USFSP Breaks Ground on New Business Building

Hundreds gather in the rain to mark the start of construction for the Kate Tiedemann College of Business building.

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From left: USF Trustee Scott Hopes, System President Judy Genshaft, Trustee and USFSP Campus Board Chair Debbie Sembler, Trustee Stephanie Goforth, Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, and Trustees Stanley Levy and Jean Cocco.

USF President Judy Genshaft, Trustees, Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, Mayor Rick Kriseman and dozens of other elected officials joined architects, students, faculty and community leaders on Tuesday to break ground on a new building for USFSP’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Buoyed by members of the USF Marching Band, the ceremony was festive — despite gray skies and a steady rain.

“This is a momentous occasion for our institution,” said Dr. Wisniewska in openingsophia rain remarks. “This building will become the physical embodiment of what is already one of the state’s most successful business colleges.

Wisniewska went on to say the 68,000 square-foot building will feature four stories, and will bring together, under one roof, our students and 40 distinguished faculty — creating a home for USFSP’s award-winning programs. State-of-the-art facilities will better prepare students for jobs that are in high demand in Florida.

Remarks
Groundbreaking Ceremony
Kate Tiedemann College of Business
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Regional Chancellor Wisniewska

It is truly a pleasure to welcome you all this morning as we break ground on a new building for the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. This is a momentous occasion for our institution, as this building will become the physical embodiment of what is already one of the state’s most successful business colleges.

We are honored to have many special guests with us today:

USF President Judy Genshaft;
USF Trustees Debbie Nye Sembler, Stephanie Goforth, Scott Hopes, Stanley Levy and Jean Cocco;
Our Campus Board members: Chair Debbie Sembler, Roy Binger, Bob Churuti, John Connolly, and Judy Mitchell;
Congresswoman Kathy Castor;
State Senator Jeff Brandes, who has been an especially dedicated supporter of this project, along with Representatives Larry Ahern, Dwight Dudley, Ed Hooper and Kathleen Peters;
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council members Amy Foster and Darden Rice;
And our architects and general contractor: Bill Harvard, Ward Friszolowski and their team from Harvard Jolly; Joe Tattoni and Arvind Tikku of IKON 5; Phil Graham and Philip Graham from Phil Graham Landscape Architecture; and Alan Bomstein and Josh Bomstein of Creative Contractors.

We are delighted to welcome back Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton, who as you may know, recently gave USF St. Petersburg its largest gift in history: $10 million dollars to name the College. We are still reeling from the excitement this gift has generated.

Our interim dean, Gary Patterson, is with us this morning, as well as many of the faculty and students who will teach and learn in this beautiful new building. A warm welcome to you all!

The Kate Tiedemann College of Business was established in 2003. It is dually accredited by AACSB in both business and accounting, a distinction held by only 1% of the 16,000 business colleges in the world. Our Online MBA is ranked among the nation’s Top 100 by US News & World Report. The Entrepreneurship program is winning national accolades. This new, 68,000 square-foot building will support these programs by extending traditional classroom spaces into diverse learning environments: small and large, formal and informal – to foster collaboration, creativity and critical-thinking skills.

Influenced by regional connections to sun and water, this stunning new building will carve out three openings in its volume, to allow sunlight and landscape to penetrate internally and become part of the learning experience. Externally, white, reflective patterned glass and regional coral stone will give the Kate Tiedemann College of Business a strong identity while fitting comfortably on the campus. The building will feature four stories, and will bring together, under one roof, our students and 40 distinguished faculty – 90-percent of whom have terminal degrees in their fields and are engaged in research. State-of-the-art facilities will better prepare our students for jobs that are in high demand in Florida—including Accounting and Finance. A Bloomberg trading room will better prepare Finance students for lucrative jobs with investment firms. Instructional spaces designed to facilitate team learning will better prepare Accountancy students for group-based work models being used in the field today.

Our community will benefit from this new building as well. Active learning environments will only strengthen our ability to develop and maintain important business and community partnerships. New Accelerator labs will provide Entrepreneurship students with an opportunity to work with local start-ups to develop the skills they’ll need to compete in the marketplace themselves. A 200-seat amphitheater will provide an ideal venue for events.

Over the last few years, we have received tremendous support for this building. The City and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce made the project a top legislative priority. Our Legislative Delegation worked tirelessly to tout the importance of the college and this building to Pinellas County. We break ground today thanks to the appropriations we’ve received to date: a total of $15 million thus far. And, with program support from Kate Tiedemann, we’re ready to grow our student capacity – and our reputation of excellence.

This project is an outstanding example of the world-class academic programs and research capacity all of us in Florida have come to expect from the State University System.