Community Joins in Ribbon-Cutting Celebration for Lynn Pippenger Hall

Students stand on the walkway at Lynn Pippenger Hall to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony

Kate Tiedemann College of Business students view the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony from the walkway of the new Lynn Pippenger Hall.

Hundreds of community members, legislators, and university students, faculty and staff gathered outside the east entrance of Lynn Pippenger Hall on Jan. 17. They were there to celebrate the official opening of the newest building to grace the USF St. Petersburg campus, the new home of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

“This is a momentous occasion for our institution as we unveil the new home for one of the state’s most successful business colleges,” said Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska. “For the first time, this building—Lynn Pippenger Hall—brings together our students and distinguished faculty.”

In addition to acknowledging numerous state legislators, corporate and community leaders, Wisniewska and USF System President Judy Genshaft thanked donors Lynn Pippenger, Kate Tiedemann, Ellen Cotton for their generous support on behalf of the university.

“Here, in the College and building that bear their names, our students will receive the education, preparation, and inspiration to lead the Tampa Bay region into new eras of growth and prosperity,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.

A list of other prominent speakers took turns at the podium: Sen. Jack Latvala, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, USF Trustee Stephanie Goforth, donor Lynn Pippenger, and Kate Tiedemann College of Business Dean Sridhar Sundaram. But much of the attention was focused on the stunning new facility that stood behind them.

Sridhar Sundaram speaks during the ceremony

Kate Tiedemann College of Business Dean Sridhar Sundaram speaks during the ceremony.

The 68,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will better prepare students for jobs that are in high demand, including accounting and finance. A Wealth Management Center will prepare students for lucrative jobs with investment firms. Instructional spaces designed to facilitate team learning will familiarize students with the group-based work models being used by today’s top employers.

“As someone working in finance today, I can tell you that the students who are graduating from the Kate Tiedemann College of Business are top-tier,” said USF Trustee and USF Campus Board chair Stephanie Goforth. “They’ve interned with some of the region’s corporate leaders—Tech Data, PwC, Raymond James, and Jabil—to name a few, and they enter the job market with a superior set of skills. Indeed, many of these internships turn into job offers.”

Donor Lynn Pippenger, a USF alumna who attended USF St. Petersburg when it was referred to as the USF Bayboro campus, was honored during the program and spoke about the architectural beauty of the building.

“Bayboro has now grown up to be USF St. Pete, with a lot of nice looking buildings, but they really outdid themselves with this building behind me,” said Pippenger. “It’s really a showpiece.”

The new building was made possible through the support of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation, with more than $25 million appropriated for the construction project. The City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce also had made the project a priority.

“It’s just a wonderful testimony to what this community can do when we work together,” said Latvala, chair of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation.

“We owe a great deal of our success to our strong and growing university, one of the major anchors in our Innovation District; a university that helps draw residents here and helps produce well-educated leaders, leaders that we must keep here in this community, said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “Having a business school in particular develops leaders who can contribute to a community in countless ways, and for that I am truly grateful.”

“Our new home is truly inspiring and will push us to be more, dream bigger and maintain a future-forward approach in our teaching and learning,” said KTCOB Dean Sridhar Sundaram. “Through foundational and experiential learning, we are investing in the next generation of business leaders.”

View more images from the event in the USFSP Facebook photo gallery.