The Expansion of University of Tampa


Kennedy Gilbert

The University of Tampa’s Plant Hall. This is what once was the iconic Tampa Bay Hotel.

The University of Tampa was founded in 1931 by Frederic Spaulding. Initially, a junior college for local students transformed into the ever-growing University of Tampa students experience today. Plant Hall, named after the notable alumni Henry B. Plant, which is deemed the “main building” for administrative purposes, was once the iconic Tampa Bay Hotel.   

UT has an enrollment of 10,566 students for fall 2022. This has grown tremendously over the years, and so have the programs of study. UT offers over 200 programs and houses four colleges: Arts and Letters, Natural Health and Sciences, Social Science, Mathematics and Education, and Business.  

Within the last 25 years, many modern additions to UT’s campus have been made. There has been the Bensen Alex Riseman Fitness and Recreation Center, Ferman Center of Arts, and the Susan and John Sykes ARS Senhora. For those who do not know what an Ars Senora is, it is simply a collection of bells connected to an electrical piano keyboard. Currently, a multipurpose 10-story building is being constructed and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2024.  

One of UT’s most generous benefactors, John and Susan Sykes, has funded various projects around campus. For example, the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values, the ARS Senora, and the Sykes College of Business. Their contributions to the UT community have shaped the school it is today.  

The school has expanded, and the city of Tampa has also done a tremendous turnaround. Students have the benefits of living right next to the flowing Hillsborough River while looking across and viewing the buildings of Downtown Tampa. At the same time, students can explore plenty of restaurants, theatre life, and museums.   

UT is a riverfront campus in a blossoming city, Tampa, Fl. For more information on the school, visit its website: