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USF dean's special "other job" reaches 100,000 students | News

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USF dean's special "other job" reaches 100,000 students

Tampa, Florida -- One of the most important people in the history of the University of South Florida hits a major milestone Friday.

He's been with USF since it was nearly brand new and he has served as one of the school's most crucial leaders. But he also has another job.

And in that role, he has touched the lives of nearly 100,000 students.

Stuart Silverman started at USF when the Tampa campus was a scattering of low, beige brick buildings and he was a long-haired Education professor in his very first job.

In 44 years here, he's seen a small suburban school become a global research center.

"When I came here, there was not much of anything… except sandspurs and mole hills," Silverman said. "The university has grown unbelievably. This is a powerhouse of a university. It really is."

And that awesome reputation? Silverman was a huge part of building it. He's been the dean of the Honors College here for almost three decades.

"Our students are competitive with the best students in the United States," Silverman said -- in a voice that thousands of those bright students may recognize.

On top of his role leading the Honors College, Stuart Silverman took on another job more than 25 years ago.

He is the announcer at USF Tampa's graduation ceremonies.

For a generation, as each new graduate received a diploma in front of their family and friends, it was Stuart Silverman who proudly read their name to the crowd.

The 2014 commencement ceremonies take place this weekend. You can click here for the USF graduation schedule.

Silverman's robe is ready -- and so is his retirement plan.

When he reads his final name this weekend, he'll have helped close to 100,000 students step across the stage and into their new futures.

"To see somebody enjoy something -- enjoy a moment -- that maybe they never thought would happen or to know that they were thinking about their families sitting in the SunDome who -- nobody who had ever graduated from college. It's addictive! It's just addictive," he said.

Silverman says each year, those names and faces mix in even more languages and more skin tones. And that transformation has taught him something about just how much this little school has grown.

"You can tell the cultural history of the university just by looking at the names," Silverman said, still smiling with wonder after all these years. "You watch the names change, and it's a fantastic thing!"


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