By TheBullsPen staff | Published 07/01/2022 | USF Bulls Athletics
Tampa, FL - The USF Bulls football program is set to benefit from another cash injection from Carol and Frank Morsani, a loveable couple who has been supporting the University of South Florida since the late 70s.
The pair has remained committed to the educational institution since their initial contribution and to hear them speak about it is quite inspiring.
The campus had just a few buildings when they saw it for the first time. The first donation came in 1978 and their continued support has seen remarkable progress across the university. The USF Health College of Medicine has been one of the main beneficiaries and, as a result, carries their name.
The Morsanis are happy to see their contributions foster progress through various departments and remain just as enthusiastic over USF’s development as they were nearly 50 years ago. The elevation happening all over, from healthcare to business education, to athletics, has encouraged them to give even more.
The couple were instrumental figures behind the formation of USF football in the 90s, with Bulls football teams training at the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex, a facility which was opened in 2011. The Morsanis gifted $5 million to support the university’s on-campus stadium earlier this year and, just recently, an additional $7 million was pledged.
The latter will benefit students and athletes, as well as other folks within the uni’s community. The football program will be among the ones positively impacted by the generous donation.
The Bulls are looking ahead to the new football season, which kicks off with a home fixture against BYU on September 3 followed by another home game against Howard. Visits to Florida and Louisville are to follow, with East Carolina to be hosted thereafter. The Bulls will take on Cincinnati in Week 6, on October 8, which comes a bit too early for betting enthusiasts in Ohio.
Ohio sports betting kicks off next January so fans will be able to bet on this fixture the next time it comes up.
The $7 million donation is specifically targeted towards scholarships via the Morsani Scholars, as well as to form an endowed chair in geriatrics and a directorship and professorship focused on ethical leadership in business.
“Frank and Carol Morsani have made an indelible mark on the University of South Florida and the entire Tampa Bay area through their incredible generosity and leadership,” USF President Rhea Law remarked. “Their imprint can be found throughout our university, our community and beyond. The impact they’ll make on our students and faculty through this gift is yet another part of the amazing story they continue to write.”
Carol and Frank grew up during the Great Depression and the latter revealed he became motivated to help others due to the poverty experienced during his younger days.
With the price of a college education having increased, the couple considers the presentation of scholarships to be very important. Frank got his degree with the help of the GI Bill, while Carol supported him financially too.
“It’s very difficult for a lot of students to participate and live the American Dream,” he continued. “Change is the only constant we have. It’s through education, we can move and handle that change. We could think of no greater way to return the benefits we have earned over our lifetimes than to empower young people through education. The Morsani Scholars is an investment in deserving students to help ensure that no one willing to put in the work is left behind.”
The husband and wife have done lots for the university but are hardly recognizable around the campus. They say they’re often asked if they’re related to the Morsanis whose names are on the medical wing and other parts of the school when they tell students their names.
“Yes. We’re it. They expect us to be dead!” Carol joked. “People tell us about the medical school and the (USF Carol and Frank Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare), about how fine the doctors and nurses are, as well as the facilities. We hear that over and over. These people every day tell us how they appreciate what we’ve done and now people’s children are going to the medical school or business school and see our names. Making these things happen has been rewarding.”
Asked what they want their legacy of philanthropy to be, they said they want to be known as “A generous couple with their resources and leadership. That’s what we hope others would think about.”
“Carol and Frank have invested in our USF students, faculty and facilities in ways that are unmatched and so incredibly meaningful. Their 45 years of support for our university has been nothing short of transformative,” USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman said. “Their investments consistently inspire other philanthropists, and I am grateful for everything they have done and continue to do for our USF community.”