Advertising program gets million-dollar donation

The Denise and Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation recently presented the University of South Florida’s Mass Communications advertising program with a gift of one million dollars, the largest donation in its history.

The donation will be distributed over a period of years, and when complete, the University will ask the state for a partial match of funds. In this particular case, the state of Florida will be donating $750,000.

“It will probably be four or five years before the students see the full effect of the gift,” said Edward Friedlander, director of the School of Mass Communications. “It will have a significant impact over time.”

All of the donation will be going to the Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP). The undergraduate program began last fall.

The goal of the donation was to spearhead fundraising campaigns and to start a Zimmerman school of advertising independent of the mass communications program already at USF, according to USF graduate and Zimmerman Advertising founder and chairman Jordan Zimmerman.

ZAP is a curriculum written by Zimmerman and his team of executives. After researching the old curriculum, Zimmerman found that it was the same as when he had attended USF.

“The world had changed, but the curriculum hadn’t,” Zimmerman said.

With the million-dollar donation, Zimmerman wants to find and fund the best professors for ZAP.

“My goal is to build the finest and most relevant ad school in the country, if not the world,” Zimmerman said.

Although the program is relatively young, Zimmerman’s efforts seem to be making an impact among students.

“I got more from those two classes than I did from all the other classes I have ever taken in my college career,” said Luke Sokolewicz, a USF graduate who was a student in the first class of the ZAP program.

The Denise and Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation gives money to education and the betterment of children, as well as the M.S. Society and the March of Dimes.

“I know in my heart that the Zimmerman Family Foundation believes in the success of its advertising students,” said Sokolewicz, “The Foundation’s contributions will make USF graduates of ZAP the luckiest students in the nation.”