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interviewed by Danielle E. Riley.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (58 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted June 7, 2004.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Steven Oscher, president of the Board of Directors for the University of South Florida Sun Dome, and former president of the National Alumni Association, discusses his time as a USF student and president of Beta Alpha Psi.
University of South Florida.
Beta Alpha Psi.
Riley, Danielle E.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Steven Oscher Interviewer: Danielle E. Riley Current Position: Managing Director Location of Interview: Tampa of Oscher Consulting Campus Li brary Date of Interview: June 7, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Danielle E. Riley Date of Abstract: June 18, 2004 Date of Edit: June 22, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Mr. Oscher came to USF in 1975. Early expe riences Oscher grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1969, he made the decision to join the U.S. Navy's Submarine Service, where he spent six years on active duty. In late 1971, he had come to Florida while on leave from one of his patrols, and again in 1972 wit h a friend who lived in St. Petersburg. "I came down and fell in love with the area." USF; Academics At that time, he was thinking about studying engineering largely because of the experiences that he had working for the U.S. Navy. The Armed Forces had a program called the G.I. Bill which allowed Oscher to return to school when he did. While initially applying for the engineering program at USF, he decided instead to study business as an incoming freshman, concentrating on accounting. First impression o f USF His impression of the USF campus was much different than those northern universities he had been accustomed to seeing. "Here it looked like a pasture. There was a lot of empty space. There were buildings that dotted the landscape, and they were all yellow and not very attractive. But, Tampa was still a wonderful community." Impressions of Tampa Bay area When he visited Tampa in 1972, he recalls, "There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the temperatures were in the mid seventies, and it was just a beautifu l place to go to." Though he had been considering a move to California, he instead decided on South Florida. His first semester as a student at USF was in 1975. Living arrangements When he moved to Florida, he first lived in Temple Terrace. By the time he had enrolled as a student at USF, he was living in an apartment in the Carrollwood area.
2 Extracurricular involvement Initially, he does not recall having any interests at USF beyond his academic involvement. After spending six years on active duty, "I w as trying to get out of this place as quickly as possible," taking fifteen to seventeen credit hours each quarter. As a result, he was able to finish his studies in just over two years. VA assistance At the time, there was "a pretty large contingency" of veterans on campus. While the VA provided on campus jobs for many of the veterans, Oscher's academics soon took precedence and he chose not to work while completing his studies at USF. Instead, relying on student loans for additional income on top of the G .I. Bill subsidies. Beta Alpha Psi Oscher remembers one faculty member, Professor Harris, who "started prodding me along and suggesting that accounting might be an area I might want to pursue." He was later accepted to an honors society, Beta Alpha Psi, where he was exposed to more of the profession and work of accounting. Ultimately, that was the organization with which he was most exclusively involved at the University. He was elected President of the Society, a position in which he served for his final two quarters as a student. The Honor Society, according to Oscher, had several functions. Foremost, "You were introducing the accounting profession to the accounting students," thus there was an important exchange between the "academic world" and the "r eal world." Secondly, they were involved in a number of projects on campus, such as tutoring for students struggling in the program. Occasional fundraisers were also held with the intent to raise scholarship money for the accounting students. Classes W hile the accounting classes started out large, Oscher remembers that there was a "pretty high attrition rate," and by the end of the term, the numbers had decreased significantly. Because he had spent a number of years in the military, he felt that he was always one of the oldest students in the classroom. Social experiences The University Center, he recalls, "Was probably the dominant place for gathering probably like it is today." Otherwise, as an older student, he did not spend a great deal of time s ocializing or spending time on or around the campus. "It was just not a part of my routine to stay on campus any longer than I had to." "I came for an education. At the time, I was truly feeling that I was being challenged in the courses, and the profess ors that I had were pushing in a way that I wanted to be pushed, and so I was very positive about the experience."
3 Graduation Oscher received his B.A. in accounting in 1977. Upon graduation, he "had a vision of getting out [into] the business community. The accounting degree gave me the basic ability to sit for the CPA exam and give me that professional credential." After graduation; National Alumni Association After graduation, Oscher to work at an accounting office in Minneapolis for a couple of yea rs. When he completed his two year tenure with Alexander Graham, he returned to Tampa, where he has been ever since. All the while, he continued to maintain connections to and involvement with the University community in Tampa. In the early eighties, he se rved on the National Alumni Board at USF for some time. A couple years later, in 1984, he was elected President of the National Alumni Association. Alumni Association activities On the Alumni Association, he began working on USF's "Capital Campaign" unde r the direction of Joe Busta. The intention of the program was to generate recognition and support for the University on a national level. "While the University had received gifts of varying sizes there still was not a focus in our community on what USF meant to the community, specifically or generally. So, there was an education process that was needed." Continuing involvement Oscher is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors for USF's Sun Dome, a position he has held for nearly fif teen years. Asked what his responsibilities are in that position, Oscher replied, "I don't do anything I show up at meetings when I'm told to show up." When asked if there are any other experiences he would like to share, Oscher replies, "Not on camera. End of Interview