‘At the end of the day, college is for the students’

Steven and Meghan Tauber create estate gift to support students in arts and sciences

June 26, 2024

By Kiley Mallard

After nearly 30 years of teaching and mentoring students, conducting research, serving in administrative roles and giving to causes across the university, Steven Tauber has already left an indelible mark on the University of South Florida.

But a chance conversation with a USF Foundation employee got him thinking about what else he’d like to leave behind.

“I jokingly said, ‘I’d like a statue or to have my favorite place on campus, the pond by Castor Beach, named for me,’” he says.

“The Dr. Steven C. Tauber Duck Pond,” says his wife, Meghan Hogan-Tauber, with a laugh.

Jokes aside, the Taubers began serious discussions about an estate gift to the university and contemplating what impact they wanted to have on future students. They settled on a $1 million bequest that will establish the Steven and Meghan Tauber Endowed Scholarship.

“Steve has been a dedicated faculty member at the University of South Florida for decades, serving his students, colleagues and his field with distinction,” says USF President Rhea Law. “This scholarship will ensure his impactful legacy continues for generations to come, and we sincerely appreciate the generous support that he and his wife, Meghan, have provided to our students.”

The Taubers like the idea of creating a scholarship because it will directly benefit students.

“At the end of the day, college is for the students. If it wasn’t for the students, none of this would exist,” Steven says.

Education, he says, transforms people’s lives, and scholarship support can help make that happen for students who may not have the resources to achieve their goals.

The Tauber Endowed Scholarship will support students in the College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, with preference for students majoring in political science or international studies.

“I want to give back to my home department that I had a large hand in creating,” Steven says.

Magali Michael, the college’s interim dean, says the Taubers’ gift will be life-changing for recipients. 

“I am so impressed by Steve’s dedication as a faculty member to USF and its educational mission to the extent that he is willing to establish such a scholarship fund through an estate gift,” she says.

The Taubers both have deep ties to the university.

Steven is a long-serving professor of political science and currently serves as vice provost for faculty administration. He came to USF as a visiting instructor in 1995 immediately after finishing his doctorate. 

Taubers meet with Jay Stroman
Meghan Hogan-Tauber greets USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman.

After a few years, his role was converted to a tenure-track position, with Steven rising through the ranks to become a tenured full professor. He served as chair of the then-Department of Government and International Affairs, which was expanded into the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies in 2016. He served as the founding director of the school until 2019, when he returned to the faculty. In 2022 he began serving as vice provost.

“USF is the only place I’ve been employed as an academic. I’ve been here since 1995. That’s almost 29 years. I just turned 57 years old, so I’ve literally spent half my life at USF,” he says. “I’ve seen USF grow from a commuter school without a big research mission to a nationally known Association of American Universities research powerhouse.”

He says he’s also seen Tampa grow into “one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the country.”

Meghan, who was born and raised in Tampa, has witnessed those changes as well. And built a business highlighting the Tampa Bay area’s unique neighborhoods.

A second-generation Bull (her mother is also an alumna), Meghan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from USF in 2006. While a student, she was introduced to screen printing, a skill she would later call upon for her career. 

Today, she uses her art degree on a regular basis in her business, Hogan Made. The family-owned and -operated company, based in Tampa, uses Tampa landmarks as inspiration to create original designs for T-shirts and other items.

Steven and Meghan, who met in 2001 and married 10 years later, share a love for animals and animal rights. Steven’s research mainly focuses on the politics of animal rights.

As for their other shared passion, USF, the Taubers hope their scholarship will help future students become leaders who fight for good.

“Steven has already done so much for his students and for USF,” says Jay Stroman, USF Foundation CEO. “This gift will extend both his and Meghan’s legacies far into the future, making a lasting difference in the lives of both the students who receive scholarships and the communities that will one day benefit from their global studies education.” 

Meghan wasn’t surprised by Steven’s desire to give so magnanimously to the university where he’s invested three decades of his time and energy.

“USF has really given him a lot of opportunities,” she says. “Given his generous nature and history of giving back, it just fits.”
 

157,355,063

FY 2022-23 Total Commitment

11,800

Total First Time Donors in FY23

37,500

Total Donors in FY23