Anonymous Gift Plus State Match Provides USF $10 Million

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2008) - The University of South Florida announced it has received a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor in support of academic and scholarship programs for under-represented students. The gift is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the State of Florida’s matching gift program, establishing a $10 million endowment. The gift was received by the USF Foundation, which receives, invests and distributes private gifts and contributions made in support of the University of South Florida.

Of the $10 million total, $8 million has been earmarked for university-wide, need-based scholarship initiatives with preference to supporting women and minorities as part of the USF Diversity Scholarship Initiative, a priority underway to raise additional private gifts for diversity-based endowed scholarships at USF. The remaining $2 million will establish the USF Academic Endowment Fund to be used as unrestricted academic support where it is most needed, as determined by the university’s president.

The anonymous gift comes on the cusp of another major gift supporting scholarship programs for low-income, under-represented and culturally and ethnically diverse students at USF. The Helios Education Foundation announced its $2 million gift to USF creating the Helios Education Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund earlier this month. This gift is also eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the state to create a $4 million endowed scholarship fund.

Both gifts support a record-breaking $14 million in support of the university’s academic and scholarship programs for under-represented populations. USF’s current student profile boasts over 30% minority representation.

“Our goal is to attract the best and brightest students and assure that no qualified student is forced to delay a college education for financial reasons,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “The generosity and philanthropy of donors like these has never been more important than now, in the current state budget climate. The positive impact of these scholarships on the lives of our students will be felt for generations.”

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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