Tampa, Fla. – Phyllis P. Marshall is the backbone of the University of South Florida. She was there from the very beginning in 1960.
Marshall lived in the first student union called the University Center. She was essentially the first resident assistant on campus. The girls’ dorms were on the fourth floor of the building.
President John Allen wanted the focus of the school to be on academics and merits, not any social aspects.
“He and the other deans and the other students did not want beauty contests, popularity contests and they didn’t want Greek organizations either,” Andrew Huse, associate librarian at USF said.
Huse said Marshall was an advocate for students. “If she didn’t go to the event, they might not have been able to have the event.”
Marshall is known as “Ms. USF” for her involvement with students. Among many ideas, she helped advocate for students to bank at the credit union. In her mind, it was not fair for students that did not have transportation.
“I think she was an advocate for integrating students with the university.” Huse said.
The University Center was later named the Marshall Student Center in 1994 to coincide with Marshall’s retirement.
The sixth annual Taste of Honey was held at the USF’s botanical gardens today. Over a hundred different varieties of honeys were available to taste test. Kim Hutton, USF’s botanical gardens program coordinator, thinks it’s really nice that students and staff bring home honey from their travels.
“We have some students that went to Africa and different spots and they remember us and come back.” explained Hutton.
Along with the cost of admission, gift baskets were raffled to raise money. The event raises money for the botanical gardens’ beekeeping club. There is no specific goal, but costs of maintaining the program can be expensive.
The club meets once a month starting in November for a year. Lessons include basic beekeeping instruction and hands on experience with honey bees. The students become certified beekeepers when they graduate from the program. Hutton says the beekeeping program is their way of serving the community. Beekeepers will remove bees from your home free of charge.
According to Hutton, Hillsborough County has the most certified beekeepers in the state of Florida. Brent Weisman, Florida master beekeeper, is the instructor of the beekeeping program. The ideal goal for him is to have a barn and instructional pavilion where school groups can learn about bees. Weisman hopes the general public could learn and understand more about bees.
“They are beneficial for human life, they have evolved over millions of years, they are not dangerous, and they are not aggressive.” he says.
Armando Gort had one dream when he was a boy: to have his own farm. Today, that dream is a reality.
There are many animals on Gort’s farm, even though his original thought was that he would only have a few horses. He began riding horses as a young child.
“I started when I was five or six years old. My dad used to have animals, so he got me involved with animals,” he said.
He is now the founder of a nonprofit called HorsePower for Kids. Children and adults come to learn and interact with the animals.
All ages are welcome. There is a petting zoo for younger kids, and older kids can ride the horses.
It takes many volunteers to run the nonprofit. Saskia Ravelli, farm manager, says volunteers provide 95 percent of the help.
“On a regular basis during the week, we probably have about 80, but with special events, it goes up to about 300,” Ravelli said.
HorsePower for Kids is hosting a fall fundraiser with hay rides, live music, pony rides, games and activities. The event runs Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Oct. 3 through Nov. 1. Admission is $10 per person.
Money raised pays for the care of animals. Ravelli said it costs $25,000 to operate the farm.