TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2016) – Known as one of the University of South Florida’s three “founding fathers,” the legacy of John F. Germany will now be permanently recognized on the university’s campus in Tampa. A park located just south of the USF Library has been renamed in his honor. Germany died last year at the age of 92.
An official site dedication ceremony for “John F. Germany Legacy Park” will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29.
A special bronze plaque dedicated to Germany will be unveiled at the ceremony, along with new signs at the park’s east and west entrances. His family is expected to attend, with his son delivering remarks. USF System President Judy Genshaft and Board of Trustees member Harold “Hal” W. Mullis are also scheduled to speak during the ceremony.
Germany is credited with providing leadership to ensure that then state Representative Sam Gibbons’ legislation to establish USF was passed and funded in 1956.
The park’s selection is symbolic for several reasons. It sits adjacent to a library, which was one of Germany’s strongest passions. The park was also built in a space Germany and Gibbons toured prior to the university’s founding, as the two dreamed of providing higher education opportunities for students who couldn’t afford to go away to school in Gainesville or Tallahassee.
By renaming the park, all three people credited with founding USF – Germany, Gibbons and Leroy Collins – now have areas named after them on campus. The primary entrance off Fowler Avenue is named Leroy Collins Boulevard and USF’s Alumni Center is named after Sam & Martha Gibbons.
“USF’s three ‘Founding Fathers’ mission was to create a great urban university that would educate hard-working students with ambitions for a better life, and we are very proud that in many visits to campus over the years Mr. Germany could see that goal realized. Mr. Germany’s dedication to learning; his devotion to community and family; and his guiding values of equality and justice are a legacy that will live on in this great institution. We are forever grateful,” Genshaft said at the time of Germany’s death in 2015.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.