STORY OF GIVING
Debbie and Brent Sembler
The Sembler family believes in the promise of USF St. Petersburg.
Debbie Sembler has served on the USF Board of Trustees for nearly a decade, and currently serves as the Chair of the Campus Board for USF St. Petersburg. During her time on the board and as chair, she has developed a passion for the institution.
“I had never stepped foot on the campus of USF St. Petersburg until I began my service on the University Board of Trustees,” said Debbie. “Now, I feel such a bond with this institution and I’ve enjoyed being a part of its tremendous growth. I think this is one of the best kept secrets in St. Petersburg. I’ve recruited a lot of students to come to school here, extolling all of its virtues in the process. That’s how much I believe in it.”
Debbie, along with her husband Brent, showed their love for USF St. Petersburg with a gift for campus development, leading to the creation of the Sembler Family Fountain and surrounding environs. Located at the heart of the USF St. Petersburg campus, the area has become a focal point for students and faculty alike.
“I wanted a place for the students to come and call their own,” said Debbie. “Now when I walk on campus and I see all the students doing activities around the fountain, I feel wonderful.”
For his part, Brent Sembler believes that the family’s gift provided another stepping stone for a dynamic, growing university.
“I like supporting the growth of this institution in our community,” said Brent. “I like having USF St. Petersburg in the heart of downtown – I think it’s great for our city. You can see the progress in all of the new buildings, you can see it in the Fountain plaza area – the university is on the move.”