USF Curiosities: A 40-foot Band-Aid?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Mom! Mom, look! A giant Band-Aid!
Walking into a hospital can be a scary experience for anyone. But, for a sick child, walking into a hospital seems particularly daunting. The Children’s Research Institute (CRI) at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus makes that experience a little less scary due to its inclusion of a public art project. Art has a way of connecting people, promoting a sense of togetherness, and providing a sense of belonging. And that’s why James Rosenquist’s public art project is so important… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: A faculty airplane?

Reading Time: 3 minutes How do you normally get to campus? A car, a bicycle, a bus, or walk… 
What about an airplane? Well, that’s just what USF faculty members did in the early 1980s. While the Tampa campus had permanent faculty members, its sister campus at Ft. Myers did not. Initially, Tampa campus faculty members would make a 24 to 48 hour round trip in a car just to teach a three hour class… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: Chariot races?

Reading Time: 2 minutes When you think of student activities on our campuses, what comes to mind? Basketball games, charity drives, bake sales, jogging, walking with friends, maybe lunches on the lawn… But…. what about chariot races?
In 1966, the Tampa Times reported that the opening of Greek Week, the “Festival of Dionysus,” was full of last-minute preparations for the chariot race, including lighthearted “sabotage” attempts by rival participants… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: A Pablo Picasso sculpture 10 stories tall?

Reading Time: 7 minutes In 1971, a small-scale model of a Pablo Picasso sculpture, “Bust of a Woman,” was donated to the University of South Florida. Fifty years later, it received new attention from researchers after it was spotted on a shelf in the Tampa Library in 2018. Afterwards, Special Collections staff dug into the sculpture’s history and the intriguing story behind the model resurfaced… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: The Golden Brahman?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Five years after the University of South Florida was founded and long before there was a football team, USF had no mascot.  The issue had first been discussed during committee meetings convened to develop the school’s constitution, but it wouldn’t be revisited again until the University Center sponsored a contest to name the school mascot.

USF Curiosities: Planting trees at “Sandspur U”?

Reading Time: 2 minutes What are you most proud of in your tenure at the University of South Florida? Margaret Fisher didn’t select a moment of personal triumph or individual achievement in response to this question. Instead, she honed in on a moment that united the campus community. Recorded in the USF 50th Anniversary Oral History Project, Fisher, who arrived at USF in 1960 as the director of women’s affairs, describes how she was particularly proud of an “all-university enterprise,” where faculty, staff, and students came together to plant trees in the quad… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: Bottle Cap U? Sandspur U?

Reading Time: 3 minutes With the name “University of South Florida,” most people except USF to be located in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Instead, USF is located in the middle of the state in Tampa, a city that is not near southern Florida at all! So, how did the University of South Florida get its name? When Florida Governor LeRoy Collins signed a law in 1955… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: Chickens in the elevator?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Well, you can’t say that we don’t have fun at the University of South Florida…
As one of the first resident instructors at USF, Phyllis Marshall came to the Tampa campus in the fall of 1960. At the time, Marshall was in charge of 47 women, who lived on the 4th floor of the University Center. She remembers the way the residents developed a set of rules for themselves and created new social organizations. She also remembers how the residents participated in some early antics… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: An elephant on the roof?

Reading Time: 2 minutes From the beginning, USF faculty members have proved themselves to be resourceful and imaginative instructors. So, when an elephant passed away at nearby Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, USF’s biology professors saw this as a unique opportunity… (Continue Reading)

USF Curiosities: Sand as far as the eye could see?

Reading Time: 4 minutes The year was 1956… At the time, an old WWII Hillsborough Army Airfield occupied a large expanse of Fowler Avenue. On December 18th, the Florida Cabinet voted to transform that airfield into the location of a new public university. The University of South Florida Tampa campus would eventually be built on what once was the practice bombing range. Two years later, ground breaking ceremonies took place on the Tampa campus, with contracts for the first three university buildings complete… (Continue Reading)