The first BullsFest since 2014 saw support soar through the roof at Raymond James Stadium for a program that would make the late and great Lee Roy Selmon proud.
The largest BullsFest crowd ever of more than 500 people took place on May 18 for the premier auction event that raised funds for USF Athletics’ Selmon Mentoring Institute. The support served as a huge boost toward the $4 million endowment goal that would keep the unique program alive in Selmon’s name forever.
“We’re not only going to be able to raise the awareness of the Selmon Mentoring Institute but raise great dollars to help formulate that program and make it even stronger in the future,” Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said.
Since its inaugural class in 2014, 151 USF student-athletes have graduated from the Selmon Mentoring Institute, which continues to fulfill Selmon’s passion for preparing Bulls well for life after sports. The progressive program provides one-on-one mentorship opportunities for USF’s nearly 500 student-athletes to develop as people and professionals.
The mentor pool consists of more than 120 experts from area companies like USF Health, the Tampa Bay Lighting and Rays, ESPN, Tampa Bay Times, Parks Motor Group and Tampa Police Department. BullsFest 2019 presenter R.R. Simmons was one of 19 new mentors this academic year.
“We are encouraged by the growth the program has seen thus far and we are extremely excited about what is yet to come,” said Director of Selmon Mentoring Institute and Student-Athlete Enhancement Kristen Harris.
“The goal is to endow the program, so the Selmon Mentoring Institute remains a USF Athletics staple and continues to impact the lives of our student-athletes,” Harris added. “As we begin to move into the sixth year of the program, more student-athletes are participating and taking ownership of their futures.”