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Dan Walbolt


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Dan Walbolt
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (102 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Walbolt, Dan
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements   ( lcsh )
Student affairs administrators   ( lcsh )
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


Dan Walbolt, Sr. discusses the atmosphere of the University of South Florida during the height of the Vietnam protests including specific demonstrations that took place on USF's Tampa Campus. Mr. Walbolt also talks on events in USF history such as the development of the Sun Dome and changes in student housing.
Interview conducted July 13, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029349675
oclc - 277232179
usfldc doi - U23-00144
usfldc handle - u23.144
System ID:

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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: Dan Walbolt, Sr. Interviewer: Andrew Huse Position: Retired Vice President Location of Interview: Tampa of Student Affairs Campus Library Dat e of Interview: July 13, 2004 Abstractor: Daniel Bertwell Editor: Danielle E. Riley Abstract Completed: July 23, 2004 Date of Edit: August 5, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Initial Involvement with USF John Allen, the fi rst president of USF, gave the speech at Mr. Walbolt's Clearwater High School commencement in 1958, and Mr. Walbolt didn't know who Dr. Allen was or where he was from. Mr. Walbolt went through four years at Florida State University and never heard of USF, although the school was being founded as he was at FSU. Mr. Walbolt went to law school, and when he returned from law school he joined a law firm. One of his associates was a lady named Sylvia Hardaway, whom he eventually married. Her father was USF's first employee, he was a librarian, and he became a USF Vice President. Mr. Walbolt came to many functions because of this. He and Sylvia were married in 1966. Mr. Walbolt had a "serious health scare" at about that time that made him wonder if he want ed to practice law anymore. The vice president, Herb Wunderlich, and Mr. Walbolt talked about a lot of things that they could do. This was a "difficult time" because of the Vietnam War and protests over the war. Dr. Wunderlich wanted someone to do the c ode of conduct, so Mr. Walbolt decided to make a career change. In mid December of 1969 he started at USF. What was the administration concerned about? This was prior to the Kent State killings, but opposition to the war was "tense and it was centered on college campuses and there was a lot of dissent." Everyone around the country was worried about these kinds of things. The academic world was not initially prepared for these issues. Students were angry; there was also an "east Tampa element," which wa s very conservative. Most of these people were not students, but they came on campus to police what was going on. Mr. Walbolt can remember that right after the Kent State killings, there was a lot of tension over the subject of the American flag. The ad ministrators were not supposed to lower the flag for the students. The president of the university did not have the authority lower the flag on his own and the flags never got lowered. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of students who went to the fla gpole to lower the flag or take down the flag. There were quite a few off campus people here to


2 stop them. Television crews were here to document the whole incident. Mr. Walbolt stood on top of a police car with a megaphone trying to keep order. USF got through all the difficulties and was one of the few universities around the nation that never had "an hour of disruption." They had demonstrations, but classes were never cancelled and offices were never taken over. The people opposed to the war were not just students, there were also faculty members involved in the situation. Mr. Walbolt felt kind of trapped between the students and the administration because his job was to be among the students. When he went to a social event after he left the law firm, one of the people at the firm asked him, "What is it like being out in the ivory tower?" Mr. Walbolt was surprised because he wasn't in a tower, he was "with the masses." He was amazed at how little people knew about being at USF. He felt conflic ted at times, but his job was to keep USF running. There was a planned strike following Kent State, but a lot of people attended class. Mr. Walbolt was happy that a lot of people understood that they were at USF for an education. Mr. Walbolt is not sure why there was less social strife at USF than other schools. This was during the interim presidency of Harris Dean and the presidency of Cecil Mackey. Mackey was more "polarizing" than Dean. Dean was an original member of the faculty and was widely resp ected. He set an example of calmness that helped because Dean never lost his cool. Mr. Walbolt believes that it is important that there were no overreactions by the administration. The most "chilling" time on campus was during a demonstration at what are now the intramural fields. There were thousands of people there and Mr. Walbolt was at one of the churches right next to the fields. He does not remember if there was a confrontation, but he saw the sheriff and his deputies coming through the fog in a big line. That night, a student who was in wheelchair almost got killed. The student lived in Fontana Hall and deputies were driving down the street in a tank. They almost hit the student. This was a "very stressful time" for everyone. Mr. Walbolt d id not see the event take place, but it came very close. This was the Celebration of Life event in 1970, which took place around Halloween. The people were not dispersed until very late in the evening. It advertised for "free love and smoking grass and all that sort of thing" so a lot of people came and partook in the event. USF asked for an injunction, but it wasn't enforced until late that night. Students gathering on Crescent Hill When students gathered on the Hill and had these unannounced parties, President Mackey wanted to make sure that there were no disruptions at USF at all. The demonstrators had bullhorns and sound systems to make their voices heard. Mackey issued a rule against the amplification of sound. Mackey was "maybe the brightest" p resident that Mr. Walbolt worked with, but he was not particularly popular with the students, especially radical ones. Many students were suspended because of this new rule, some defied the amplification ban during protests in front of the UC. There was a hearing for these students that was disrupted because students showed up in costumes or


3 masks. There was even a rumor that Jerry Rubin was there. This caused a change in the policy of leaving discipline up to the students. The students on the discipli nary board were "completely cowed" by this because there were 200 people in a classroom, standing on chairs and shouting. Amplified music was really a protest against Cecil Mackey. There was a radio show at USF at the time called Underground Railroad tha t played rock music. President Mackey got rid of the Underground Railroad and this was very unpopular. This decision took a decade to simmer down. Mackey thought that the radio should be for classical music, no popular music. They play mainly classical and jazz, which is still WUSF's format today. Students did many things in opposition to Mackey. Cecil Mackey Dr. Mackey was very strong minded and had an idea of what he thought a school should be. He had a plan and an idea and was not going to be dete rred. It would be too harsh to call him "confrontational," but Mackey knew exactly what he wanted and was intent on getting it. This was a real change in administrations from Presidents Allen and Dean. Mackey changed everything. He didn't change when h e went to Michigan State; Mackey even took on the MSU alumni association. Mackey also wanted his own people in the administration. Mr. Walbolt's father in law was fired before Cecil Mackey even started at USF. His father in law was a very respected pe rson on campus and was the school's first employee and started the library. Mackey brought a lot of people from FSU to work with him. He also brought Carl Riggs from Oklahoma. Mackey made a lot of changes on the campus and showed people what his adminis tration would be like. Mackey left Dr. Walbolt alone. Vice President for Student Affairs was Joe Howell, who is a great person and became a university president in Missouri. Howell was never flustered and always calm. Mackey left Howell alone because h e wanted to concentrate on academics, alumni, and fundraising issues. Student interaction was left to Howell. Mr. Walbolt saw President Mackey every week in meetings and they became good friends, but official interaction between the two was limited. A bout three years into his administration, Mackey was having a chat with students outside. The chat was taking place between the Social Science and the Education buildings. A person came up behind President Mackey and threw a pie in his face. President M ackey was "outraged." He went home to change, came back to school and called Mr. Walbolt into the office. The police chief was in President Mackey's office and Mackey asked the police chief what he was going to do if they caught the pie thrower. Mackey asked if they would press charges and the police chief did not think this was the best course of action. President Mackey asked Mr. Walbolt what he would do and Walbolt said that it was a violation of the code, but since there was a faculty/student discip linary board, most of the people would think that it was a prank and not do too much to the perpetrator. Mackey decided that it was best that they not even look for the person, because if he wasn't punished it might encourage similar actions in the future Mr. Walbolt later found out who it was. He became a public defender and later married


4 Mr. Walbolt's secretary. The person responsible was wearing a gorilla mask to conceal his identity because he was a well known figure on campus. He married Marilyn Jordan, who is now Marilyn Smith. Mr. Walbolt does not remember his first name, but his last name is Smith. Experience of working in student affairs In order to work in Student Affairs you need to have "the best interests of the students in mind" and you need to understand that there are lot of traditional college students here in their late teens and early twenties and student affairs has a certain responsibility to them and their parents. There are also many students at USF who are older. There were thousands of students older than Mr. Walbolt, there was even an SG President older than Mr. Walbolt. There were people of all different ages and different walks of life. There are students here with families and two jobs who need a chance to succeed. T here are also students who are younger and need the opportunity to become responsible adults. Mr. Walbolt was a "non traditional" vice president and one of the few with a law degree. The job requires a lot of "empathy" and "patience." You need to be "a good listener" and try to ease them through their time at school, which can be very full of stress and bureaucracy. One time there was a sit in by Gamma Hall. They had decided to build a parking lot where students used to play games or sun themselves. The parking lot has been there for a long time now, but students who used it for recreation didn't want the lot to be built. The SG president sat in the front end loader used to build the lot. They had to trade off some things off with the people who wa nted the field kept. They decided to work on another field and make it a more suitable place to have games. Background in Law Mr. Walbolt's background in the law helped him in understanding certain issues. When he first came to the school, USF didn't ha ve a lawyer. Now they have a legal office with many people. Before, when there was a legal issue the school would hire a Tampa attorney. Mr. Walbolt was one of the first people with a legal background at the school. One of his first jobs was to bring t he legal code up to date. He did this for the first several months he was at the school. This took him fifteen to twenty years to live this down, because he didn't have as good a sense of being on a university campus when he first wrote the code, which h ad "a bunch of thou shalls' and thou shall nots.'" Being able to analyze logically, the kind of thing that you receive in your legal training, helps with any kind of situation. Jack Prehle, 1973 Prehle was chief of the University Police and he was aske d to leave in 1973. Chief Prehle had a law enforcement background and had no experience in university policing. He was used to being a chief of police from a county police department. The parking services person for Chief Prehle came straight from an ar my base. He never called the campus anything but a "base." This is a good way to get an image of how these guys


5 interpreted things. Prehle "moderated his views" over time, but he looked like a Secret Service agent guarding the president. Prehle wore su its and aviator glasses. He seemed like a target for people in the student body. Paul Uravich, who followed Prehle, did come from a university background and he understood how different a campus was to police. It was more of an image difference because Chief Prehle had a different persona than Uravich. Becoming Assistant Vice President Mr. Walbolt became assistant vice president in 1973. At this point he had to begin evaluating employees and hiring and firing. He also had to give "programmatic directi on to the division." Nothing changed too much until he became the vice president in 1977. At this point you are working campus wide rather than focusing just on your division. Mr. Walbolt was vice president of Student Affairs from 1977 to 1991. The p osition stayed "relatively the same" despite the fact that the university was changing quite a bit. When Mr. Walbolt first came here, there were deans of men and deans of women on campus. Mr. Walbolt finds this funny now, but at the time it was normal an d people devoted a lot of energy to keeping order at the dorms. He looks back at the debate over dorm visitation and thinks that it is funny now, but it was a "huge debate" at the time. They had the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma residence halls on campus. Th ese were traditional set ups with shared showers and "rooms lined up." This set up did not lend itself to visitation and didn't lend itself to co ed dorms. On the other side of the road was the Andros complex; they had suites that shared bathrooms. Ever yone spent lots of time and attention wondering about visitation and now Mr. Walbolt wonders why they spent all that time on this issue. Now there are co ed dorms, co ed floors, and this is different than when he started. These kinds of responsibilities "faded away" and they spent more time on leadership issues and working with Student Government. Student Government Because of the issues with the war in Vietnam and the amplification rule under President Mackey, Mr. Walbolt's relationship with student g overnment was "very strained." Most importantly, when the activity and service fee law was passed, they took a lot of responsibility from student affairs and put in on the shoulders of student government. They had to allocate several thousand dollars. T he president could veto these fees, but Mr. Walbolt thought that programs with state money and state employees shouldn't be "subject to the whims of student government." He fought this change for a long time and lost every time to the legislature. This w as because the SG had a strong lobby force. Students were sure this was something they wanted. They would compromise on almost every issue, but not this one. Most legislatures thought that student activities would be intramurals and things like that. T hey arrived at the conclusion that students should have this. Mr. Walbolt still believes that programs and services that affect full time state employees shouldn't be subject to the whims of the students. Mr. Walbolt believes strongly in


6 participation in decision making, but also feels that someone who has the authority to make these decisions should make them. This person can be fired if they make a wrong decision. The first time they had a confrontation was during the tenure of interim President Wil liam Reece Smith, who was a former law partner of Mr. Walbolt. The budget came to the President for approval and he didn't do anything with it. After a while they gave student government what they got the previous year and the issue disappeared. Mr. Wa lbolt thinks that the students knew better than to make an issue of it, because this would convince the legislature that they might have been wrong. Overall, Mr. Walbolt thinks that the students have been "largely responsible." Mr. Walbolt does not remem ber an SG president he did not have "great respect for" and he believes that they had "great respect" for him. Some of these people remain his friends today, and he remains in contact with them. Many of them are lawyers. One lawyer in Tallahassee named Bill Davis was president during the Vietnam War and he is very respected lawyer now. There will always be confrontations between people who are in charge and people who are not. There will always be some tension there, this is just "part of life." Decid ed to not allow showings of "Reefer Madness" on campus Mr. Walbolt is surprised now that he didn't allow showings of the movie on campus. He would "never do that again." As he has grown older Mr. Walbolt has become more libertarian on issues such as thes e. He does remember there being issues with films and some exhibits at the University Center. Making these decisions was a difficult process for him, because as a lawyer, Mr. Walbolt believed in free expression. But there were kids from junior and senio r high schools who went through this building all the time, so they decided to move the exhibits to different rooms, but there were students who viewed this as censorship too. Problems with openness on campus Sometimes the administration refused to open f iles to student requests, causing issues with different SG administrations. Mr. Walbolt is sure that in most cases personnel files were those that they refused to open. At the time he was oriented towards legal issues. He doesn't remember the exact file or situation, but he assumes and hopes that it was a personnel file that should not have been released. WUSF Student Government filed a complaint similar to their questions over the opening of files. This case was filed with the Hillsborough County Stat e Attorney because Manny Lucoff would not allow them to open certain documents. Mr. Walbolt remembers being called to Mr. Lucoff's office in the basement of the old library. There were fifty people there at the time. Lucoff did his best to defend Presid ent Mackey's decision to get rid of the Underground Railroad. There were a lot of issues like this, people wanting to get public records and having open meetings. Students demanded to see everything and there were some problems with issues over what appl ied to Florida Sunshine Laws.


7 Library sit in Mr. Walbolt barely remembers the library sit in. Because of budget problems, they had to cut the library's hours. Many students participated in a sit in to register their displeasure with this. Mr. Walbolt w as not directly involved in this. Women in Religion class disruption Some people were debating issues in this class so vociferously that Mr. Walbolt and UP Chief Uravich had to go into the class. Mr. Walbolt isn't sure if they suspended anyone from the c lass itself, but they may have suspended someone afterwards. He doesn't remember the exact issue, but there was a sexual innuendo that some people felt was inappropriate. Iranian Students Association, Jewish Student Union, Student Zionist Movement Mr. Wa lbolt issued a directive that all three groups would have no activities for the rest of a quarter. These were "very incendiary times." This was just before the overthrow of the Shah and this changed everything. The issue on the USF campus was a "microco sm" of all the issues going on around the world. The Jewish groups had an interpretation of the overthrow and the Ayatollah. The Iranian Students of Organization was very large. There were hundreds of Iranians on campus and many of them were members of the group, so it was one of the largest student organizations at USF. Tension was very high at that time so they decided it would be best to "keep a lid on things" and keep all the meetings as controlled as possible. This was a problem on the national le vel and as a result they were not able to give any more visas to Iranian students, which was a "really awful" situation. Mr. Walbolt does not like to stop people from their right to demonstrate, but there were very real questions of whether or not violenc e would occur at these meetings. Professor Bruce Williamson The Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade was a group on campus that counted Biology Professor Bruce Williamson among its members. This was a tenure and/or promotion issue, so Mr. Walbolt was no t involved in the decision. James Ray, the dean, decided not to give Williamson tenure. Some thought this was because of Williamson's involvement in the RCYB. He held rallies in support of the Iranian Revolution. There was a general swing away from t he revolutionary beliefs of the early seventies. There was a recession at the beginning and at the end of the decade the recession was getting better. Students were not as galvanized on social issues as before, they were more interested in their resumes. Mr. Walbolt thinks that this is a "microcosm" of broader issues in the United States. Alcohol on campus Mr. Walbolt was asked to judge a baby bottle beer chugging competition. He was asked to do it; it seemed harmless and seemed like it might be fun. He was also bought during an auction to tend bar for a fraternity party. Administrators put themselves up for auction and could be bid on. Winners could use the administrators to help their group for an event. One fraternity (ATO) bought Mr. Walbolt and asked him to tend bar for them for


8 their party. This was what working in Student Affairs was like. William Reece Smith, a very decorated and respected lawyer, has a picture of himself playing in a Donkey Basketball game. Mr. Walbolt played in that game too. This was something that you did in student affairs to have fun and make fun of yourself. Kidnap the President Lamba Chi Alpha (which Mr. Walbolt belonged to at FSU) went to other fraternities and sororities and "kidnapped" their presidents. They would go to the UC, all the fraternities and sororities would have to pay a "ransom" (canned goods for the poor) to get their president out, and then everyone would have a big party. They had to change this one year because President Reagan came to campu s and the Secret Service did not want to have a "kidnap the president" event going on at the same time. Sun Dome They held a "whatchamacallit" contest to name the Sun Dome. Mr. Walbolt remembers that there were many "intentionally weird" and "obscene" su ggestions. Mr. Walbolt admits that they knew what they were going to name the Dome well before the contest began. He didn't ask anyone to forward the name, but they knew that someone would. There were more than one entries for Sun Dome and they had to d raw answers from the hat, a female student won the contest and got free entry to the dome for ten years. Negotiations for the purchase of Fontana There were many times that the school considered buying Fontana Hall. Both Fontana Hall and Desoto Hall used to be dorms, but the company that owned them sold Desoto and it became an assisted living space for the elderly (USF's First First Lady, Grace Allen, lives in the former Desoto Hall, now John Knox Village). They were worried that Fontana was going to be changed over also. There were several hundred beds in the Fontana so the fear of place changing over was very real. They made several offers for Fontana, and got very close, but never actually got the dorm. They finally gave up because the group told th e administration, in writing, that they had "no plans" to change the hall from a student living space. They also gave the university the right of first refusal if they planned on selling. African Americans on campus As VP for Student Affairs Mr. Walbolt had a responsibility to diversity issues. This was university, state, and national policy. Mr. Walbolt is pretty sure that admissions reported directly to him. This was a difficult issue because there was a division between the groups and there were har d issues to deal with because a lot of black students wanted their own building and wanted to start Black Student Unions. Mr. Walbolt wondered if there should be that kind of segregation on campus. The Black Student Union received a lot of support from Student Government and the administration. There was also a "very significant" African American president on the staff named Troy Collier. He was a former Harlem Globetrotter. There were several black people on the staff and Mr. Walbolt believes this s howed a commitment to inclusion, but discrimination had gone on for a long time and there were many people


9 who were difficult to please, understandably so, but they tried hard to accommodate and most problems were budgetary at their heart. There was a t ime when the BSU telephone charges got higher than they should have gone and this was a difficult issue and a very sensitive issue to deal with. The administration had to assert themselves because the Student Government wanted to "zero fund" the BSU becau se they were getting tired to overspending. There were major differences between white students and black students that Mr. Walbolt did not know about. Just simple things like when each groups had parties. White students would have parties from 9:00 t o about 1:00, the black students parties generally started at 11:00 or 12:00 and went to 3:00 or 4:00. This was a big issue for the UC because the UC closes about the same time these parties start or really pick up. This was a big issue. They started to solve this problem with a fund of some money that could be used to keep the UC open. The problems that sometimes came about were related to large sections of people coming to on campus events even though they are not students. Therefore, there needed to be police officers at the events. This was also a racist issue on some levels because no money was put aside for white organizations to keep the union open. Housing situations The administration wanted to get more housing on campus. They didn't have e xtra money, so they put together money to put together what they could. The dorms now are "wonderful, gorgeous places," but the money wasn't there earlier. They decided to build a residential village "with the expressed purpose that would last maybe ten or fifteen years and we'd bulldoze it down." They looked around and saw pre manufactured houses offered by Cardinal Homes and all they had were square rooms, with a bathroom and a kitchen. The administration decided to design their own rooms based on the Cardinal Homes. An architect designed homes for USF, but Cardinal Homes sued the university and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. It was Cardinal versus. Brown and Mr. Walbolt had to testify in federal court that they didn't violate the Ca rdinal Copyright. The university argued that if a dorm space needs a small kitchen, a room for sleeping, and a bathroom, what kind of flexibility is there to change things? They knew that they needed good resident halls, but didn't have the money to ma ke the best ones, so they decided to make a temporary living space for students. Dr. Larry Stevens Dr. Stevens worked for the Student Health Center and was under investigation for stealing pills form the Health Center. Mr. Walbolt was Stevens' immediate boss and Stevens was allowed to stay on staff. He didn't stay long because Dr. Stevens went into practice with other people who had ties to the university. They worked in a medical office and as far as Dr. Walbolt knows they are still in business.


10 Omicr on Delta Kappa Mr. Walbolt was faculty advisor for Omicron Delta Kappa, which is "the premier national leadership organization in the country" and Mr. Walbolt was a member at FSU. When he first came to USF, a gentleman named Bob Ellis, in engineering, was the advisor. He left to go to another state university. Mr. Walbolt was in his late twenties or early thirties and was asked to be faculty advisor. He kept the position the whole time he was at USF. One thing that happened that Mr. Walbolt is "excep tionally proud of" was a situation with a female engineering student at USF. She was nominated for membership in ODK, at the time it was a male group, the female counterpart was Mortar Board. They voted her into membership at USF, but she could not be ce rtified nationally because she was a woman. They sent a group of people to challenge the group's national constitution and USF prevailed, making her the first woman in the history of ODK. Visiting Professor of Mass Communications Law There was a professo r in Mass Communications named Steve Yates, who was well respected and liked around campus. He taught the law course in the Mass Communications department. Professor Yates died suddenly right after Mr. Walbolt came to campus. The dean asked Mr. Walbolt for a recommendation for an adjunct. This happened over Christmas break and they needed a professor in January. Mr. Walbolt didn't think they would find someone, so he offered to do it for free. He spent the Christmas vacation working on the syllabus an d reading. From this he put the course together. Another of Mr. Walbolt's favorite accomplishments is being named one of the top ten professors at USF. This happened at some point in the 1990s. He was very "humbled" to receive the award and "loved to t each that course." Sun Dome Mr. Walbolt was president and chairman of the Sun Dome from 1980 1991. In the mid to late 1970s people at UF and FSU realized that they could not compete with national basketball powers in the places they played. Both teams p layed in their gyms with people working out during the games. Legislators decided to do something about this because Florida was in the same league as many very good basketball programs. Mr. Walbolt was in the president's office when he received a call f rom the BOR about the possibility of receiving about $9 $11 million to build a multi purpose facility which could be used for basketball. USF went in with UF to design a single facility that would have an air supported roof. They didn't have enough money at USF to enclose the entrances, but Florida got a bigger piece of the pie and attached their swimming pool and gymnastic unit. The "core unit" was the same at both schools. At USF they had to save money in any way that they could. Representatives from a manufacturing company came down and gave them a way to save many thousands of dollars. They would share the seats with the O'Connell Center (at the University of Florida), but USF's seats would have to be UF's colors: orange and blue. Mr. Walbolt was insulted that someone would propose such a thing and ended the meeting immediately.


11 Once the Sun Dome was built, "it changed the perception of this campus in a way that probably is unique in its history." At the time, the only place to see a concert wa s in Lakeland. Once the Dome opened, they were the only place to go and see a concert. They had many rock n' roll acts. Frank Sinatra played the Dome four times, Neil Diamond played at the Dome, Bob Barker came with the Price is Right and they set an a ttendance record that stood for years. President Reagan came to Dome; the Sesame Street Tour came to the Dome. All these things brought people to the campus that had never been here before and it impressed people from all over the Tampa area. At first t here were major traffic problems, but over time people knew where the Dome was and actually looked around campus and realized that USF had much to offer. Lee Rose and the Basketball Program The Sun Dome was a huge success. The basketball team hired Lee R ose, a well respected person in the sport and he took the team to the NCAA tournament. Everything changed for USF. High school students would come to the campus and realize they may want to come here. At the time, there was a problem with occasional con flicts between basketball practice and scheduled concerts. Lee Rose was a volatile person, but it was understandable because he was hired to coach basketball and wanted to accomplish goals for the team. This was a problem for women's and men's basketball because both squads wanted to practice between 3:00 5:00. This way, most players would not be in class and they would finish before dinner. But they couldn't have both teams practice; this led to "constant irritation" for Mr. Walbolt. Now as time has past, there are other places that people can go if they want to have concerts in the area, and the Sun Dome has been added on to, which takes some of the scheduling issues away, but the Dome "still remains a very integral part of what this University is." Some of the conflicts with Coach Rose, Mike Barber, and Mike LaPan (they were the directors of the Sun Dome) were "pretty intense." Coach Rose felt very "strongly" about his reasons for being brought to USF. He believed that the school hired him to bri ng an NCAA championship to USF. He used to relate a story about Hall and Oates. The basketball team practiced in the gym at the College of Public Health one night when Hall and Oates were playing the Dome. Either Hall or Oates had been busted for mariju ana. Every time this was mentioned in the paper Lee Rose would clip it out of the paper, underline the quote, and send it to Mr. Walbolt. Lee Rose went on to professional basketball and the university hired coaches that were a little more understanding of a university's special needs. They probably made $50,000 having the Hall and Oates show on campus, the school couldn't afford to not have them perform. The problems have started up again now that the football program has some more prominence because they had their locker rooms and weight rooms in the Sun Dome. This has changed back to normal.


12 Favorite Times at USF There isn't a particular era that sticks out. There were many things that Mr. Walbolt liked to do; he especially liked to teach. He lik ed to interact with the athletes. Through this interaction he made friends that he'll have for his entire life. He had a great staff and sees some of them still. Phyllis Marshall remains a "dear dear friend." Mr. Walbolt is very happy with the relation ships that he developed with people throughout his time here. End of Interview

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datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a U23-00144
0 033
b 3934
1 100
Walbolt, Dan.
Dan Walbolt
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Andrew Huse.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (102 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted July 13, 2004.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Dan Walbolt, Sr. discusses the atmosphere of the University of South Florida during the height of the Vietnam protests including specific demonstrations that took place on USF's Tampa Campus. Mr. Walbolt also talks on events in USF history such as the development of the Sun Dome and changes in student housing.
Walbolt, Dan.
2 610
University of South Florida.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
x Protest movements.
Student affairs administrators.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Huse, Andrew T.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856