The USFSM Military and Veterans Success Center.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee to officially welcome veterans’ center

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: May 13, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 13, 2016) – The furniture is in place and the flags are lined up. The kitchen, conference room and corner office are ready for business, as well.

As final preparations get under way for the new USFSM Military and Veterans Success Center, USF Sarasota-Manatee officials are making plans for a ribbon-cutting to officially dedicate the center. The first-floor space has been under construction since late December after an anonymous $50,000 donation.

“Something like this is important for USFSM,” said Veterans Services Administrator Todd Hughes, who moved to the center two weeks ago from Student Services. “For the campus to be able to support those who gave so much for our freedom, it’s a small sacrifice to pay on our part.”

The center will enable USFSM student veterans to explore benefits and scholarship programs while providing a venue for counseling and meetings, or simply to socialize in.

Todd Hughes

Todd Hughes

The ribbon-cutting is set for 1 p.m. May 23 at the campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Speakers include USF System President Dr. Judy Genshaft, USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone, USFSM Regional Vice Chancellor Dennis Stover and Carlos Moreira, president of the USFSM Student Veteran Society.

Also set to attend are Dr. Larry Braue, director of the Office of Veteran Success for the USF System, as well as a color guard from the Vietnam Brotherhood, Alpha Company. To RSVP, visit or call (941) 359-4603.

Tom Bloomfield, a Marine Corps veteran studying I.T. security at USFSM, said student veterans are grateful for the new space.

“It’s nice to have a place where we can be around others who’ve gone through the same experiences and have that camaraderie,” he said.

In addition to an office, conference room and kitchenette, the space includes a lounge area, flat-screen TV and several computers to assist with enrollment and veterans’ benefits. A refrigerator and microwave will be added next week, completing the project.

Hughes said many of the campus’ 180 veterans have dropped in over the past couple of weeks to seek assistance or say hello.

“I think it turned out really well,” Hughes said. “They did a lot with the money they had.”

Open House for prospective transfer, grad students

USF Sarasota-Manatee will hold an Open House for prospective transfer and graduate students on Tuesday, May 24, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Prospective USFSM students can meet representatives from the campus’ four colleges – Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Hospitality & Tourism Leadership and Science & Mathematics.

Student Services staff will be available to meet with students; and representatives from Career Services, Admissions and Financial Aid will offer presentations. Campus tours and refreshments will be provided.

The session will be held at the campus rotunda, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. To RSVP, visit

For more information, contact Sean Grosso at (941) 359-4264 or

Summer classes to resume next week

Commencement occurred only days ago, but already USF Sarasota-Manatee is bracing for summer classes.

Summer sessions “A” and “C” are set to kick off Monday, and to welcome students to campus Student Engagement is planning various Week of Welcome events and prizes.

All events will occur from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the main rotunda.

On Monday, students can enjoy cupcake “pick-me-ups.” On Tuesday, free tacos will be offered and on Thursday students can enjoy sandwiches while viewing examples of sand art.

Students can also qualify for prizes during those days.

Monday’s giveaways include a beach chair, umbrella, towel and mini bag cooler. On Tuesday, students can vie for a wireless Bluetooth printer and Fire Tablet and on Thursday, a USF Cornhole game set and tailgate tent will be offered.

In addition, attendees at all three days’ events can qualify for a Go Pro Hero.

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