Andrew T. Huse
University of South Florida Libraries
Betty Castor (b. 1941) received her bachelors degree from Rowan University and a masters degree from the University of Miami. She is currently serving on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Tampa Bay Committee on Foreign Relations, and on the board of directors for the North Star Bank and Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. In this oral history interview, Castor discusses her political and educational career in Florida. She talks about being the first woman elected to the Hillsborough County Commission and some of the difficulties she faced as a working mother. She recounts the infamous University Club incident where she was asked to leave a male-only club in Tampa, Florida. Castor also speaks about her time as the first woman Democrat elected to the Florida senate and her involvement in several important legislative initiatives such as the Equal Rights Amendment of 1977, spouse abuse center funding, and early childhood education. She talks about her time as Florida Educational Commissioner and her tenure as the first female president of the University of South Florida (USF). She describes some of the difficulties she encountered at USF, including funding challenges and the Sami Al-Arian controversy. She also describes some of her proudest achievements at USF such as the establishment of a football team, infrastructure improvements, and increased staff and student diversity. She finishes the interview by discussing her time as president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Women, Political activity, Politics and government, Florida, 1951-, Oral history, Online audio
1 sound file (147 minutes)
Women; Political activity; Politics and government
Oral histories; Online audio
University of South Florida
USF 50th (2006) Anniversary Oral History Project
Castor, Betty, "Betty Castor Oral History Interview" (2015). USF 50th (2006) Anniversary Oral History Project. 201.