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Former Florida Governors to Teach Leadership with UT Speaker Series

Published: November 26, 2012
The first former governor to speak in UT’s Governor’s Speaker Series will be Gov. Bob Graham.
The first former governor to speak in UT’s Governor’s Speaker Series will be Gov. Bob Graham.
The University of Tampa has announced that it will initiate a Governor’s Speaker Series for students, featuring Florida’s former governors and their take on civic involvement and responsibility. The first former governor to speak will be Gov. Bob Graham on Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. in the Vaughn Center.

Although this is not a public event, media is invited.

“We hope that our students will get to meet with these great political leaders and public servants and hear their views on civic responsibility and the importance of engagement in civic service,” said Joseph Sclafani, associate director of the TECO Center for Leadership at the Sykes College of Business.

“This will be a chance to meet face to face with the men who have shaped Florida over the past 25 years or so,” Sclafani said. “We hope that our students will learn about the personal histories of these men in their own words, their reasons for the careers they have chosen and why students should become actively involved in their communities and states as change agents.”

The series is being coordinated by Pam Iorio, who is the leader-in-residence in UT’s TECO Center for Leadership. The program is intended as a way for students, such as those who are campus leaders, leadership minors or President’s Leadership Fellows, to have an open and intimate discussion with the former governors.

Each student participant would be required to read a book about leadership written by the former governor, or a leadership book the governor recommends. Students would then listen to the former governor’s talk, and engage in a group discussion about leadership.

Four future talks with other former Florida governors are slated for the spring semester.

Sclafani said this new program will be a point of distinction for UT’s leadership programs and can be tied back to all that the TECO Center does.

“We know of no other university that has done such a series,” Sclafani said.

A reception and book signing opportunity will follow each discussion.

In future years, the series may include discussions with former Tampa mayors, as well as military leaders.