University of South Florida

An idea whose time had come: Florida’s first College of Public Health

From left: Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health, the late Robert Hamlin and Rep. Sam Bell, “the godfather of COPH.”

“USF was chosen as the place for Florida’s College of Public Health,” Dr. Peter Levin wrote in 1984, “because of the broad base of knowledge found in the many colleges of the University and the unique Tampa location.”

Levin, the college’s first dean, expounded further, noting that not only faculty from the colleges of medicine and nursing, but from business, education, engineering, natural sciences and social sciences were “key to the development of the college.”

Three decades of growth and innumerable success stories later, former Fla. Rep. Samuel P. Bell III shed more light on the founding of COPH.

Like many created entities of any kind, it all started with one person’s idea and another person’s decision to act on it.

Read full story and view photos of USF College of Public Health’s first 30 years.

View COPH 30th anniversary website.

30th_COPH Anniversary


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