the Nation’s Armed Services (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force). A total of 323 college and university campuses in America host an ROTC program from at least one Armed Service. More than 370 undergraduate men and women currently participate in the USF ROTC programs. Most of them attend undergraduate classes exclusively at USF, but many are undergraduate students at nearby colleges and universities that do not have their own ROTC program, faculty, and facilities.