USF St. Petersburg celebrates 50 years

In celebration of its semi centennial, the USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) campus is holding events throughout the academic year, ending in early May. Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska said now is the time to look back at where the campus started along with what it hopes to become.

“In 1965, St. Petersburg, like so many cities in Florida, was just coming into its own,” Wisniewska said in an official statement. “The local arts community was growing as was political activism. The first Baby Boomers were now of college age and (USFSP) was established to help meet a rising demand by students who sought to make their mark in the world.

“During the 1980s and ’90s, our reputation grew and distinctive, new programs attracted students from across the country. In 2006, (USFSP) became a separately accredited university within the USF System.”

As for the future, Wisniewska said she hopes the campus will grow from 6,000 students to 10,000 in the next 10 years. Construction began last spring for a new 68,000 square-foot building for the Kate Tiedemann College of Business and the campus offers 24 undergraduate degrees along with 13 graduate programs.

“We’re building a real college campus where people love to be a part of it,” Jozef Gherman, USFSP student body president, said in an interview with WUSF. “So it’s not just about the buildings being added to the campus but it’s also the culture of the campus that’s changing to be a real college atmosphere.”

Information about the events is available at, along with a timeline of how the campus developed and stories of alumni.