College of Education Philanthropic Activities

Beginning with the establishment of the University of South Florida Foundation in 1958, before the first student had enrolled, there were relatively small gifts made to the university and to the College of Education. Development activities were centralized and colleges were encouraged to seek grants and contracts but not necessarily gifts from individuals.

Early Gift to the College of Education

The first significant philanthropic contribution to the College of Education came via the Department of Educational Leadership. The donation was received through a friend of Dr. Don Orlosky, who was then Chair of the Department. The friend was Mr. Earl Moffitt, a local attorney who served as one of three trustees for a fund established by Lillie and Walter Berbecker. The distribution of these funds began in 1970 and was required to be entirely donated within the next 25 years. Mr. Moffitt was the grandson of the Berbeckers and chose to provide a donation to the Department of Educational Leadership. In each of the years, 1985 and 1986, a donation of $100,000 was given to the department in the name of Lillie Berbecker to support fellowships for doctoral students within the Department of Educational Leadership. Each year the State of Florida matched donations at a ratio of one to two which brought the total to $300,000. Between 1986 and 1995, three doctoral students each had three years of support from this funding. There was a lull of awarding of these fellowships during the period when the department was reorganizing, but during this time the endowment grew in value. The fellowship awards have been reinstituted, and as recently as the summer of 2006 a dinner featuring the current recipients was held, complete with their presentations of their research and certificates honoring the doctoral students on being selected. These funds are sufficient for fellowships to continue in the department in perpetuity.

Involving the Business Community

Dean Bill Katzenmeyer of the College of Education was one of the first to recognize the importance of a strong positive relationship with business leaders and with legislators when he named Dr. Dick Puglisi, Assistant Dean for Education and Community Relations in 1985. Dr. Puglisi was Director of the Center for Economic Education in the College through which he had numerous contacts with business leaders in the Tampa Bay Area. Dr. Puglisi continues to serve in that capacity today with the title of Assistant Dean for Education and Business Partnerships.

Faculty Philanthropy

It is interesting to note that not only have College of Education faculty contributed generously to the USF Faculty/Staff Scholarship Fund, but also faculty members and their families have also established scholarships for College of Education students. Dr. Roger Johnson, Professor of Social Science Education, and his family established a memorial scholarship in honor of their son, Craig Johnson. Other scholarships for the future have been established by Dr. Richard Pride, Dr. Bob Roberts, Dr. Ray Urbanek, Dr. Phil Pfost, Dr. Evelyn Searls, Dr. Lou Bowers, Dr. Frank Freshour and Drs. Don and Betty Litchenberg.

First Development Director and Council

Ms. Sue Backus in 1988 was the first Development Director hired in the College of Education. She worked with Assistant Dean, Dr. Dick Puglisi in developing relationships with businesses in the Tampa Bay community, who became supporters of the College of Education.

The College of Education Development Council was formed in 1997 by Dean Steve Permuth with Joe Tomaino being the Development Officer. Julius Hobbs served as the first chair of the Development Council, which was made up of community business leaders and graduates of programs in the College of Education. Chairmen of the Council, in addition to Lois Older, have included Stephanie Holmquist, Manual Duran, Jerry Clark and RoseAnne Garcia Bowers.

The Richardson Scholarships

Mr. Joe Tomaino, founding Director of the USF Alumni Association and a USF Foundation Development Officer, became Director of Development for the College of Education in 1998. Mr. Tomaino and Dr. Augie Mauser were involved in a notable gift to the College of Education made by Jack and Alice Richardson in 1988 in memory of their daughter, Laurie, who died in an automobile accident days prior to her graduation. Laurie was an honor student in Special Education, thus the endowment established in her name begin with Masters Degree Scholarships in Special Education. Scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in Special Education have been established in honor of Alice Richardson, and scholarships for doctoral level students in Special Education have been established in honor of Alice and Jack’s daughter, Cathy. Each year the current and former Scholarships Recipients are honored at the Annual Richardson Showcase Banquet. Photographs and names of the Richardson Scholarships recipient can be viewed at the David C. Anchin Center.

Bill Katzenmeyer and Joe Tomaino teamed in securing a major gift from Mrs. Anne Anchin for a center in memory of her late husband David C. Anchin. The level of funding resulted in matching funding from the state of Florida to support the work of the center in improving today’s schools and creating new strategies for the schools of the future. In 1996 with additional funding from the Anchin Family the David C. Anchin Center Building was constructed.


A College of Education English Education graduate, teaching in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, won the $111 million Power Ball Lottery. Joe Tomaino learned of the graduate’s interest in making a contribution to the College of Education from the graduate’s mentor, Professor Joan Kaywell. Joe Tomaino traveled to Wisconsin with Dean Steve Permuth to meet with the graduate and was successful in establishing the Endowed Scholarship in the College of Education.

Patel Charter School

When the College of Education was awarded a Charter School by the Hillsborough County School District, Joe Tomaino gained support from Mr. Ted Couch, the Patel Foundation and Citicorp for the Charter School. As the project developed, the school was named the USF/Dr. Karin C. Patel Charter School.

Current Development Director

Mr. Richard Dearolf was named the College of Education Development Director by Interim Dean Ed Steiner in 2002. Dr. Colleen Kennedy became Dean of the USF College of Education in 2003 and working with Mr. Dearolf, established yearly College of Education Development Goals. These goals produced growth in corporate partnerships, such as the MetLife Minority Scholarships, major gifts from the Coca Cola Foundation and Bank of America. Dean Kennedy has also been instrumental in securing funding from Apple Computers for the College of Education Laptop Initiative.

Support for Migrant Education

A group photo in a conference room
Pictured at the center of the photograph is College of Education graduate RoseAnne Garcia Bowers, chair of the College of Education Development Board, conducting a luncheon meeting of the board in 2006.

The Migrant Education Program was able to attract yearly contributions for scholarships for children of migrant workers to USF from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association and the Pacific Tomato Growers Association through their yearly Sun Ripe Golf Tournament. The Wishnatzki Family have also supported the program through the Wishnatzki Family Tennis Tournament and the annual on-campus sale of strawberries.

The Education in Action Luncheon

The Education in Action Breakfast/Luncheon held each year during American Education Week honors educators from the USF service areas. The event which is hosted by The Florida State Fairgrounds also attracts sponsorship from various corporations.

The Need for Philanthropy

When the College of Education began in 1960, financial support from the State of Florida for USF was at 91 percent. By 2005, support from the state had dropped to 27 percent. To offset the decrease in state funding, tuition fees increased from $90 per semester, for up to 18 undergraduate credit hours, in 1960 to $111 per Florida Resident undergraduate credit hour in 2005. The $28.8 million in External Grants and Contracts in the College of Education in 2005 has provided funding for research and special projects. Therefore, it has been the continuing increase in philanthropic gifts to the College of Education that has provided funding needed for student support, quality programs and research/scholarship of College of Education faculty.

Additional Photos

A thumbnail of Ann Turner Cook A thumbnail of young students and teachers standing on stage A thumbnail of Former dean William Katzenmeyer A thumbnail of Dean Colleen S. Kennedy standing at a podium A thumbnail of a group of three A thumbnail of three men seated at a table A thumbnail of men in uniform holding flags A thumbnail of two men holding a giant check
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