UCF is Our Highest Philanthropic Priority!
“UCF has given me so much — more than I can ever repay,” says Rachel Barnes Eisenberg ’17. Because of the support she received as a student, Rachel started giving back to her alma mater as soon as she could.
“Part of the reason I actually came to UCF was a scholarship I received after I applied,” she said. Although it was considered a small amount — $750 per semester — it made a big difference. “I know a lot of people think about scholarships in four- or five-figure amounts, but [my scholarship] went a long way,” she says.
She has so many memories of her time at UCF but a few are standouts. Serving as a 4EVER Knights ambassador, Rachel was able to work and attend the IGNITE Campaign launch back in 2016 which inspired her love and passion for nonprofit organizations and fundraising.
“Being in the arena with some of our most generous donors and hearing their reasons for giving and their continued love of UCF years and years after graduating was inspiring.” Today, she works as Development Coordinator for Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras which she considers the best of both worlds, as it allows her to combine her love of music and nonprofit fundraising
On the subject of love, her most standout memory on the UCF campus was getting engaged to David Eisenberg ’17 after the 2018 conference championship game on Memory Mall. David is, according to Rachel, “probably the biggest UCF fan you will ever meet.” She recognizes the enormity of that statement but says that everyone who knows David would likely agree.
Because of David’s heavy involvement with UCF Athletics as a student — he spent time as Knightro — he gives back to the program and supports the commitments made by Mike Callahan and Linda Gooch. As Knightro, David attended the Fiesta Bowl in 2014, performed at the CMAs with Brad Paisley and many other collegiate mascots, and presented a Limbitless bionic arm to cheerleader Julianna.
The pandemic has definitely challenged the couple but they’ve tried to stay connected to UCF and support it any way they can. “Athletics is such a big part of my love of UCF, and my husband and I were actually able to attend three of the home games this season for our football team,” Rachel says. “We have also done our best to check in and talk to our mentors from UCF. David and I know how difficult this year has been for so many and while they constantly support us, we want them to know they are supported and appreciated as well.”
But no matter what is going on in the world, UCF remains front and center with Rachel and David. “We are diehard UCF fans, we bleed black and gold, and it is our highest philanthropic priority.”