USF Raises Record Total in Private Gifts

Tampa, Fla. (July 18, 2008) - This week, the University of South Florida announced that private fundraising efforts reached $81,299,685 in gifts and commitments for the fiscal year that ended June 30. This total represents a record for annual charitable giving benefitting the university during its 52-year history. The record amount more than doubles annual fundraising totals from as recently as five years ago.

"This is a remarkable achievement and solidifies that USF is truly a top research university within the state of Florida and the nation.  These gifts by our alumni and friends further recognize USF's impact to our global society," said USF President Judy Genshaft.

The USF Foundation, which receives, invests, and distributes private gifts and contributions made in support of USF, credits this year’s record-setting success to renewed efforts to share with its supporters the accomplishments and opportunities to support talented researchers and teachers, the impacts of scholarship support on worthy students, and the outcomes their investments in USF have throughout the world.

Specifically, this year's giving total was highlighted by several major gifts funding key university initiatives benefitting facilities, scholarships, and even a new campus for USF Polytechnic.

In December, two gifts totaling $10 million were given to support the construction of USF's new campus in Lakeland. Two of the region's premiere economic development organizations, the Central Florida Development Council and the Lakeland Economic Development Council, each gave $5 million to construct the campus along I-4 in the heart of Florida's High Tech Corridor.

In February, USF raised a total of $14 million dedicated to enhance the university’s academic and scholarship programs. The Helios Education Foundation announced a $2 million gift to create the Helios Education Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund. The $2 million gift is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the state of Florida, yielding $4 million for the USF's scholarship programs for underrepresented populations. Just one week after the Helios announcement, the university announced it had received a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor in support of academic and scholarship programs for underrepresented students. This gift is also eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the state.

In March, USF alumni, civic leaders, and local philanthropists Pam and Les Muma gave the university athletics department a $3 million gift as the lead effort on a basketball center for the men's and women's programs.

The year ended on a high note in June as USF's annual Faculty and Staff Campaign effort raised a record $3.75 million from current and retired USF employees. More than 2,100 USF employees stepped forward to support the annual campaign that helps provide student financial aid, inspires cutting-edge research, and helps to establish and sustain exciting new initiatives throughout the university.

"USF’s ability to raise $81.3 million this year shows a remarkable vote of confidence from our donors and tells us that they believe that an investment in higher education at the University of South Florida is a sound investment even during these uncertain economic times," said USF Foundation Board Chairman Les Muma.

Many of these contributions will be put to work immediately. For example, in 2007-2008, almost 2,200 USF students received $3 million in privately funded scholarship dollars. The proactive thought and generosity of several donors helped to create new scholarship opportunities for students who are the first in their families to attend college, while other scholarship opportunities were created to benefit underserved student populations who, without such support, might not be able to attend college.

"The generosity of our donors has made it possible for many students to continue their education, for faculty to pursue their research, and for state-of-the-art facilities to be built," said Genshaft. "Ultimately, the collective efforts of our donors are allowing the university to meet the demands of the region we serve, and our global reach is being felt throughout all corners of the world. I am honored that so many have stepped forward to support such progress."

For more USF giving news and information, visit the USF Foundation's new Web site at

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.


Story Source:

Jeremy Canody
Communications & Marketing Officer
USF Foundation
(813) 974-5146


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