TAMPA — The University of Tampa’s newest residence hall, West Kennedy Hall, which was completed in August 2013, will be renamed after a generous $10 million donation by Tampa residents Howard and Patricia Jenkins.
The Jenkins’ gift to the University, which is one of the largest gifts in UT’s history, was announced by UT president Ronald L. Vaughn today. In honor of that gift, West Kennedy Hall, an 11-story hall that is located on West Kennedy Boulevard and houses 528 students, will now officially be named the Howard and Patricia Jenkins Hall.
Howard and Patricia Jenkins are already well known in Tampa Bay. Howard Jenkins is the chairman of the executive committee of Publix Super Markets Inc., and is currently a member of UT’s board of trustees.
“The Jenkins have made such a significant and visible impact on so many cultural and educational areas in Tampa Bay. We are pleased to welcome them to the UT community and are thrilled they have chosen UT as one of the institutions they believe in enough to support,” Vaughn said.
Howard Jenkins currently serves on the executive committee of UT’s board of trustees and chairs the board’s planning committee.
He began his career with Publix Super Markets in 1966 as a front service clerk. In 1986, he was named to the position of chairman of the executive committee and in 1990 was named chairman and CEO. In 2001, Howard Jenkins relinquished the title of CEO and retained the title of chairman of the board until 2008, when he became chairman of the executive committee.
In addition to his work at Publix, Howard Jenkins served on the national board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club; was co-founder of a scholarship charity for college students, Take Stock in Children in Florida; and is co-founder of the Jenkins Clinic, a charitable cancer treatment and research clinic. An Emory University graduate, he served on the board of trustees for Emory University. He also served as the chairman of the board of The Florida Orchestra.
Patricia Jenkins founded Apollo Environmental Inc. in 1986. Apollo Environmental specializes in hazardous materials consulting and analysis, expert witness testimony and regulatory compliance.
Patricia Jenkins holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners appointed her to serve on the Environmental Protection Commission’s Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee. She has also served on environmental discussion round tables and lectures for CNN, SOBAC, Eckerd College, the University of Florida and the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The newly named Howard and Patricia Jenkins Hall was designed to promote student community and interaction and is most notable in that it includes:
- Two large community multipurpose rooms on the top floor specifically for student affairs organizational and group activities;
- An international theme, intended to continue educating students about global cultures and traditions;
- More than 100 pieces of world photography, plus art objects and unique cultural elements from more than 20 countries around the world, that are exhibited in the lobby and throughout the building;
- Two, two-story lofts, accessed from the 10th floor, that offer townhouse-like living and outstanding views for groups of eight students each;
- A solar thermal array on the roof that utilizes the sun’s energy to heat water for the occupants’ use;
- External lighting that changes with the seasons.
Most recently, the residence hall, which received LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council last spring, was named the outstanding project of the year in the category of LEED for New Construction, Higher Education. This recognition was made by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council at its 2014 LEEDership Awards ceremony.
The Jenkins’ gift comes at a time of tremendous momentum for The University of Tampa. UT continues its record enrollment, and campus construction and external recognitions of the University’s success are at an all- time high.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 105 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 7,752 students from 50 states and 137 countries. About two-thirds of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.