A gift from MercuryGate cofounder Monica Wooden will name the center in her honor
TAMPA, Fla. (April 8, 2019) – The University of South Florida today announced a $5 million gift to the USF Foundation to benefit students and faculty in the Muma College of Business. The gift from Monica Wooden, cofounder and chief revenue officer of transportation management systems provider MercuryGate International, will name the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management & Sustainability.
“Ninety percent of everything in the world is shipped, so USF’s ability to educate more students in the supply chain field will truly keep the United States at the forefront of this industry,” said Wooden. “In the past couple of decades, this university has done an amazing job of transforming itself into an unbelievable place where so many lives are changed. I’m honored to now play a greater role in those efforts.”
As Florida moves closer to becoming a global hub of commerce, USF’s Muma College of Business continues to position itself for an integral role. Wooden’s donation will further the college’s goal of providing needed research in the field of supply chain management, as well as prepare talent to carry the state into an era that some experts project may one day rival tourism as the main industry. The center – the first of its kind in Florida – employs five supply chain management faculty who are leading researchers on logistics issues.
Wooden’s gift will establish an endowed fund to support center operations, including scholarships, research and operational expenses. It will also provide a professorship that will support a distinguished faculty member.
“USF is fortunate to benefit from Monica’s generous donation which creates new paths for our students. This gift will have a dramatic impact on USF’s role preparing tomorrow’s business leaders,” said USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg.
Wooden, considered a pioneer in the field, is uniquely aware of how the industry operates, what needs to be done to fulfill its potential and what kind of young talent is required to carry it to the next level.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics predicts that logistics jobs will expand by seven percent within the next 10 years and identified logistics as one of the “20 Best Business Jobs.” Logistics and supply chain management are also included in lists that rank top career fields for women over the next decade.
“This gift will help establish the Muma College of Business as a place where students will receive a world-class education in the field of logistics and prepare them for rewarding careers with well-paying jobs and opportunities,” Dean Moez Limayem said. “We already are on our way to becoming a hub of excellence, with our outstanding faculty conducting impactful research to help fuel the growth of the industry on a global stage.”
Nineteen years ago, Wooden cofounded MercuryGate. As its first CEO, she helped develop procedures industry observers say are among the most sophisticated and flexible transportation management solutions that continue to be available in the market today.
Since 2015, MercuryGate has donated transportation management software licenses to USF for classroom use, supported faculty with industry insight and was a key player in launching the inaugural statewide Florida Supply Chain Summit cosponsored by the center this spring.
Most importantly, Wooden has helped the college expand the center’s business network to ensure more engagement between companies and students for internships and jobs after graduation.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three separately accredited institutions: USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 50,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.8 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF ranks in the top 25 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2018, the Florida Board of Governors designated USF as a Preeminent State Research University, placing USF in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.
About the USF Foundation
The USF Foundation connects the University with donors who want to make a difference by providing private, philanthropic support to promote student success, academic initiatives, research, and other strategic priorities of the University of South Florida System. Our donors celebrate the energy, vision, and future of one of the country’s most exciting and engaged universities. Our people and programs, our ideas, our research, and our solutions comprise an ambitious plan to enhance healthcare, science, technology, education, business, the arts, and global partnerships.