USF World News

USF to Host Inaugural Gala to Honor Veterans

Honorable Gala

Tampa, Fla. (April 12, 2019) – As a celebration of National Military Appreciation Month, the University of South Florida (USF) invites the Tampa Bay community to attend the inaugural HONORABLE: USF Gala to Honor Veterans on May 7, 2019 at the Bryan Glazer Family J.C.C. Ballroom. Cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner and program following at 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay’s historical military influence is substantial because of its remarkable veterans like Sam M. Gibbons. Following his experience as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne before the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, Gibbons served as a member of the Florida Legislature and led the initiative to establish the University of South Florida. He then went on to be elected as a Member of the U.S. Congress and continued his service for 34 years. To honor his extraordinary legacy, USF will present the first Sam M. Gibbons Honorable Award to the Gibbons family at HONORABLE.

special guests

Keynote Speaker Justine Constantine and featured guests Green Berets

Several distinguished guests will also be in attendance including U.S. Army Green Berets who were among the first sent to Afghanistan in the wake of September 11, 2001. Famously known as the Horse Soldiers, their story was recently depicted in the 2018 hit movie 12 Strong.

The gala will include remarks from keynote speaker U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Justin Constantine. After being shot in the head by a sniper while on combat patrol in Iraq in 2006, Constantine underwent over 20 surgeries and spent weeks in a coma. His road to recovery taught him many lessons which he now shares with the world. A Presidential Leadership Scholar, Constantine was also named a Champion of Change by President Obama and was one of the wounded warriors painted by President Bush in his book, Portraits of Courage.

Individual tickets are $100 and can be purchased here. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you cannot attend, please consider sponsoring local veterans to attend the gala. For more information or to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please email

Proceeds from this event will support USF’s student veterans and programs of the USF Office of Veteran Success and the USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies. 

About the USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies
The USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies brings the world to USF as it conducts cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on national security issues and develops programs dealing with diplomacy and strategy. 

About the USF Office of Veteran Success
The Office of Veteran Success provides specialized programs and services to over 2,000 veterans, eligible dependents, active duty service members, and members of the Selected Reserve on the USF campus. It serves to provide a seamless transition for the nation's veterans from military life, through campus life into a meaningful career by providing high quality services and opportunities for academic success, personal growth, and professional development.