The University of South Florida has kicked off the new school year with more wins than losses. The Bulls are off to a 2-2 start for the football season but the college has a few other wins to celebrate, which evens out the win-loss ratio on the field.
For the fifth year, in a row, USF ranked among the top 50 public universities in America, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best colleges.
Tampa General Hospital gave USF a $25 million gift to secure the naming rights for the Center for Athletic Excellence, an operations facility that will be included as part of USF’s new on-campus stadium project and will feature a dedicated clinical space for TGH. This is the largest gift, to date, for USF Athletics.
Tampa Bay Business and Wealth reached out to Rhea Law, president of USF, to talk about the flurry of activity in the new semester.
Talk about the relationship between USF and TGH. I know it’s an incredible partnership in the health space but now they are expanding that into the athletics department, with a large donation and involvement with the stadium project. This appears to be another way for two important players in Tampa Bay to work together to help the whole community.
USF and Tampa General Hospital have supported one another for more than 50 years. TGH is our university’s primary teaching hospital and, after decades of working together, we recently took our partnership a step further by forming USF Tampa General Physicians, a joint affiliation that allows us to work together for the benefit of the Tampa Bay region. This new physician management service organization is now one of the largest academic medical groups in the state of Florida.
Earlier this month, USF announced a historic $25 million gift from TGH which names the USF Athletics District and the Tampa General Hospital Center for Athletic Excellence, a state-of-the-art operations facility that will be part of USF’s on-campus stadium project and feature dedicated space for clinical behavioral health services. This gift is an incredible investment in our students, our university and our community and it will have far-reaching positive impacts for generations to come. We are incredibly grateful to John Couris, and his team at TGH, for their phenomenal partnership and support of our university.
Regarding the stadium project, what are the next big steps for that?
The Florida Board of Governors recently approved USF’s financing plan for the on-campus stadium, signaling state-level support and a significant step forward for this transformational project. We are currently in the design phase, incorporating elements of the feedback we gathered from the university and broader communities into the project.
The on-campus stadium will be a game-changer for our institution. It will greatly enhance the USF student experience and provide a compelling reason for our alumni, Bulls fans and community members to visit our campus and come together in support of our university.
It’s been a big year for USF — the stadium is in the works; the university is now a part of the AAU and continues to move up in the U.S. News rankings. What is it like leading an institution through all this growth? It seems to be happening fast.
Those who know me will tell you that I’m a big fan of forward motion — and I like to move fast. It’s been such a joy to lead the University of South Florida through all this growth and, especially, our university’s recent invitation to join the AAU.
Throughout the years, USF has served as a catalyst for growth in our region and the state — driving economic development and fostering meaningful partnerships with businesses and community organizations. Our AAU position provides a unique opportunity for our university to make an even greater impact in the future.
As someone who grew up here and has been affiliated with USF for decades, I am proud to see how the university has transformed into a global powerhouse.
What would you share with the business leader alums in the community? How can we get involved and support the school?
Stay connected and stay involved with your alma mater. I’m a proud USF alumna and I know that our university, truly, is a special place. The continued involvement of our global alumni network makes it even more special.
I encourage my fellow Bulls to attend USF athletic events, come back to campus for USF’s Homecoming festivities (Oct. 8-14), and get involved with the USF Alumni Association. We have a variety of alumni groups that help our Bulls network stay connected and give back to their communities. There are so many opportunities to share your Bull pride — all you have to do is seek them out and pursue them.
In addition, USF is your university and we are here to serve as a resource for you. Come to us with your goals and let’s talk about the challenges our university can help you solve. USF’s recently launched Office of University Community Partnerships maintains a list of ways you can partner with our university. Whether you’re looking for research support, faculty expertise or talented graduates to work for your company — USF is here to help.
For more information on the USF Bulls fall schedule visit gousfbulls.com.