The new John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation ushers in a new era of scientific exploration at USF and nearly doubles the amount of space devoted to science education. It physically transforms the heart of campus, and its signature two-tiered outdoor plaza has quickly become a prime gathering spot for the entire university community.
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It’s no accident that Lo Schiavo Science is located at the center of campus—it is a bold statement about the university’s support for science education in the 21st century.
It is also a $54 million commitment to academic excellence and a harbinger of change. Gone are the days when science departments were isolated on different floors. In Lo Schiavo Science, all departments share classrooms, laboratories, and breakout areas throughout the building, exposing both faculty and students to new perspectives and unleashing creative potential.
This cross-disciplinary approach is critical for new fields of scientific study, such as nanotechnology, which borrows from multiple disciplines, including computer science, physics, and biology.
In Lo Schiavo Science, undergraduates enjoy a distinct USF advantage: an opportunity to work closely with top scientists on substantive research. This is a privilege reserved exclusively for graduate students at most other universities.
A number of green features, such as temperature-driven automatic windows, put Lo Schiavo Science on track to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Building Council.
“This is not just a building, it’s an incubator of knowledge,” said Jennifer Turpin, USF provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Lo Schiavo Science shouts: science is critical, science is important, and science is exciting!”
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A Beloved Namesake
The John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation is named for one of the university’s most beloved figures—Chancellor John Lo Schiavo, S.J.
But almost everyone calls him “Father Lo.”
Fr. Lo began his 14-year tenure as USF's president in 1977, following a difficult period of declining enrollment and fiscal challenges. He ushered in an era of unprecedented enrollment growth, balanced budgets, and successful fund-raising that set the university on firm financial footing.
His greatest legacy, however, may be the acquisition of Lone Mountain College, which is now USF’s iconic 23-acre Lone Mountain campus. Also during his tenure, the Koret Health and Recreation Center was built, the College of Professional Studies was established (now part of the School of Management), and the Center for the Pacific Rim was founded.
A native San Franciscan, Fr. Lo first came to USF as a professor of philosophy and theology in 1950. He also served as dean of students, vice president for student affairs, chairman of the board of trustees, and rector of USF’s Jesuit community.