The University of South Florida broke ground today on the new home of the Judy Genshaft Honors College, a five-story, 85,000-square-foot facility that will strengthen USF’s position to attract the best students in Florida, nationally and internationally.
“The Judy Genshaft Honors College building will be a remarkable enhancement to our world-class Honors College and will benefit USF, its students and its faculty. The new building will advance USF’s strategic goals and long-term aspirations to attract and support the success of Florida’s most accomplished students. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of Judy Genshaft and Steve Greenbaum,” USF President Steve Currall said.
Private gifts totaling $43 million have been pledged and received for the project, including a historic lead gift of $20 million from USF President Emerita and Professor Judy Genshaft and her husband Steve Greenbaum that was announced in May 2019. Donors have made commitments specifically toward the new facility and the university can’t use the funds for any other purpose. The total cost of the project is $54 million and fundraising efforts will continue.
“President Emerita Genshaft’s and Steve Greenbaum’s philanthropy continues to transform USF. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we thank them for their steadfast commitment to student success and their vision that help propel the university to new heights,” USF Board of Trustees Chair Jordan Zimmerman said.
The new facility will feature interwoven spaces for classrooms, study areas, faculty and advisor offices, event areas, a computer lab, performance and create spaces and numerous collaborative spaces – expanding the range of academic opportunities for students and giving them a true “home” on campus. Fittingly, it will be built along the renamed USF Genshaft Drive (formerly USF Maple Drive).
"Having one of the most premier honors colleges in the nation is just one way USF will distinguish itself as one of the most elite and forward-thinking institutions in the world. This stellar new home for our already excellent college will help attract top talent to USF, making an indelible impact on our community for years to come. We are delighted to see this dream become a reality," Genshaft said.
Formally established in 2002, the college aligns with USF’s strategic goals in student success and supports the university’s long-term aspirations. The college consists of more than 2,400 high-achieving, cross-disciplinary scholars who are part of a close community that provides specialized experiences and advanced educational opportunities. Students are encouraged to participate in global experiences through study-abroad, undergraduate research and hands-on community engagement and service projects, along with professional development opportunities. The college is open to students from all academic units on each of USF’s campuses. Collectively, Honors College students earn an average GPA of 3.72. By moving from the current location on the second floor of the John and Grace Allen building, the college expects to grow to 3,000 students.
“Shortly after becoming USF’s president, Dr. Genshaft decided to elevate the university honors program to the status of a college. She and Provost Ralph Wilcox provided the college with the university resources needed to support its expanding population, and she and Steve provided very generous scholarship support. All this work, and the work that she has inspired in others, has been directed to one goal – to build one of the premier public honors colleges in the country,” Judy Genshaft Honors College Dean Charles Adams said.
Construction is expected to be completed in late fall 2022.