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USF 'Unstoppable' Campaign Tops $1B, Receives $15M From Mumas

USF Foundation
USF's Unstoppable Campaign hit its $1 billion goal about seven months early.

For almost a decade, the University of South Florida's Unstoppable Campaign has raised funds for a variety of programs, with an ultimate goal of $1 billion.

Earlier this year, the effort hit that mark about seven months early. At a gala celebrating the achievement Saturday night, USF announced that Les and Pam Muma were giving the university another $15 million. 

The couple already was USF's largest donors, having donated over $41 million to Les' alma mater, including $25 million to the business college that now bears their name. 

"The campaign ends next June and we want to make a statement that this university is going to continue to grow, it's going to continue to need funding, but it needs public money to continue to be 'unstoppable,'" said Les Muma.

Credit WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media
WUSF's Mark Schreiner (right) interviews Pam and Les Muma about their latest $15 million donation to USF in their home on Nov. 8.

The Muma's latest gift includes $8 million to USF Athletics - $5 million to the new football center, and $1 million each to both the men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the men's golf program. 

The Muma College of Business will receive $5 million. 

"The reason for that is the phenomenal progress that's been made in that school," said Les Muma. "Dean Moez Limayem has done a phenomenal job with his team on taking that business school farther than we thought it would be in five years." 

USF Health will get $2 million for the Pamela Muma Women’s Health Center at USF Health at Tampa General Hospital.

"(It's) primarily for women to come in and have an annual physical where they can have all their diagnostic testing done in one area -- they don't have to leave the building," said Pam Muma. "If they need to go for further specialists, we will have nurse navigators there to make appointments for them. It will be a one-stop comprehensive healthcare center for women."

The center is expected to open in September 2018. 

The Unstoppable Campaign was formally launched in 2009 and hit its initial goal in 2013. At that time, the goal was extended to $1 billion.

"It's a comprehensive campaign, so it goes to a lot of different programs and a lot of different colleges," said Joel Momberg, CEO of the USF Foundation. "Some go to scholarships, some go to expanding programs, endowed chairs, new facilities."

WUSF Public Media is one of the programs that benefits from the Unstoppable Campaign.

USF is one of only three public universities founded since 1956 to raise $1 billion in a single campaign, joining the University of California San Diego and the University of California Irvine. 

Momberg said that because of USF's relatively young age, not all the gifts came from alumni.

"There are some businesses that know the importance of USF because it is a big business engine, it's a theater for their employees," he said. "So they utilize the university in that way and they support it and invest in it."

Among the campaign's highlights, according to the University: 

• A total of $1,034,668,903 raised to date • $122 million for scholarships and fellowships • $115 million for faculty and program support • Nearly 200,000 individual donors, including Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steve Greenbaum, who created the Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholarship program with a $1 million gift. • Global Experience:  More than 12,000 USF students studied abroad during campaign • USF Foundation endowment currently totals $442 million

WUSF News' University Beat is the only Tampa area broadcast outlet to talk to the Mumas about their latest gift. Hear their interview Tuesday during Morning Edition (6:45 & 8:45 a.m.) and All Things Considered (5:44 p.m.) on WUSF 89.7.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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