USF Sarasota-Manatee to host retirement celebration for first Dean and CEO

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will be hosting a retirement celebration for Dr. Robert Barylski, who served as the first Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the University from 1979 until 1989 and was instrumental in the Gateway Concept, which was the first environment and beautification preservation project of North Tamiami Trail/U.S. 41.

The celebration will be held on Thursday, October 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Main Rotunda at USF Sarasota-Manatee, located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail.

Barylski has served as a professor at the local university since 1989, and credits most of the progress in the North Trail beautification to the community, which rallied behind USF Sarasota-Manatee, New College of Florida, and The Ringling Museum as they worked together to build The Sudakoff Center, The Jane Bancroft Cook Library, and the Gateway Bridge that remains over U.S. 41 and connects the Sudakoff Center to New College.

“If you’re the head of a campus and you just sit in your office, nothing will happen if the community is not on board,” he said.  “What we did at USF Sarasota-Manatee was mobilize the community, including the Sarasota City and County governments, key donors who donated land and funds to make the projects possible, and the community and political leaders whose vision was that we would preserve and develop the Trail so that our area would be richer and more attractive.”

For more information or to R.S.V.P. for the celebration, please call Pam Gleason at (941) 359-4603.