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USF St. Petersburg Campus Celebrates 50 Years

Hayley Phillips

The USF St. Petersburg campus (USFSP) is wrapping up an entire year’s worth of memories and celebrations as its 50th anniversary comes to a close.

Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, the institution opened its doors in 1965 and was originally intended as a temporary home for ‘overflow’ students that the Tampa campus could not house.

USF Special Collections librarian and alum, Jim Schnur, said that it came to be a fully functioning extension of the university several years after it was built.

“John Allen, in 1968, made a decision and it was a pretty risky one,” Schnur said. “He decided to open this campus up and create the first branch campus in the state university system.”

Today, the USF St. Pete campus is a learning center for nearly 4,000 students, and current USFSP students are getting the opportunity to take a glimpse into the past.

Throughout the year, the university has put on special programs and events to commemorate and celebrate the decades.

“Yesterday I went to a panel they had, a talk, just showing some movies about what USF St. Pete and like just Florida in general was like 50 years ago and the whole environment,” USFSP student, David Thompson said.

Old and new students alike are proud to be USF Bulls.

“I love going here,” USFSP student, Kent Buska said. “It’s a beautiful place, it’s always nice and sunny, and uhm it’s nice and close to the water.”

Schnur said it doesn’t matter which campus you go to or when, all that matters is the connection you share.

“You’re a bull,” Schnur said. “Whether you’re a Pinellas County, USF St. Pete student or USF Tampa student, you’re a USF student.”


USF St. Pete celebrates 50 years of learning

St. Petersburg, Fla – It’s a semicentennial celebration and the proud colors are green and gold.  USF St. Pete campus is celebrating its 50th year of operation in 2015.

The campus kicked off the year’s celebration in June with a ceremony and street renaming. Those who attended the event included USF President Judy Genshaft, Regional Chancellor of USFSP Sophia Wisniewska, Mayor Rick Kriseman, students and alumni.

“It marks 50 years of extraordinary students, brilliant faculty and dedicated staff.” said Sudsy Tschiderer,  USF St. Petersburg Alumna. “It’s about our students that are here now and up to 50 years ago.”

The school campus has a rich history that lies with the students and the buildings on campus. The campus features three main colleges. The College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, which is currently being built.

Student life has grown over the years of the university’s operation. When first opened in 1965, the school welcomed 260 students bused in from local cities. The student body population has expanded to an average of 6,000 students per semester. Even with the expansion, USF St. Petersburg has a vast size difference compared to the Tampa campus.

“I love that the class sizes are a little bit smaller so the teachers are into their students.” said Nicole Ward, a USFSP student. “It’s definitely a more intimate setting that I need in a class.”

Through the remainder of the year USFSP will host several events and seminars reflecting on the anniversary.

“Since I’ve been at this campus there are so many things that I love and I’m so glad I’m here to participate in this special year.” said Tschiderer.

For more information on upcoming anniversary events and celebrations visit



Moffitt Cancer Center Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Back in 1981, Florida Legislature passed a bill that allowed the creation of Moffitt Cancer Center. Later, in Oct. 27, 1986, it opened for the first time at the University of South Florida, making it the first cancer center in the state.

Moffitt Cancer Center was named after cancer survivor H. Lee Moffitt.

“He didn’t even want it to be named after him,” said Moffitt Media Relations Coordinator Steve Blanchard, “so, they had to trick him to get him out of the building when they named it after him and he came back, and it was a surprise to him.”

Over the years, Moffitt Cancer Center had broken new grounds in terms of architecture, funding and research.

“Moffitt is on the leading edge and the cutting edge of research for cancer, and they always are ten steps ahead of research,” stated Clinical Science Lab Coordinator Portia Weiss, “I think by the growth that the hospital is doing and the research and the teams we have in place here makes it a fantastic place to work. So, I’m very happy to be a part of this team.”

“This upcoming year is a very big year for Moffitt Cancer Center and I’m excited to see what we do next year, but it is very important to remember that until there is a cure for cancer then Moffitt is going to be right there in the middle of the fight,” said Blanchard.