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USF St. Petersburg campus benefactors donate $1 million for endowed professorship

Jaymi Butler



Kate Tiedemann College of Business

Continuing their tradition of support for the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus, retired businesswomen Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton have made a $1 million donation to establish a new endowed professor position at the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. 

Their gift to the USF Foundation will create the Tiedemann-Cotton Endowed Professorship in Finance, which is designed to honor faculty members dedicated to education, teaching and research in finance. 

Gary Patterson, a longtime faculty member and current associate dean of the KTCOB, will be the first person to hold the position, according to a release from USF.

“Ellen and I are honored to make this gift and very pleased that Dr. Gary Patterson has been appointed to be the first Tiedemann-Cotton Endowed Professor of Finance,” Tiedemann said. “He is an exemplary scholar who is dedicated to helping students make a difference in the world.”

Patterson, who has been with the USF St. Petersburg campus since 2000, has been interested in finance since he purchased his first stock at age 12. He’s authored numerous articles on topics ranging from real estate to online education. 

“I am so pleased to appoint Gary Patterson as the first holder of this prestigious position,” said Sridhar Sundaram, dean of the KTCOB. “His contributions to the college are many and this honor is well deserved.”

Recipients of the endowment will be appointed to three year renewable terms and given financial support for salary, research, equipment and travel expenses. 

Tiedemann and Cotton are the leading donors for USF’s St. Petersburg campus, providing more than $15 million to the school. In 2014, Tiedemann’s $10 million donation gave the KTCOB its name. Last year, she and Cotton, her spouse, made a $3 million donation to endow the dean’s position within the college. They recently donated $50,000 to an emergency fund to help students in need finish their degrees during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We are deeply thankful to Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton for their continued support of the University of South Florida and their dedication to helping change the lives of our students and faculty,” said USF President Steven Currall. “Endowed professorships strengthen USF’s academic foundation for the future, raise our institution’s profile and advance our goal of becoming a top 25 public university.”

USF announced Friday that its campuses in Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg will consolidate and begin operating as a single university July 1. 



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    Susan Freiden

    June 16, 2020at3:19 pm

    Universities and colleges can sure use the financial support in these challenging times. Good for them.

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