St. Pete City Council members celebrated anniversaries for two of the city’s key establishments during a meeting Thursday. Both the Museum of Fine Arts and the University of South Florida St. Pete turn 50 this year.
MFA head Kent Lydecker spent more than 10 minutes talking up the museum nestled in between Beach Drive and Bayshore Drive. The museum and USFSP were both founded in 1965.
“We’re all looking to that next 50 years,” Lydecker said.
The MFA founders envisioned a museum worthy of its city. Over the past five decades the museum has grown to house works of art from all civilizations in all time eras. Now, four of its permanent pieces are taking a trip to New York to go on temporary display.
Lydecker highlighted that as evidence that the MFA collection is world class.
In celebration of 50 years, MFA is hosting a series of special events. That includes an exhibition highlighting women, an acoustic guitar exhibition and “Megacities Asia.”
USF St. Pete is also celebrating its 50th this year. The school has enjoyed increased enrollment, historic bachelor’s degree completions and increased academic success.
For the first time ever, five USFSP grads were honored as King O’Neil Scholars, a distinction given only to those students who graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average.
The city recently partnered with the school to co-name Sixth Avenue South “University Way.”
USFSP students are also coming to St. Pete for school from out of state more often than ever. The school’s residency hall is at capacity.
The school is also in the process of opening a new facility at the old Dali Museum site that will serve, among other things, as an auditorium.