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USF President Currall's Inaugural Address: 'Converging Excellence And Opportunity'

Nov 14, 2019

Steven Currall was formally inaugurated as University of South Florida’s seventh president Thursday in a ceremony highlighting his career and the university’s successes.

Delegates from all three campuses and universities all over the world were in attendance to hear Currall’s vision for USF’s future.  

According to Currall, it’s time for students, faculty and staff to ask themselves, “Who are we? What do we stand for?”

His answer: “The University of South Florida is in an institution where both excellence and opportunity converge.”

“Dr. Currall is a bold and ambitious leader and he’s a good match for this bold and ambitious university,” said Ned Lautenbach, Chair of the Florida Board of Governors.

In other introductory speeches, Dr. Charles Stanish of the College of Arts and Science and Britney Deas, president of the Student Advisory Board, said faculty and students are looking forward to working with Currall on such issues as the consolidation of the accreditations of USF’s three campuses.

"Our reunification is an extraordinary opportunity for the USF community to strengthen our stature as a preeminent research university and to advance new and innovative ways to serve our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader Tampa Bay region,” Currall said.

Jordan Zimmerman presents USF President Steven Currall with the Chain of Office. MARK SCHREINER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

He also said he sees himself as a relay runner, building on the past and hopefully contributing to the achievements of future presidents.

“This is an opportunity for our community to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come and the foundation on which we were built,” Currall said.

He added that he has two major goals beyond consolidation: first, continuing USF’s momentum in becoming a top 25 public university in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. USF currently ranks 44th, up from 88 five years ago.

“Our ultimate objective is to reach eligibility for membership in the American Association of Universities, the top 65 research universities in North America,” Currall said.

To see Currall’s entire inaugural speech, click here.