Editor’s note: The story here is part of a series of 40 stories commemorating USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 40th anniversary this academic year. For more about USFSM’s history, please visit usfsm.edu/anniversary.
No one can say longtime USF Sarasota-Manatee booster Angie Brewer didn’t earn her green and gold stripes 10 years ago when she landed the ’70s rock group Three Dog Night for USFSM’s 30th anniversary party.
The group belted out classic tunes alongside Sarasota Bay, attracting thousands.
But the 1982 USF Sarasota-Manatee alumna is better known for other laudable efforts. In fact, they earned her the nickname, “The Bull Lady.”
Brewer doesn’t mind. The name derives from the many examples of Bulls statuary scattered around USF’s campuses in Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee. Brewer purchased the statues herself or with help from friends. The USFSM one in the courtyard ran about $4,500. Brewer split the cost with Dr. Anila Jain, another notable USF alumna.
President of the Board of Directors for the USF Bulls Club, the system-wide athletics fundraising group, Brewer harbors deep USF roots. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in business management at USFSM in 1982, she earned a master’s degree in business management in 1984 from USF Tampa.
She’s still a vocal advocate for increased scholarships, research grants and funding for sports, but said the statues have their place too.
“They give young people a sense of tradition when they come onto the campus, and when you give people a tradition they can hold onto, they become part of the university,” she said. “I want young people today and in the future to have these kinds of memories from their time at USFSM.”
Brewer started earning her nickname 10 years ago when she and Dr. Jain spotted a Bulls statute at an auction. The two purchased it for $6,000 and had it placed at the alumni center in Tampa.
Former USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Arthur Guilford saw the statue and asked if Brewer could find others, which set her on a quest. She discovered they’re cast in bronze in Thailand, then she found a local representative for the manufacturer.
“I got the last three for a deal, $3,200 each,” she said.
So far, Brewer has purchased or co-purchased six statues. She said she loves how they weather, developing a burnished, greenish-gray over time.
“They look noble, and they give the campuses a sense of history and place,” she said. “They also give the students a great backdrop for their graduation pictures.”