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Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards Nomination Form

Past Alumni Awards

The University of Tampa Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the UT Alumni Association on an annual basis. Selected through a highly competitive process, each recipient has made a lasting impact on society and on UT through outstanding professional, philanthropic or volunteer accomplishments.

2018 Alumni Award Honorees

The Alumni Association is proud to announce the 2018 Alumni Award Honorees. These individuals are recognized for their outstanding achievements in their professional fields and for their dedicated service to the University.

The 2018 awards are presented at the May or December UT Commencement. This year's recipients are:

2018 Alumni Achievement Award

David Andrade '07

David Andrade '07 – December Commencement

David Andrade is the recipient of the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes UT alumni who have made great accomplishments in their careers or civic involvements. Andrade is a 2007 graduate of The University of Tampa with Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in digital arts.

Andrade is an animator and entrepreneur who founded the world's first virtual animation company, Theory Studios. His work includes Sesame Street, Korn, Man in the High Castle, Snow White and the Huntsman, Transformers: War for Cybertron and much more. 

In 2013, he co-founded Theory Studios with Mark Olsen from Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta. The pair met through an online animation course and, frustrated with an industry that was constantly relocating top talent, came up with the idea to put the best talent from all over the world under one virtual roof. 

One of their first projects was the animated series Ray & Clovis, which follows the adventures of Ray, a green mohawked iguana, and his roommate, Clovis, a blue cat. Today, though Theory Studios has a bricks and mortar headquarters in Orlando, the majority of their artists, designers and programmers are living and working around the world.

In 2017, Theory Studios was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects and a Visual Effects Society Award for their work on Season 2 of The Man in the High Castle. They have been featured in major trade publications like 3D World, and they’ve collaborated with the U.S. State Department to teach animation in Mexico, Algeria and Iraq.


William Franchi '06

William Franchi '06 – May Commencement

William Franchi was raised in Marlton, NJ. In 2003, he left Western Carolina University and their baseball program to come down to The University of Tampa to continue his baseball career. Franchi graduated from UT with degrees in sports management and criminology in 2006. While working as a law enforcement deputy, he attended Stetson University College of Law, graduating in 2012.

Franchi is the founder and managing partner at his law firm, Franchi Law. Additionally, he is the managing partner and founder of Pro Agents Sports Management and co-founder of Pro Title Insurance Agency.

Franchi Law was created to give clients a new and unique legal experience. The firm is a civil and criminal trial firm that handles personal injury, criminal, business and real estate matters. Franchi has recovered millions of dollars for those injured by the carelessness of others and has defended the rights of those wrongfully accused. William has negotiated contracts of all sizes in several areas of expertise. He provides low cost representation to area law enforcement when the need arises.

Pro Agents Sports Management is an innovative, forward thinking, full service athletic representation firm. Pro Agents Sports Management represents professional baseball and football players in contract negotiations, endorsements and philanthropic endeavors. Franchi is a NFLPA certified contract advisor.

Pro Title Insurance Agency is a technology based title insurance company. Pro Title handles closings and escrow for residential, commercial and investor transactions.

Franchi has spoken to sports management students at The University of Tampa, as well as law students interested in sports law at Stetson University College of Law.  

2018 Young Alumnus Award

Roman Cowan '10 MBA '14 M.S. '14

Roman Cowan '10 MBA '14 M.S. '14 – May Commencement

Hailing from humble beginnings in Portmore, Jamaica, Roman Cowan came to UT in 2006, where he fell in love with the University and the city of Tampa. Upon graduating from UT with a double major, Bachelor of Science in Marketing and in Accounting in 2010, he decided to set his roots in Tampa and launch his professional career. Cowan enjoyed success working in accounting at OneTouch Direct, a national outsourced call center, before starting his dream job at College Hunks Hauling Junk. He returned to UT for graduate studies during this time, where he achieved his Master of Science in Accounting as well as an MBA in 2014.   

Cowan started his career with College H.U.N.K.S. in 2013 as the corporate financial controller. He experienced tremendous success by driving greater transparency around the financials and the KPI’s that drove the business. He was promoted to chief operating officer and chief financial officer in 2016, having helped lead the company to record growth in revenue and profits each year since he joined.

Cowan continues to be highly engaged in the Tampa community. He is a board member of the Drew Park CAC, where he plays a pivotal role in the disbursement of CRA funds, and in the overall upliffing of the Drew Park community. He is also one of the founding members of the group StandUp Tampa, a progressive group of young professionals and business owners focused on uplifting the Tampa Bay area through attracting top talent and entrepreneurs to Tampa Bay, while also focused on retaining those already here. StandUp Tampa recently worked in conjunction with the Tampa EDC to develop the Make It Tampa Bay website. Cowan remains committed to supporting UT and has maintained close relationships with both faculty and staff members over the years.

Though he has been recognized over the years for his professional achievements, including being selected as a 2017 30 Under 30 Honoree by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, he hopes to inspire others though his friendly spirit and humble mentality.