Julian Hawthorne Lifsey House
USF’s presidential home was named after Julian H. Lifsey, Jr., a Tampa lawyer, banker, and land developer who made the gift for the construction of the presidential residence along with his wife, Mary Ann.
“We were glad to make the dream of a presidential house at USF come true,” Mary Ann said. The “classic contemporary antebellum” structure was designed by architect Gene Leedy and dedicated in September, 1992.
Julian Lifsey was born on February 8, 1917, in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved to Florida as a youth and graduated from high school in Miami. In June of 1940, he completed college at Duke University. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, leaving as a captain.
When he returned from the service, he earned a law degree form the University of Florida and then a master’s degree from New York University. He was admitted to the Bar in the state of Florida in June 1947 and later become a senior partner in the firm of Lifsey, Pursiful, and Johnston.
Starting in 1951, Lifsey began to get involved in commercial real estate development. His land development came to public attention when he was involved in a then-spectacular $1 million transaction involving part of the 6,000-acre Boot Ranch north of Oldsmar in the mid-1960s. In the 1980s, he concentrated his development activities on and near Rocky Point Island at the north end of Old Tampa Bay.
During the 1960s, Lifsey became a founding officer and director of Seminole Bank of Tampa and Tampa Federal Savings and Loan Association. He served both of the banks as an attorney. He was also the founding director of Enterprise National Bank of Tampa.
Lifsey was a member of the Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Exchange Club, University Club, the board of the Red Cross, and First Family of the Children’s Home.
After undergoing heart bypass surgery, Lifsey died of an unrelated cause on September 20, 1989, at the age of 72.
Excerpts from The Tampa Tribune September 21, 1989 By Bentley Orrick