The start of the fall semester is especially exciting this year because it marks the beginning of USF’s first academic year as a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Bulls returning to USF will enjoy new facilities, campus recreation and dining options on all three campuses. Check out the list below to find out what’s new this year.
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER
Student Health Services is now serving patients in its new, three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility on the USF Tampa campus with Bulls Country Pharmacy on the first floor. Students can receive general medical, primary care, urgent care and specialty services, including immunizations, behavioral health and nutrition.
JUDY GENSHAFT HONORS COLLEGE
The new home of the Judy Genshaft Honors College is now open to students on the USF Tampa campus. The five-story, 85,000-square-foot facility features open-design classrooms, 39 signature learning lofts and dedicated studio spaces for art, food and culture, along with music and technology. The building is also now home to the Office of National Scholars on the second floor and Buddy Brew café on the main floor. This significant milestone is thanks in part to the vision and historic lead gift from USF President Emerita Judy Genshaft and Steven Greenbaum.
RESEARCH VESSEL WESTERN FLYER
Research Vessel Western Flyer is docked at its new home port on the USF St. Petersburg campus. The ship was granted to USF by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and is the most technologically advanced vessel in the Florida Institute of Oceanography fleet. The Western Flyer will not only embark on new research missions but will also serve as a classroom on the water.
THE CHALSTY REHABILITATION EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING LABORATORY
The USF Health School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences has launched a new state-of-the-art simulation lab – the Chalsty Rehabilitation Experiential Learning Laboratory – revolutionizing the way students gain practical experience in the field. Designed to simulate real-world environments, the lab offers a safe space for students to hone their skills and become acquainted with the intricacies of patient care.
Look out for the unveiling of the 212-foot water tower’s new design this year. The iconic 26-year-old water tower is responsible for pressurizing and supplying drinking water to the majority of buildings on the USF Tampa campus. Its revitalization is one of the most publicly recognizable projects being funded by an investment of nearly $73 million in last year’s state budget to support USF’s Capital Renewal Program, which addresses a portion of the university’s deferred maintenance needs across all three campuses. The 87 projects are set to be completed throughout the next three years.
The USF St. Petersburg campus now has two pickleball courts located behind the University Student Center. Portable nets are set up on the outdoor basketball courts, and paddles and balls are available at the Edge or Fitness Center during open recreation times. Pickleball has been the fastest growing sport in America for the last three years, and a Trust for Public Land study showed St. Petersburg features nearly 20 courts per 100,000 residents, second most in the nation.
Students, faculty and staff can now enjoy a spacious and comfortable ride on the bay in a new pontoon boat. Taking off from the USF St. Petersburg campus, the boat can accommodate up to 12 people and be used for cruising, fishing or overnight camping. Click here for more information on how to book the boat.
Construction of the first-ever student center and residence hall on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus is under way, marking the first major expansion of the campus since it opened in 2006. The six-story, 100,000-square-foot building is set to open for the fall 2024 semester, and students will be able to apply for housing soon.
COCA-COLA FREESTYLE FLAVOR
USF is the first university in Florida to launch a custom beverage on campus – Rocky’s Refresher. It’s part of a pilot for the Coca-Cola Company’s custom freestyle program. The beverage, which is made up of Fanta Lime, Sprite and Minute Maid Limeade, is now available for a limited time inside the Coca-Cola freestyle machines in the Marshall Student Center food court and BurgerFi on the USF Tampa campus.
813 QUICK EATS
Also a first, USF is one of the first universities in the nation to launch an AI-controlled convenience store. It’s located in the Marshall Student Center’s retail hallway. Customers will need to download the Quick Eats mobile app or swipe their credit card before entering 813 Quick Eats. Cameras are strategically placed with sensors that capture when guests enter the store. Deep learning models trained on the products identify when a guest picks up or puts back an item, generating a shopping basket. Purchases are made just by leaving the store with the item – no lines or check-out process required.
ROCKY ON THE ROAD
Keep your eyes out for the Rocky on the Road truck driving around the USF Tampa campus every week. The truck will be handing out freebies such as water, popsicles and ice cream, occasionally operating as a pop-up to sell USF merchandise.
St. Petersburg-based Kahwa Coffee has replaced Starbucks in the USF Bookstore Café on the Tampa campus. Deemed the Best of the Bay by Creative Loafing, Kahwa is serving up coffee, espresso, nitro cold brew, teas and pastries. There are additional Starbucks locations in the USF Library and Pinnacle Hall.
LOCAL HOT SAUCE ROW
Get ready for heat that rivals the temperature outside. A selection of hot sauces is now available at The Hub dining hall located in The Village on the USF Tampa campus. USF Dining is partnering with local companies in Tampa to provide diners at the all-you-care-to-eat facility with a spicy addition to the available condiments. Local Hot Sauce Row kicks off with The Florida Man Hot Sauce Company, Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces, Tampa Bay Hot Sauce Company and Stanky Sauce. Look out for a new hot sauce lineup every semester.
Coming soon to the Marshall Student Center is a new pick-up option for the Feed-A-Bull Food Pantry. Students in need will be able to choose to have their online orders sent to a refrigerated locker located near the vending machines on the first floor. The lockers help expand Feed-A-Bull's services by not only offering a pick-up location that’s available outside of the pantry’s operating hours, but one that is a more private experience. Currently, students can drop in for food during open hours or pre-order groceries online to be picked up at the pantry.
- Alex Golesh, sixth head coach of USF football, made his on-field debut at the 27th annual Spring Game in April, giving Bulls fans a preview of the new era of USF football. USF’s first game is Sept. 2 at Western Kentucky and first home game is Sept. 9 at Raymond James Stadium. The university is on track to build an on-campus stadium near the USF Athletics district with construction expected to be completed in 2026.
- Amir Abdur-Rahim, 11th head coach of USF men’s basketball, will make his on-court debut at USF’s first home basketball game of the season in November at the Yuengling Center.
USF BEACH VOLLEYBALL
Construction of the USF Beach Volleyball Complex on the USF Tampa campus is scheduled to begin this fall and finish by the summer. Pri Piantadosi-Lima, first head coach of USF beach volleyball, has been active on the recruiting trail and announced that the team will train during the 2024-2025 academic year and begin competition in the 2025-2026 academic year.
The free behavioral health mobile app, TimelyCare, now includes a community forum resource. It offers a broad range of scheduled and on-demand care specifically for college students, no insurance required. The app is available 24 hours a day to currently enrolled USF students on all three campuses.
MO-BULL NURSE MEDICAL CLINIC
Students from the USF colleges of Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy will be onboard the Mo-Bull Clinic, receiving hands-on training while making quality health care more accessible to people in the Tampa Bay region. The recreational vehicle-turned-state-of-the-art facility has two climate-controlled treatment rooms, a laboratory/diagnostic center with safe vaccine storage, a restroom, a waiting area and 5G cellular service. It is now serving five critical areas of need in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties – Port Tampa Bay, Sulphur Springs, Tampa Heights, Wimauma and South St. Petersburg.
Click here for more new opportunities on the USF St. Petersburg campus.