Following other UT residence halls that have been renamed for the University’s benefactors, Kennedy Place was officially renamed Frank P. Urso Hall earlier this weekend.
The building was renamed in honor of the 1957 UT alumnus during a ceremony Friday that celebrated Urso’s $3 million donation to the University.
“Dr. Urso felt strongly about what UT had done for him in terms of his education,” said Tom Giddens, the Director of Major and Planned Giving. “He was very influenced by a couple of faculty members who assisted him to go on to medical school.”
After graduating from UT, Urso went to medical school at the University of Miami and graduated with honors. He then served as the director of pathology and clinical laboratories at three major hospitals. He worked as a professor of pathology at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and there was honored twice as “Lecturer of the Year.”
In his retirement, Urso published a memoir: “A Stranger in the Barrio: Memoir of a Tampa Sicilian.” As part of the residence hall dedication, each student in the hall will be given a copy of his book.
A UT LEGACY
UT president Ronald Vaughn was excited about the donation but was even more enthusiastic about its source and Urso’s story.
“[Urso is] a tremendous success story you want everyone to know about,” Vaughn said. “He went from being poor to having a lot of success, and he attributes a lot of that to UT. It’s a great transformative story. We’re thrilled to name the hall after him.”
Urso has lived the American dream, said his son, Lt. Commander Phil Urso.