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Decking offices with green and gold for USF Homecoming

Various glimpses of office decorations for Homecoming week. ORACLE GRAPHIC/BRINSON RENDA, ORACLE PHOTOS/SEAN REED AND JOE ROBERTS

On a usually barren wall in the Cell, Micro- and Molecular Biology department, green and gold lights shaped a large sparkling “U” on Tuesday.

Desks normally reserved for pushing papers were fashioned into lockers displaying the last names of department employees. Dozens of USF shirts hung from the ceiling.

The decorations were just one example of how many offices transformed into rooms festooned with green and gold this week.

As part of the general spirit displays of Homecoming, more than 19 faculty departments participated in this year’s Office Decorating Campaign, established by the Homecoming Committee to increase University involvement during Homecoming week.

“We wanted to show we had school spirit and come together as a group in the office to do something fun,” CMM Biology office manager Dawn McGowan said.

Winners of the event were awarded based on how well they completed any of the three categories: best overall, best display of school pride, or most creative.

“These departments were more competitive than I anticipated and they really got into it,” Alan Pereiras, Homecoming executive director, said. “It was a better turnout than we originally planned.”

The Integrative Biology department used the diversity of their staff’s ages to their advantage. A bulletin board was decked out in pieces of USF memorabilia that spanned generations. T-shirts from 1997 were pinned next to the current 2007 student T-shirt. Different types of cups from USF’s early years were nestled on beds of pompoms while a disco ball, hanging from the center of the room, reflected off green and gold beads strung up around the room.

“We all brought in everything that we had ever owned,” Janet Gauthier, office manager of the Integrative Biology department, said.

The Homecoming committee judged the different offices Friday and winners were announced Monday during the Homecoming Kickoff event.

This year’s first place winner for “Best Overall” was the Undergraduate Admissions office. Second place went to the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities for “Best Display of School Pride,” and third place went to the Integrative Biology department for “Most Creative.”

The first place winner received spirit baskets filled with USF Homecoming gear, a pizza party and a trophy. Second- and third-place winners received plaques for their offices.

“It’s going to be a traveling trophy, so every year the winner will get to keep it in their department,” Pereiras said.

Although not all departments won, the event helped to create a new tradition while also assisting in the effort to increase attendance at Homecoming’s Kickoff, Pereiras said.

Amanda Cobb, interim assistant director of the Office of Orientation, said that the event helped to build school spirit as well as office spirit within the different departments on campus.

“It showed the amount of Bull pride we take in the work we do,” Cobb said.

Anna Peters can be reached at (813) 974-6299 and