While you were away …

The nation in brief:

Headlines such as ‘We got him’ appeared in newspapers nationwide after the capture of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The capture, which occurred in the third week of December, was the biggest that U.S. military forces have had since the end of the war in May.

Former Vice President Al Gore gave his endorsement to Democratic Presidential nominee Howard Dean. This was Dean’s biggest endorsement since the beginning of his campaign.

The U.S. government raised the terror alert to orange at the end of December and provided stronger security during the holidays and New Year celebrations.

On Sunday, the NASA rover, Spirit landed safely on Mars. This was NASA’s first landing since 1997. Spirit will be used to take geologic and photographic surveys of Mars.

USF News in brief:

Jack and Janis Boyd, alumni of USF, gave an estate gift of $7.5 – million to USF for scholarships. The pledge gift will be used toward endowed business and athletics scholarships. Their pledge is the largest the USF has ever received.

USF’s Chinsegut Hill in Brooksville was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Chinsegut Hill’s house and ground is now being used as USF’s conference and retreat center.

USF’s School of Architecture and Community Design was recognized by Design Intelligence magazine as one of America’s Best Architecture and Design schools for 2004. USF ranks in the top 40 out of about 120 accredited programs in the United States.

USF broke ground for a new building that will be added to the College of Business Administration building. The 45,000 square-foot addition is the first new construction at the college in about 30 years.

USF’s School of Library and Information Sciences received a federal grant of $324,008 from the Institute of Museum of Library Sciences to recruit and educate librarians. The grant will also help in supporting an enhanced distance education master’s program.

Jorge Nef, a professor and director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at USF, was inducted as a fellow into the World Academy of Art and Science.

Julie Goodwill and Lavenia Toole-Holt, two researchers at USF’s Center for Urban Transportation and National Center of Transit Research, won national awards for being outstanding graduate students.