Articles

It's Official: The Big Screen in the Atrium Is Now Known as the Richard A. Corbett Digital Wall

By Keith Morelli

Richard Corbett and Rocky

TAMPA (April 26, 2017) -- Though the new Muma College of Business digital wall has been up and dry-running for several weeks, the man who paid for it hadn't seen it. He hadn't seen the content created just for the high-resolution wall; the faculty, alumni and student spotlights; the social media feeds or the four cable channels broadcasting simultaneously on half the screen.

Dick Corbett saw for the first time his monster wall, made up of 32, 55-inch screens at the dedication Tuesday. With more than 100 guests there to celebrate with him, Corbett, a former collegiate boxer-turned-developer-turned-philanthropist and an enviable ball of energy, said he paid for the wall for one reason and one reason only.

"It's for the kids," he said.

From vigorously shaking hands with Rocky the Bull, who wheeled out a massive cake adorned with the image of Corbett, to licking the icing off the cake knife, he was elated with how the south wall of the Muma College of Business splashed color over the room.

"The main thing is that this is super for the students," he said. Students were called in on a focus group late last year and provided plenty of ideas about what they wanted to see on the wall.

"The kids," Corbett said, "they designed it."

Corbett developed the International Plaza near the Tampa International Airport and currently is working on building cold-storage units for Port Tampa Bay. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Corbett graduated from Notre Dame and Harvard Business School. Along the way, he served as a presidential aide in the John F. Kennedy administration and at one time, owned the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team. He even served as one of seven commissioners on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"USF," he said during a short animated speech to the crowd, as a portrait of him was displayed on the wall, "what a great place."

Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem said the Corbett's wall is a modern marvel.

"We have changed the face of the Muma College of Business forever," Limayem said.

Among those in attendance: Les Muma, whose $25 million gift a few years ago resulted in the business college being named after him; Lynn Pippenger, whose gift led to the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy and Mohamad Ali Hasbini, whose gift to the Doctor of Business Administration program resulted in the Mohamad Ali Hasbini DBA Suite.

Also on hand was USF President Judy Genshaft.

"The USF community is proud and honored to dedicate this wall to Dick Corbett," she said. "He really has made a difference in the community."