SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee senior Hannah Veitkus admits she knew little about the three-year-old Order of the Golden Brahman when the USF-based booster organization approached her about joining.
The order values leadership and loyalty to the USF community. Order members aspire to represent USF long after they graduate, whether at legislative functions or out-of-state football games.
“It’s a very prestigious organization,” said Veitkus, 20, adding that her enthusiasm grew as she learned more about the group.
Now, not only is Veitkus a member of the Golden Brahmans, she is the order’s first member from USF Sarasota-Manatee.
“It was quite an honor to be inducted,” said Veitkus, who officially joined the Golden Brahmans at a Nov. 21 reception at the Julian Hawthorne Lifsey House, USF’s presidential home.
Welcomed into the group alongside Veitkus was USF Alumna Dr. Anila Jain, this year’s co-chair of USFSM’s Brunch on the Bay, plus two other alumni and 18 students.
“It was inspiring,” Veitkus said of her induction. “I can’t explain how excited I was to be a part of it, especially to be the first student from USF Sarasota-Manatee.”
When first contacted, Veitkus said she was asked to fill out an application, send it in and attach her resume. She said she spoke with recent USF graduates who explained about the Golden Brahmans, saying she shouldn’t take the nomination lightly.
Veitkus said she isn’t sure who recommended her – membership is exclusive and members must be invited to join – but said her involvement in various on- and off-campus organizations likely contributed to her nomination and eventual acceptance.
Veitkus, 20, who graduates in the spring, has been president of USFSM’s student Ambassadors for the past two years and works as a teacher’s aide at the Julie Rohr Academy elementary school in Sarasota.
She also mentors a girl at Booker High School in Sarasota under Florida’s Take Stock in Children program and volunteered during the 2012 Olympics in London, where she attended high school. Veitkus is part of USFSM’s first freshman class.
Golden Brahman President Frank Cirillo, a senior at USF Tampa, said the order’s criteria for admittance are confidential but he believed Veitkus exemplified the qualities of leadership and commitment necessary to join.
Membership is a lifetime commitment and order members “are always there for USF whenever needed,” he said, adding that Veitkus’ dedication to USF and USFSM quickly emerged during her induction interview.
“Hannah is president of the Ambassadors at USF Sarasota-Manatee and wants to continue to stay in Sarasota (after graduation) and to support USF,” he said. “Basically, she is a Bull through and through.”