Giving Spotlights

Giving Spotlights

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Donor gifts–of any kind–help strengthen our USF St. Petersbug campus, from faculty support through endowed chairs and professorships to student support with gifts to fellowships and scholarships, which allow students to keep their focus on the achievement of their academic goals.

Whether a gift is to an operating or endowment type account, it is all a significant investment in the University’s and our students’ futures. Below are stories from just a few of our wonderful donors who have helped make the USF St. Petersburg campus what it is today.



Lynn Pippenger’s USF experience extends from one side of Tampa Bay to the other. She attended the USF St. Petersburg campus in the 1980’s before ultimately graduating from USF’s Executive MBA program. A longtime supporter of both campuses, her generosity has been reflected in the naming of the School of Accountancy on the Tampa campus, and more recently, Lynn Pippenger Hall, home of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance at the USF St. Petersburg campus.

The generous gift to the USF St. Petersburg campus from the former Raymond James executive will fund merit scholarships for full and part-time undergraduates who are studying accounting or finance. “Scholarships can ease the financial struggle for some students or provide the funding needed for students to travel abroad or participate in civic learning. In this way, they learn to give back themselves, usually in time or talent.”


The Sembler family’s commitment to the USF St. Petersburg campus has taken many forms, from inspired leadership to financial support that has changed the face of the campus. “I had never stepped foot on the campus of USF St. Petersburg until I began my service on the Board of Trustees,” says Debbie Nye Sembler, “Now, I feel such a bond with this institution and I’ve enjoyed being a part of its tremendous growth … I’ve recruited a lot of students to come to school here, extolling all of its virtues in the process. That’s how much I believe in it.” Debbie has served on the USF St. Petersburg Campus Board, the USF Board of Trustees, and the USF Foundation Board. She also co-chaired USF St. Petersburg’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The Semblers’ generous contributions to the USF St. Petersburg campus include creating the Debbie and Brent Sembler Florida Holocaust Museum Lecture Series, supporting the Debbie Nye Sembler Academic Student Success Center, and the Debbie and Brent Sembler Family Fountain. “I like supporting the growth of this institution in our community,” says Brent Sembler. “I like having USF St. Petersburg in the heart of downtown – I think it’s great for our city.”


Matt Jackson, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, made his first annual gift in 2017 and promises it won’t be his last. Jackson has great praise for his experience at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance and credits it for much of his professional success.

“I think education is the single most important thing that can raise people out of poverty, but it can be hard to access. I see the impact that the University had on my life, and I want to do as much as I can to help the University so they can help more students.” Jackson is already thinking about his future giving to the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, which he hopes will include naming several spaces in and around the building. “I plan to increase the amount of my gifts as my career grows.  I will never not be a donor. I will always find a way to give back.”

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