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Philanthropist Olin Mott Recognized by USF

Amie Blodgett
USF News

Businessman Olin Mott was honored Thursday by the city of Tampa and USF's College of Education for his philanthropic support of a large number of Bay area organizations and charities.

Speaking at the college's 16th Annual "Education in Action" Luncheon (sponsored in part by WUSF), Mott said he's given so much time and money to programs like the College of Education with just one thing in mind: the future of young people.

"Youngsters today have more opportunity than anyone ever in the history of this country has got. They can move forward, just get the education, that's the main thing. Without that, there's no hope."

The 91 year old Mott, who dropped out of school after sixth grade, is the owner of a tire store chainthat bears his name. He created the company after serving in World War II, where he was wounded during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He later served in Army-Navy Intelligence and is the sole survivor of his 80-man unit.

Mott is also the co-founder of Joshua House, a shelter for abused or abandoned children, and was instrumental in securing the location of USF's Tampa campus as well as in bringing football to the University.

His latest effort at USF is supporting the College of Education's Tutor-a-Bull program, which provides one-on-one tutoring by USF student teachers to middle and high school students in the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.