1. Education

Howard and Patricia Jenkins give $10M gift to University of Tampa

Howard and Patricia Jenkins’ gift is one the largest ever for the University of Tampa. Howard’s son and daughter attended UT.
Howard and Patricia Jenkins’ gift is one the largest ever for the University of Tampa. Howard’s son and daughter attended UT.
Published Oct. 24, 2014

TAMPA — A University of Tampa residence hall will be named in honor of Howard and Patricia Jenkins after the couple donated $10 million to the university, one of the largest gifts in its history.

The donation will go toward construction of another new residence hall, which is under way, university spokesman Eric Cárdenas said Thursday.

Howard Jenkins, 63, is the chairman of the executive committee of Publix Super Markets and a member of UT's board of trustees. Patricia Jenkins, 59, founded Apollo Environmental, which specializes in hazardous materials consulting and analysis, expert witness testimony and regulatory compliance.

The school has grown substantially under university president Ronald L. Vaughn, Howard Jenkins said. Vaughn has served as president since 1995.

"I'm just here to help him and others continue to grow the university," Jenkins said.

His son and daughter also attended the university.

"They were very appreciative of the education they received, and the help they received from the university," Jenkins said. The school treated them as individuals, he said, "not just numbers."

"(Howard and Patricia Jenkins) have made such a significant and visible impact on so many cultural and educational areas in Tampa Bay," Vaughn said in a statement Thursday, announcing the gift. "We are pleased to welcome them to the UT community and are thrilled they have chosen UT as one of the institutions they believe in enough to support."

The gift is one of several large donations made to bay area universities recently. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik offered last week to donate land to the University of South Florida to build a downtown medical school, and Frank Morsani pledged $20 million to the project.

Earlier this month, the University of South Florida announced a $25 million gift from Les and Pam Muma to its College of Business. USF St. Petersburg announced in September a $10 million gift from retired entrepreneur Kate Tiedemann for the school's College of Business.

UT's 11-story West Kennedy Hall, which was completed in August 2013 and houses 528 students, will bear the Jenkins name. The residence hall was named the outstanding project of the year for new construction in higher education by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council last year.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Keeley Sheehan at or (813) 226-3368. Follow @KeeleyMSheehan.


  1. Prekindergarten students at James B. Sanderlin IB World School in St. Petersburg, show the peace sign during an assembly in 2012. New state data show children in prekindergarten are better prepared for kindergarten than those who don't attend.
  2. Leon County fifth-grader Ingrid Hanley asks the Senate Education Committee not to adopt legislation that would get tougher on D-rated schools, during a Feb. 17, 2020, session.
  3. Nadia King, 6, is smiles for a photo. The special-needs student was taken from school Feb. 4 and placed in a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act, and now her mother and a team of attorneys are asking why.
  4. The Voluntary Prekindergarten room is one feature of the new Bardmoor Branch of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. The location also includes a child-care center and Preschool Academy.
  5. Robert Nathaniel Bacon, 54, left, was arrested on a felony charge of operating a drug house in addition to a charge of methamphetamine possession.
Martin Skelly, 41, was arrested on multiple drug charges, including possessing and selling methamphetamine and heroin with 1,000 feet of a school.
  6. FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. School districts continue to improve their security plans in the aftermath. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
  7. Clay County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis (wearing a pink tie), center, takes photos with the  Hillsborough County Public Schools board members after being voted unaminous as the new incoming superintendent in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
  8. University of Florida students walk through Turlington Plaza in between classes on Thursday afternoon, February 13, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla.
  9. Chikara Parks, right, along with her children in front of their home in St. Petersburg. In the back is Kamijah Laswon, 14. In front of Kamijah is her sister Tanijah Clark, 12. Their brothers are 7-year-old Tai'jon Carter, left, and Dai'quan Carbart, 9. The four children used to attend Pinellas public schools. Now they are in private schools, using Florida's tax credit scholarship program. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  10. Florida Board of Education member Michael Olenick speaks during a July 17, 2019, board meeting in Polk County. [The Florida Channel]
  11. A new house under construction in Waterset on Big Bend Road in Hillsborough County's Apollo Beach area. Developed by Newland Communities, which also developed Fishhawk Ranch  in Hillsborough, Waterset has had more housing starts in the past year than any other new-home community in the Tampa Bay area. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times]
  12. Janiyah, left, and Stephanie Davis of Philadelphia, stand as they are recognized by President Donald Trump during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)