University of South Florida


USF News

Academy Award Winner Viola Davis to Speak at USF on April 4

TAMPA, Fla. (March 24, 2017) – Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis will speak at the University of South Florida on Tuesday, April 4 during USF Week, a weeklong celebration of Bull pride held each spring.

Davis will speak as part of the student-run University Lecture Series (ULS). Doors in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom will open at 7:45 p.m. Seating will be limited, with USF students having priority. If overflow seating is needed, a live-stream of the lecture will be shown in the MSC’s Oval Theater. The ULS audience policy can be found here.

Viola Davis | Photo by Brian Bowen Smith

Davis’ performances have earned numerous awards, including a 2017 Academy Award for her supporting role in Fences. The award made her the first black actor/actress to win an Oscar, Tony and Emmy for acting. The versatile actress has received Oscar nominations for her roles in The Help (2011) and Doubt (2008). She currently stars as in the ABC television series How to Get Away with Murder. As a speaker, Davis draws from her professional and private life, speaking about overcoming poverty as a child, becoming a stronger woman by working through preconceived notions, and elevating the voices of women of color through art.

USF Week, scheduled for April 3-7, also features Bullstock, a free outdoor concert on Friday, April 7. Performers are expected to be announced next week. The concert is scheduled for 5 p.m. – midnight in Sun Dome parking lot 22D.

Coordinated by the Center for Student Involvement and Fraternity/Sorority Life, USF Week will also feature the following events:

Kickoff – Monday, April 3, 5:30 p.m., MSC Amphitheater

The week kicks off with a Miami luau themed event featuring music, food and giveaways.

Ultimate Bull Talent ShowWednesday, April 5, 7 p.m. MSC Oval Theater

Students put their talents to test to compete for the title of Ultimate Bull.

Undergraduate Research & Arts ColloquiumThursday, April 6, 9:30 a.m., MSC Ballroom

USF undergraduate students in all disciplines present their current research.

Rocky’s Birthday BashThursday, April 6, 8:00 p.m., MLK Lawn

Celebrate Rocky the Bull’s birthday with a glow-in-the-dark party with food, music and giveaways.

USF Softball vs. East Carolina University Friday, April 7, 4 p.m., USF Softball Stadium

USF Baseball vs. East Carolina University Friday, April 7, 6:30 p.m., USF Baseball Stadium

USF Week began as USF Day in 2010 and has expanded into a celebration that includes each USF System institution. More information on all events can be found at

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.