USFSP Announces $5 Million Gift, Names Business College Building

A photo of Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, Ellen Cotton, Lynn Pippenger, Mayor Rick Kriseman, Kate Tiedemann, and USF President Judy Genshaft

From left: Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, Ellen Cotton, Lynn Pippenger, Mayor Rick Kriseman, Kate Tiedemann, and USF President Judy Genshaft

USF St. Petersburg announced on March 30 that it had received a $5 million gift from former Raymond James executive Lynn Pippenger, the second largest single gift in its history, to name the Kate Tiedemann College of Business building. Effective immediately, and with formal approval from the USF System Board of Trustees, the building became Lynn Pippenger Hall. The new four-story building currently is under construction and on track for a fall opening.

“Lynn Pippenger is a true USF success story, having attended both USF Tampa and USF St. Petersburg,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “This new gift will enhance the academic opportunities provided to students and faculty for generations to come – on both sides of the Bay. Her generosity is truly inspiring.”

A photo of Lynn Pippenger addressing the crowd

Podium: Lynn Pippenger addresses the crowd that gathered for the March 30 announcement

“This is yet another momentous day for USF St. Petersburg,” said Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska. “So many students will benefit by this stunning, state-of-the-art building, along with the programs and scholarships made possible by very successful and generous women: Kate Tiedemann, Ellen Cotton and Lynn Pippenger.”

Pippenger has long been a supporter of USF. She attended USFSP during the 1980s and later graduated with honors from USF’s Executive MBA program. In February 2015, USF announced that its School of Accountancy in Tampa would be named for Pippenger, whose total giving to the Muma College of Business exceeds $21 million, and whose generosity has fueled the USF System’s Unstoppable fundraising campaign to well over $900 million in donor support.

Pippenger’s gift to USF St. Petersburg will fund merit scholarships for full- and part-time undergraduate students in the Kate Tiedemann College of Business who are studying Accounting or Finance.

A photo of USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business students surround USF System President Judy Genshaft, Lynn Pippenger, and Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska.

USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business students surround USF System President Judy Genshaft, Lynn Pippenger, and Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska.

“I spent a lot of time at USFSP over a period of years while I was working full time,” said Pippenger. “Scholarships can ease the financial struggle for some students, or provide the funding needed for students to travel abroad or participate in civic learning. In this way, they learn to give back themselves, usually in time or talent.”

Pippenger began working at Raymond James in 1969. She was hired as a payroll clerk in the then-unknown brokerage firm. Pippenger says that job quickly evolved to become a “whatever comes my way” job, and she worked alongside Bob and Tom James to help build the company. She served as chief financial officer and treasurer of the firm, while handling numerous special projects as the company grew. She created the firm’s human resources department and launched an internal educational program now known as “Raymond James University.” Eventually, she helped file the paperwork to take the company public. Pippenger retired in 2012.

A photo of Stephanie Goforth, Sophia Wisniewska, and Lynn Pippenger

From left: USF Trustee and Campus Board Chair Stephanie Goforth, USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, and Lynn Pippenger

“We have ambitious goals for the future and Lynn’s generous donation is a critical part of our path forward,” said Joel Momberg, CEO of the USF Foundation. “USF is so fortunate to have donors like Lynn Pippenger who realize their gifts can have such a dramatic and positive impact here, in the Tampa Bay region and beyond.”

In September 2014, USFSP announced that its College of Business would be named for entrepreneur Kate Tiedemann in recognition of a $10 million gift. Tiedemann is a resident of Pinellas County and the founder and former CEO of Katena Products, Inc., one of the most successful precision eye instruments companies in the world.

The Kate Tiedemann College of Business is one of few worldwide to have earned AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting. Its online MBA program is ranked among the nation’s top 15 online programs by US News & World Report. USF St. Petersburg received more than $27 million over three years in legislative appropriations to construct a new building for the College. The 68,000 square-foot building is slated to open in the fall.

Check out additional photos from the ceremony on the USFSP Facebook photo gallery.