University of South Florida


A rendering showing the Student Leadership Center in the Judy Genshaft Honors College

A digital rendering depicting the Student Leadership Center inside the new Judy Genshaft Honors College.

Gift of $1 million will benefit USF honors students

The University of South Florida today announced that the Student Leadership Center in the new Judy Genshaft Honors College building will be named in recognition of Claudia McCorkle, a passionate supporter of the college who donated $1 million to the USF Foundation in support of the facility’s construction.

Comprised of a study lounge and conference room dedicated specifically for honors students, the Claudia McCorkle Student Leadership Center will serve as a collaborative space for the college’s student leaders.

“Claudia is an incredible champion of the university, as exemplified by her latest gift to enhance student success at the Judy Genshaft Honors College,” said USF President Rhea Law. “Her passion for giving comes straight from the heart. We are so thankful for her support.”

A rendering of the Honors College

Nearly a decade ago, McCorkle established an Honors College study abroad scholarship and an academic scholarship. For the long-time donor, the link to this group is significant.

“I am so inspired by the drive of these students, and I wanted to provide a place where they can connect and exchange ideas in a special space designed just for them,” McCorkle said. “Being able to support these humble, high-achieving students has been my greatest joy as a philanthropist.”

A photo of the Honors College during construction

Construction on the Judy Genshaft Honors College is expected to be completed in spring 2023.

The total cost of the project is $54 million and fundraising efforts will continue.

“The outpouring of support for the Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF has been nothing short of amazing,” said Jay Stroman, CEO of the USF Foundation. “Strong philanthropic and community support are key to our success as a top-ranked research university on the global stage. Claudia’s generosity is an inspiration to us all.”

In December 2020, USF broke ground on the innovative five-story, 85,000-square-foot Honors College facility, with construction expected to be completed in spring 2023.

“We are thrilled to name this special leadership center in our new building after such a remarkable friend of our college,” said Charles Adams, Judy Genshaft Endowed Honors Dean. “Claudia’s scholarships have positively impacted the lives of hundreds of our students so far, and her generous donation to our new building will exponentially increase that number. We are very grateful for her continued support of our student leaders.”

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 enrolls approximately 2,600 high-achieving students from across the university and provides them with specialized academic experiences and personalized support.  By moving its current Tampa campus location from the second floor of the John and Grace Allen building to its new home, the college will be able to dramatically expand the educational opportunities available to these future leaders of the state, the nation and the world.

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