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USF Unveils New Academic Logo

Sep 6, 2018

University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft delivered her 18th "State of the University" address Wednesday, which included unveiling a new academic logo for the school.

Genshaft hailed USF's recent accomplishments, like achieving preeminent status and joining the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She also talked about the ongoing effort to bring all three USF campuses under a single accreditation.

Genshaft noted a number of recent USF highlights, including acheiving preeminent status.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

After her address, Genshaft said these milestones serve as encouragement to keep going.

"All of these markers, in one way or another, keeps measuring how you're doing, keeps you on target and moving forward, and that's the way University of South Florida is built," she said.

“We want to move forward in a very achievement-minded way.”

Other highlights Genshaft noted included:

  • USF research expenditures were a record $568 million in 2016-17, up more than 10 percent from a year earlier;
  • USF ranked 5th among public universities in generating new US utility patents, and 12th worldwide among all universities;
  • The incoming class of more than 3,000 freshmen is the USF System's strongest ever, with an average high school grade point average of 4.09 and an average SAT score of 1283;
  • The incoming class of first-year students at the Morsani College of Medicine had the highest average Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores in USF history, and the highest of all Florida universities this year.

Genshaft also showed off the new logo for the university's academics program -- a full-bodied gold bull on a green background.

The new logo will be used for USF academics and non-athletics programs.
Credit USF Communications and Marketing

"I think it brings new energy and a new look and a lot of pride about the university,” she said.

While the three USF campuses will each have versions with its own name, a single logo should help the university establish itself as one brand.

“Every single faculty member and every single staff, wherever they are – speaking at a national or state convention – when they put up any kind of PowerPoints or any kind of signage, they should have the same look so that people know the University of South Florida, not different brands," said Genshaft.

While some on social media were quick to criticize the logo, including pointing out its similarity to that of financial services firm Merrill Lynch, that didn’t seem to faze Genshaft.

“It definitely is different. A lot of people have made that kind of comment, because you’ve see the Merrill Lynch bull all over, but ours has its uniqueness,” she said, pointing out how the new design incorporates the traditional USF Athletics’ “Bull U” logo, as well as features from the Bull statues on each of the three campuses.

Athletics will continue to use the “Bull U” logo.

According to Adam Freeman with USF Communications and Marketing, the new logo was the result of about nine months of work by the USF Brand Council, which included 25 representatives from colleges, the Provost’s Office, Student Affairs and Student Success, USF Athletics and others.

They also conducted more than 1,200 interviews with USF stakeholders and held a system-wide brand summit that drew more than 175 people. 

The university then entered into a partnership with Tampa-based marketing and communications agency, SPARK, to help with brand development. The agreement has a one-year budget of $200,000.

The logo, along with a new brand theme of “United, we Shape the Future,” will be officially launched during Homecoming Week in October.