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Muma College of Business' Brightest Students Treated to Dinner, Pep Talks

By Keith Morelli

Dean Limayem speaking to students

TAMPA (Jan. 31, 2017) -- Dozens of the brightest and most motivated freshmen at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business were treated recently to dinner and inspiring speeches; talks telling them they are special because of their high grade-point averages and urging them to stay in college even when times are difficult.

The dinner was held in the atrium of the Muma College of Business for first-year business students who had posted a 3.75 grade-point average or higher at the end of their first semester.

Nick Wampler, 19, came to USF in the fall and enrolled as a finance major. The Merritt Island native said he wanted to attend college in Florida and Tampa is just close enough to his hometown so he can visit when he wishes. His degree in finance comes with a lot of employment options, he said, ranging from financial planning to real estate.

"And," he said, "I know the business college is really good here."

He did not expect to be treated to dinner and meet Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem and USF Provost Ralph Wilcox in one night.

Eighteen-year-old Emma Wolgast loves college. The Arcadia resident said she has attended events at USF as a high school band member and is familiar with the USF campus. She is a business advertising major and hopes one day to work in the music industry.

"I absolutely love it here," she said. "I just have this wonderful sense of independence."

The dinner is part of a program to ensure students are successful and to make sure they graduate on time.

A big challenge to staying in college for many students comes during the first year. Feelings of homesickness and being overwhelmed can take its toll on teenagers away from family for the first time and the task of just getting through the rigors of a university education can be daunting.

So the dinner and pep rally was a step to convince them that their decision to come to school here was the right one.

Limayem praised the students and the handful of parents who tagged along. To those parents, Limayem said: "You can leave here tonight knowing your children are ours. We will take care of each and every one of them."

At each table sat students in the same courses of study along with faculty members of that department, and in many cases the chairs of those departments sat with them.

The dean told the students the goal of the Muma College of Business is "to give you the best possible business education not only in the state, but in the country.

"We're here tonight to celebrate your success," he said. "It's a beginning, but keep up the good work. I want that GPA to only go up, not down."

Wilcox praised the students, as well as Limayem.

"We have one of the best business deans in the whole United States," Wilcox said. "He has created remarkable pathways to success for each and every one of you."