About the Chapter
The Hernando County Alumni Chapter(Hernando Bulls) is an official affiliated chapter of the University of South Florida Alumni Association and is the chapter for Hernando County and the Nature Coast region of West Florida. The Chapter was founded in August of 2008 by Kevin Floyd and Chuck Gerhart. Since 2008 the Hernando Bulls have been actively serving Hernando Counties 3,000 alumni ever since. The Hernando Bulls exist to support the mission of fostering a mutually beneficial, lifelong relationship between USF and its alumni; to inspire loyalty and pride among current and future alumni; to advocate for excellence in teaching, research, public service; and to make Hernando County into Bulls Country!
The Hernando Bulls is the largest and most active alumni chapter in Hernando County out of any University alumni chapter, and we are working hard to become #1 in all of West Florida. To help with this mission of ours, please join the USF Alumni Association which is needed to be a member of the Hernando Bulls, if you haven't already. Membership is open to anyone who loves the University of South Florida and our Bulls. You don't have to have graduated from South Florida or even attended USF; you just have to LOVE the BULLS. WHO DOESN'T?
Being a USFAA/HCAC member has its privileges, both host numerous events locally and state-wide throughout the year. As a USFAA/HCAC member, there is something for everyone, be it intramural sports, watch parties, educational programs, social gatherings, family outings, just having fun, meeting other Bulls or networking.
Please review our website, find the events that interest you, and join us. Also check our page on the USF Alumni Association site, or the USF Alumni Association's site as new events are being added regularly... GO BULLS!!!
About Hernando County
Around 1840, Fort DeSoto was established in present-day Hernando County in the northeast edge of present-day Brooksville to protect settlers in the area from raids by the Seminole Indian Tribe. Fort DeSoto became a small community center, trading post, and way station on the route to Tampa. When settlement by the fort began around 1845, it was alternatively known as Pierceville.
Then encompassing a significantly larger area of west central Florida than it does today, Hernando County was officially established on February 27, 1843, two years prior to Florida's admission into the Union. Hernando County was created from portions of modern day Alachua, Hillsborough and Orange Counties and included all of present day Citrus and Pasco Counties. The county was named for Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, and was briefly renamed Benton County in 1844 for Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, a strong supporter of territorial expansion in Florida and was key in the county's creation. However, Benton fell out of favor with the county's residents later in the decade due to his decision to support the Missouri Compromise, and the county's name reverted back to Hernando in 1850.
In December 1854, the legislature designated the small port town of Bayport the County Seat. In 1854 Bayport was a small but very important port along Florida’s gulf coast. Residents living in the eastern section of the county instead desired a more central place for the county government, and by 1855, voters had selected an inland site within five miles (8 km) of the center of the county at the town of Melendez. In 1856, the citizens of the Hernando County chose to rename the town, their new County Seat, Brooksville in honor of South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, who in the same year beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the Senate chambers, winning the Congressman great renown in the South.
In 1855, city founder Joseph Hale donated land for a county courthouse in the center of present-day Brooksville. Soon thereafter, the structure was completed servicing the county until September 29, 1877, when it was destroyed in a fire.
During the war, Hernando County primarily contributed foodstuffs, cotton, and lumber to the Confederacy. Although Union ships imposed a blockade on the port of Bayport, runners enjoyed a great deal of success—enough to lead the Union in June 1864 to order some 150-250 troops to destroy Confederate stockpiles in the county. In early July, the expedition marched northward from Anclote River to Brooksville, meeting some stiff resistance from assembled Confederate troops and a rag tag group of farmers hastily organized to protect the city. The Federal troops won this engagement (known locally as the Brooksville Raid) and marched to Bayport, where they and an auxiliary force landing from gunboats sacked Confederate operations. The skirmish between Union raiders and local Confederates is reenacted annually in the county.
On January 2, 1887 Hernando County was divided into three independent counties: Pasco County to the south, Citrus County to the north, and Hernando County in the middle. Since then, Hernando County's borders have remained unchanged.
Today Hernando County is a growing community and home to about 101,000 people per the 2000 census. The largest population center in Hernando is the community of Spring Hill, which is located in the eastern portion of the county with 94,000 residents. The largest city in Hernando County is the city of Brooksville which has about 7,000 residents. The largest business in Hernando County is the Wal-Mart distribution center, located on the west side of the county, is the largest distribution facility in the North America. The county also has a limestone mining industry which is operated by the second largest business in the county Cemex Corporation.
Besides recent commercial and residential growth Hernando is part of Florida’s nature coast and is home to some breath taking natural wonders such as the Weeki Wachee River, and the Withlacoochee State Forest.
Hernando County area attractions and historic land marks include the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, (which includes the world famous “Mermaid Show” and the Buccaneer Bay Water Park), Chinsegut Hill Plantation, Pine Island State Park, historic Bayport, historic downtown Brooksville, Hernando County Courthouse, May Stringer House & Museum, Saxon House, Confederate War Memorial, and countless scenic motorcycle routes, pit stops, watering holes, and bicycling/hiking trails which can be found throughout the county.