Published: Apr 8, 2013
The University of Tampa’s newest building — a facility to be shared by ROTC and UT Athletics — will be dedicated on Tuesday, April 16, at 4:30 p.m. with a special recognition ceremony to honor the building’s namesake, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker.
The General Peter J. Schoomaker ROTC and Athletics Building will be the home of the Spartan Battalion, UT’s U.S. Army ROTC cadre. The second floor will house all the operations for the ROTC unit, including offices, classrooms, a trophy display case, computer lab and library, large multi-purpose room, and a supply and bulk storage area. The first floor will include athletic training and rehabilitation space, including exam and meeting rooms, taping stations, rehabilitation equipment, treatment tables, ice therapy space and a wet rehabilitation area.
Located on North B Street just west of North Boulevard, the Schoomaker ROTC and Athletic Building will be dedicated with speakers, including UT President Ronald L. Vaughn, Tampa City Councilman Charlie Miranda and Gen. Schoomaker.
“Army ROTC and UT have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship that has enhanced our academic and co-curricular experience,” Vaughn said. “Not only does ROTC provide resources for success in college and in the military, but the program teaches vital skills that will serve students well in other pursuits.”
The building was named after Schoomaker in recognition of his service to his country and of his superior leadership skills. Schoomaker is a retired four-star Army general who was notably recalled to active duty from retirement to serve as the 35th chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2007. He also served as commander in chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command from 1997 to 2000. Gen. Schoomaker spent more than 35 years in a variety of command and staff assignments with both conventional and special operations forces including Eagle Claw (Iran), Urgent Fury (Grenada), Just Cause (Panama), Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Southwest Asia) and Uphold Democracy (Haiti). An ROTC graduate, Gen. Schoomaker received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, where he played on the football team. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in management from Central Michigan University.
Today Schoomaker, who lives in Tampa, currently advises on defense matters and serves on the boards of several public, private and nonprofit companies, as well as the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating the children of fallen special operations Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
A campaign committee, led by local businessman Thomas Arthur, worked — in less than one year — to secure the necessary donations in order to help fund completion of the building.
“I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor the general than to invest in the young men and women who are answering the noble call to leadership and service to our country,” Arthur said.
UT’s ROTC Spartan Battalion began in 1971 and is currently comprised of approximately 130 cadets. It has earned many distinctions over the years, including:
- Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award for the Best ROTC Program East of the Mississippi River, multiple years;
- MacArthur Foundation Award for the Top Battalion in the 6th Brigade, 2007;
- Cadet Command Recognition as a “Top 15 Percent” Program, 2003, 2005;
- Raytheon Award Winners, 1996, 2005. UT is the only non-military institution to have multiple Raytheon Award winners, which recognizes the most outstanding ROTC graduate in the country;
- Twenty percent of 2011 commissioned graduates achieved the Distinguished Military Graduate Award. This award recognizes the top cadets in the nation.