USF Announces $10 Million Gift From Trustee and Alumnus Jordan Zimmerman To College of Arts and Sciences
The Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications at the University of South Florida is named in honor of the Zimmerman Advertising founder and chairman.
The change was made official this morning by a vote of the USF Board of Trustees. The newly renamed Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications recognizes the USF alumnus for his gift of $10 million to the school, the largest gift to the College of Arts and Sciences in its history. The gift will put the school on the map globally to attract advertising and mass communications students.
“The University of South Florida is so proud that one of our own Trustees, Jordan Zimmerman, has made this commitment to the College of Arts and Sciences and the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “The combination of his passion for his profession and his continuous support for the school creates greater learning and working opportunities for our students.”
University officials held a special ceremony today to unveil the school’s name change. In addition to Zimmerman and Genshaft, Joel Momberg, chief executive officer of the USF Foundation and Eric Eisenberg, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke at the event.
“I am pleased to be part of the University of South Florida, and beyond honored to have the school that I attended bear my name,” Zimmerman said. “Being able to give back in a way that will change the lives of today’s students and future generations by enabling them to pursue their own dreams is something I’ve always aspired to do.”
Eisenberg said the College of Arts and Sciences is extremely grateful for Zimmerman’s vision and support. “The advertising and mass communications industries have been rapidly changing, and it is imperative that we transform the way we are preparing our students to succeed in the world they are about to enter,” Eisenberg said. “This transformational gift from Trustee Zimmerman will enable us to become a destination program for aspiring advertising and mass communications professionals.”
Today’s announced gift is part of the $1 billion USF: Unstoppable Campaign.
Momberg said Zimmerman’s philanthropy serves as a powerful example of giving back to the next generation in one’s own profession. “USF Trustee Jordan Zimmerman has a history of giving to USF, with a focus on making a difference for future communications and advertising professionals,” Momberg said. “We’re grateful to Jordan for his continuing generosity to USF students. Jordan is a giant in the advertising industry and has consistently paid it forward to the next generation.”
Zimmerman has been a longtime supporter of the advertising program at USF. In 2002, he endowed a scholarship for advertising students, and he established an endowed professorship in advertising in 2006. Zimmerman’s unwavering commitment to providing USF students with the best advertising education is evident through cutting-edge classes he’s designed with USF faculty. Top executives from Zimmerman’s agency can be found each week in the fall on campus teaching students the most up-to-date advertising strategies.
The newly re-named school bearing Zimmerman’s name already is known for the Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP), a joint effort between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Muma College of Business. Founded by Zimmerman in 2005, this unique program immerses students in the world of advertising by housing them in the ZAP Living Learning Community on campus while working toward a business degree and a master’s degree focused on advertising analytics.
“This transformational gift will not only help the advertising program, but it also will propel our multimedia journalism, broadcast production and public relations programs to new heights,” Eisenberg said.
Zimmerman added: “My goal is to make the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications the number one of its kind in the nation. This gift, along with the successful ZAP program will continue to bring even more currency and business rigor to the curriculum, which is focused on outcomes and student successes. It will help to advance the School of Advertising and Mass Communications by building a program of excellence that will increase the number of students participating in the program and ultimately working in the advertising and mass communications industries.”
In April, Zimmerman will be honored by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Zimmerman was selected for membership in this prestigious organization that honors the achievements of outstanding individuals and encourages youth to pursue their dreams through higher education. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon renowned leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversity, and who are committed to philanthropy and higher education.