The University of South Florida (USF) was founded on the site of a defunct World War II airstrip in 1956. It grew enormously in just a few decades and today, with a student population exceeding 47,000, it is the third largest university in the state of Florida and the ninth largest university in the United States. The school has an excellent reputation for academics, reflected in the nickname “Harvard of the South”.
The main campus is situated in North Tampa, although there is also a campus in St. Petersburg and branch educational centers in downtown Tampa, Lakeland (USF Polytechnic) and Sarasota (USF Sarasota-Manatee). There are two university hospitals at USF, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the USF Psychiatry Center. There are six libraries at USF: the main library is the Tampa library on the main campus, where the Shimberg Health Sciences Library and the Florida Mental Health Institute Research Library are also located. The other three libraries are located on the St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Lakeland campuses.