TAMPA, Fla. (April 9, 2020) – The University of South Florida today announced a gift of $50,000 from Jeff and Penny Vinik, granted through the Vinik Family Foundation, to the USF United Support Fund, an initiative recently created to help provide financial relief to students who are facing unexpected challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many students are facing new financial realities and have urgent needs such as food, toiletries, rent money and other basic essentials that are beyond their reach.
“We are pleased to be able to assist the students at USF during this difficult and uncertain time,” Jeff and Penny Vinik said. “We encourage everyone who is able to find a way to give of their time, talent or treasure to those who need assistance during this pandemic.”
Since becoming part of the Tampa Bay community, the Viniks have generously supported USF, including the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program in the Muma College of Business and the USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute located in the Water Street Tampa district.
With today’s gift from the Viniks, USF’s student fund has now reached over $240,000 with contributions from more than 1,100 individual donors. More than 1,000 students have applied for the financial aid, with approximately 175 students receiving funds and hundreds of other applications currently under review.
“We are truly grateful to Jeff and Penny Vinik for supporting our students during a very challenging time,” USF President Steven Currall said. “There’s nothing more important than the health and wellness of our community and the impact of each gift will provide much-needed relief to our students.”
For those interested in assisting in a non-monetary fashion, USF continues to accept non-perishable food items and toiletries to supplement student food pantries on the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.