ONCE A YEAR, Bull chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil and software engineers gather for one night to do what engineers do best: Solve a problem. With Bullarney, an evening of fun and games, they raise serious money for USF engineering students. “Back when Bullarney was created, we didn’t have a lot of scholarships in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Alumni Society wanted to fix that,” says Robert “Bob” Andrew, the 2016 Bullarney chair and a 1989 and ’92 alumnus. “Today we have an endowed account that’s providing yearly scholarships of $2,000 each to four students. Now, the money we raise funds other activities. A big one is giving money to students to go to professional conferences.” Bullarney, always held in March in honor of St.
Patrick, the patron saint of engineers, marked its 20th anniversary this year. It has helped raise more than $500,000 and provided scholarships for more than 500 students through events that have included dinners with guests decked out as mad scientists and Monty Python characters. In recent years, Bullarney morphed into a Las Vegas-style casino night with food, drink, music and a silent auction. “We do it to help the students, the future engineers, and to support the College of Engineering,” says Andrew, an Alumni Association Life Member. “But we also do it because engineers have the reputation of being nerds who don’t know how to have fun. That’s not true! We do know how to party – we just do it a little differently than other people.” n
OPPOSITE PAGE: From left, Shelley Serra, MA ’00, Tommy Serra, Robin Watson and Robert Watson (hidden) play blackjack. ABOVE LEFT: Center, USFSM faculty member Dug Cooley and Myra Cooley, ’71 and MS ’74, keep their eyes on the prize. ABOVE RIGHT: Philomina Joseph rolls the dice as chemical engineering professor Babu Joseph cheers her on.
SPRING 2016 5
The official magazine of the University of South Florida Alumni Association.