Local news media cover the arrival of fish from the Pier Aquarium to the new aquarium at the University Student Center.

Ribbon cutting planned for new University Student Center aquarium

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new educational aquarium at the University Student Center will be held on Monday, June 10, at 11 a.m.

The 1,100-gallon saltwater aquarium is located in The Reef dining facility at the University Student Center. The aquarium was supplied by Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration and Aquarium with donations from Duke Energy and the USFSP Student Government Association.

The aquarium is an educational exhibit that underscores the global importance of marine life. It will include an interactive kiosk about marine research being conducted locally, including a video link to the Florida Institute of Oceanography Weatherbird II research vessel. A video monitor will display information about the fish and the chemistry of the aquarium water. Plans also call for an underwater web cam to be placed inside the aquarium, allowing anyone to view the fish by computer 24 hours a day.

The aquarium will hold myriad fish species, including tarpon, angel fish, puffer fish, trigger fish, sharks and rays, said Butch Ringelspaugh, curator of exhibits at the Pier Aquarium and Secrets of the Sea.

Butch Ringelspaugh, curator of exhibits at Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration and Aquarium prepares the new aquarium at the University Student Center

Butch Ringelspaugh, curator of exhibits at Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration and Aquarium prepares the new aquarium at the University Student Center.

The project was spearheaded by USFSP Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth, director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and a former dean of the USF College of Marine Science.

“Marine life is a vital part of both the culture and economy of Florida and this aquarium will be a living reminder of that,’’ Hogarth said.

Dr. Hogarth thanked Duke Energy and the Student Government Association for making the project a reality.

“As a strong believer in the importance of science education, we are proud to partner with USFSP on this terrific project,” said Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy Florida.

Having an aquarium was an opportunity student government could not pass up, said Mark Lombardi-Nelson, president of the Student Government Association. “Students are excited about this latest addition to the University Student Center,’’ Lombardi-Nelson said.

Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth

Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth says thanks and farewell

I write this with a little sadness and joy all at the same time.

As you know my time at USF St. Petersburg is winding down and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and to thank everyone who contributed to this productive and successful academic year.  It has been an honor to serve as your Interim Regional Chancellor this past year and I leave ever more impressed with the high quality of students, faculty and staff with whom I have been privileged to associate myself.

As I walk around our beautiful waterfront campus, I feel the energy and enthusiasm of our students, who are inspired by world-class faculty and supported by hard-working staff.   I have enjoyed and will remember every minute of my time on campus, whether it was my official work as chancellor or just hanging out at the USC late at night flipping pancakes for the students.

Congratulations to all of our 2013 graduates, who have commenced an exciting new journey. And best wishes to those who are still working toward that goal. I hope you look back on your time at USFSP with fondness.

When President Judy Genshaft appointed me last year, I was committed to continuing the progress I had witnessed from afar, and to leave this institution in better shape than I found it. I believe together we have done that!

I depart knowing that USFSP is filled with Bull spirit and pride, and imbued with the knowledge that we are part of a system that is growing every day. I know that we have many supporters in the community, especially the Mayor and other city officials, who are ecstatic to be part of USFSP.

I will cherish the relationships and the experiences I’ve had with Campus Board members, faculty, staff and especially the students, so thank you for embracing me with your energy and for making my time here so memorable.  Be assured I will be watching from afar with  high hopes and fondness for all of you.



Coach Taggart with students

Locker Room Lunch with USF Football Coach Willie Taggart

Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth and USFSP Student Government invited the USFSP community and the public to a special lunch with USF football coach Willie Taggart.

During his visit, coach Willie Taggart talked about USF football and how to be a leader on and off the field. Lunch and an extended, in-depth question and answer session was part of the fun.


Bulls head football coach Willie Taggart.

Get charged up with Bulls head football coach Willie Taggart at the University Student Center

USF head football coach Willie Taggart will discuss leadership on and off the field during “Locker Room Lunch” at USF St. Petersburg April 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Student Center Ballroom. The lunch is free and open to the public.

Taggart took over as Bulls head coach in December after three seasons as head coach at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, where he led a dramatic turnaround for the Hilltoppers. Before WKU, Taggart enjoyed a successful run at Stanford, helping build the Cardinal into a national power.

A Bradenton native, Taggart is known for his enthusiasm and high energy. He will be joined at the lunch by Jim Louk, the Voice of the Bulls. The program will follow an informal talk show format, with questions from the audience.

The event is presented by Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth and USFSP Student Government, with support from Wells Fargo. Additional support comes from the Tampa Bay Times, Harvard Jolly and Progress Energy. Space is limited so reserve your spot today.

“We are excited to welcome Willie Taggart to USF St. Petersburg,” Hogarth said. “He has brought a new level of intensity to the Bulls football program, and he’s a great role model off the field as well as on.”

USF St. Petersburg and city officials celebrate refurbished Poynter Park

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth joined other city and USFSP officials Monday in a celebration of recent improvements at Poynter Park.

The chancellor thanked the mayor for working with the university to upgrade and realign sidewalks in the waterfront park and improve lighting. The mayor praised the university for being an important partner in economic development in downtown St. Petersburg.

City Council Chairman Karl Nurse, a USFSP aluma whose district includes the university, praised the new lighting as an important safety measure.

The city and the university have longstanding ties. The city donated much of the land for the campus, and the university works has worked closely with the city as it has grown since it was established in 1965.

Poynter Park, located on Third Street South across from the Poynter Institute, is owned by the city and joins Harbor Hall with the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library.