USF breaks previous record, collects over $151M in gifts

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The University of South Florida has reported a record-breaking year of fundraising, receiving over $151.8 million worth of gifts in fiscal year 2021-22. That’s the most generous level of support in the institution’s nearly 70-year history.

This year’s collection also marks the fourth consecutive year that philanthropic gifts have surpassed $100 million.

“Our university has a history of setting ambitious goals and surpassing expectations,” USF President Rhea Law said in a statement.

“I want to convey my deep gratitude to the thousands of USF donors who made this remarkable, record-setting achievement possible. It demonstrates how our community is investing in USF like never before, which will only help fuel our upward trajectory and lead to even greater impact on our students, faculty, region and beyond.”

The money raised over the past year represents gifts from more than 34,000 donors, including over 6,300 new donors who made their first gifts this year.

“We are deeply grateful for the continued generosity of our USF family,” USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman said in a statement.

“The growing support from our Bulls community is changing the trajectory of our university, across all of our colleges and campuses. These investments in USF empower our faculty, physicians, scientists and staff members to better serve our immensely talented and diverse student body, increasing their success and advancing research endeavors that have a global reach.”

The donations helped the university complete several projects in the last year, including:

— An Indoor Performance Facility for men’s and women’s athletics to practice and train. The university broke ground on the facility last September. The project is funded by gifts totaling more than $23 million from 515 donors.

— Plans for a new stadium on the Tampa campus. Carol and Frank Morsani made a $5 million lead gift in March to help the project gain momentum, which was followed by another $5 million commitment in April from Penny and Jeff Vinik.

— The Morsanis also pledged an additional $7 million to endow the Morsani Scholars, which will offer scholarships to USF students; create an endowed chair in geriatrics; and a directorship and professorship focused on ethical leadership in business.

— In December, the late Timothy Ubben gave $5 million to create the Ubben Family Center for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

— Longtime donors Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton gave more than $14 million to help transform fintech education in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance.

— In March, the Bellini Center for Talent Development opened its doors. Arnold F. “Arnie” and Lauren Bellini provided $10.6 million to establish the center in the Muma College of Business. The Bellini Center will work to increase job placements for USF graduates by filling the talent pipeline for Tampa Bay businesses with employees prepared to meet their needs through a three-year-plus certification program.

— In November, the university announced a $1 million gift from Reliance Medical Centers supporting innovative programs focused on geriatric health care in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and USF Health.

“It brings me great joy to see how philanthropic support has shaped my alma mater over the years,” USF Foundation Board of Directors Chair Jose Valiente said in a statement.

“By giving to USF, donors are helping more and more students succeed, which ultimately strengthens Tampa Bay and the greater community. The continued generosity of USF donors will further unlock the limitless potential of this great university.”

In addition to the philanthropic donations, the university also saw funding for several projects from the state, although Gov. Ron DeSantis did slash the $75 million previously allocated to start building the USF’s new Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences Research and Teaching Facility.

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