MAY 2018 NEWSLETTER
“My visit to UCF made me wish I could be a college student all over again.” – Bill Gates
In a post on his personal blog, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates described the University of Central Florida as an example of how universities can effectively use online learning to boost access and student success while still keeping tuition affordable. Visit today.ucf.edu to read more about Gates’ relationship with UCF.
30 Under 30 Class of 2018 Recognized
Congratulations to the 30 Under 30 Class of 2018, which includes marketing and communications professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, software specialists, attorneys, education leaders, doctors, nurses, the youngest-elected Florida state representative and a football star, among others. The recipients of this year’s honor gathered at a formal ceremony held at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center on May 19. View a photo story of this accomplished group of Knights.
First-Ever Spring Game Indoor Tailgate!
A big thank you to the more than 500 alumni and friends who attended our first-ever Spring Game Indoor Tailgate. You helped give a warm welcome to President-Elect Dale Whittaker, his wife, Mary, and chair of the UCF Alumni Board, Sara Bernard ’00. We loved seeing all that national championship gear! View Photo Gallery
UCF Alumni is counting down the days until football kicks off the 2018 season under new head coach Josh Heupel. The UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center plans to host its first regular season Indoor Tailgate on Sept. 8 for the home opener against South Carolina State. Visit ucfalumni.com/indoortailgates for more details about this free event all season long.
More Than 8,000 Grads Become Alumni
Spring Graduation saw more than 8,000 UCF graduates join the UCF Alumni family. Knights always find a way to stand out, and these graduates certainly did with their assortment of creative graduation caps. Check out photos of this popular tradition | Graduation Caps Gallery
Whether you are a recent grad or longtime alumnus, if life plans have resulted in a career change or new address, make sure you update your contact information with us to ensure you stay informed on all things UCF.
ChargeOn Tour Hits DUUUVAL
The Jacksonville UCF Alumni Chapter greeted UCF Athletics for the ChargeOn Tour’s first stop on May 8 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Voice of the Knights Marc Daniels led a Q&A session with football head coach Josh Heupel, men's basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins, and women's basketball head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson for fans in attendance at the evening game between the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and the Tennessee Smokies. View the complete list of June dates for a tour stop near you.
Limbitless’ Groundbreaking Partnership
The team at Limbitless Solutions, led by co-founder Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD, is partnering with researchers at Oregon Health & Science University on a clinical trial that will determine whether bionic arms for children will be covered by insurance. It marks the first U.S. clinical trial for 3D-printed prosthetics for children.
UCF RESTORES Clinic Receives $10 Million Grant
UCF’s cutting edge RESTORES clinic, which helps people coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, has been awarded a $10 million grant to expand its work. The grant allows Deborah Beidel, a UCF Pegasus Professor of psychology and medical education who leads the clinic, and her team to establish and run the program at the three military facilities.
Hospitality Pros Share Career Tips
Professionals from Walt Disney World, the Orlando Magic and City of Orlando -- all alumni -- stopped by the Rosen College of Hospitality Management Alumni Chapter's Hospitality Knight to share some fantastic advice about navigating a successful career. Frankly, their tips apply to any industry. This recap of the event is worth the read!
All Call for Summer Camps
From athletics to the arts, there are plenty of summer camps for learning and play affiliated with UCF that can help keep students busy during the summer break. This helpful news article details 25 camps that will be hosted on UCF’s campus this summer. The first camp starts May 31.
UCF College of Business Hall of Fame Nominations Open
The UCF College of Business Hall of Fame nomination awards are now open! The Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exceptional professional success in their field. This honor, the highest given to business graduates, is awarded to those who have been in the industry for at least 20 years and have brought recognition to the university through their professional achievements. The deadline for nominations is Sunday, July 22. Nominate an outstanding business professional
Join the Hitt Squad!
Show your support for President John C. Hitt’s historic presidency — and look good doing it. When you make a $26 donation to the UCF Foundation in honor of his 26 years of service to UCF, you’ll receive a limited-edition Hitt Squad pin. Quantities are limited, so don’t delay. Request your commemorative pin today. Funds raised will support student scholarships.
Two-Time COHPA Alumnus Honored
Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Hawkins '02 '09MS was reocgnized by the Emergency Management Association of Georgia as the 2018 EMA Director of the Year. Hawkins holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s in criminal justice.
- Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Graduates from UCF
Renowned activist and United Nations goodwill ambassador Jaha Dukureh earned her master’s degree through UCF’s online nonprofit management program. | Read Dukureh’s Spotlight
- 2018 NFL Draft brought to you by UCF Alumni
Brandon Naidus ’12 (Arizona Cardinals) and Eric DeSalvo ’09 (UCF Knights) are social media managers who covered every big moment of the 2018 NFL Draft. | Read Draft Spotlight
- UCF Alumni Building A More Sustainable Orlando
Several Knights lead green initiatives for the City of Orlando's sustainability department. | Read Sustainability Spotlight
- UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center LEEDs the Way in Sustainability
The home of UCF Alumni is not only one of the greenest buildings on campus – it was recognized as one of the best in the Central Florida region. | Read FAC Spotlight
- From Spidey to Superstar
UCF theatre alumnus Justin Sargent ’08 is on a first-name basis with Academy Award, Golden Globe, Grammy and Tony Award winner John Legend thanks to his role in Jesus Christ Superstar, which aired live April 1 on NBC. Read Sargent's Spotlight
UCF Athletics News Feed
- Knights Shine at NFL Draft
A record-tying four Knights heard their names called at the NFL Draft, including first-rounder Mike Hughes. Shaquem Griffin ’16’s fifth-round selection by the Seattle Seahawks was covered all over the world, including news outlets from Australia, Pakistan, Ireland, New Zealand and Germany. Whether through the draft or free agency, eight Knights in all were picked up by NFL teams. A complete rundown of UCF’s NFL Draft coverage can be found on ucfknights.com.
- UCF Baseball’s Quest for Championship
The UCF baseball team will be competing at the American Athletic Conference Championship, held in Clearwater from May 22-27. The Knights secured the fifth seed and are playing ECU in the first round. For more information about the tournament, including tickets, please visit The American’s championship central page.
- Men’s Golf Headed to NCAA National Championships
For the second straight year, the UCF men's golf team is headed to the NCAA National Championships. This is the ninth time in program history the Knights have made it to the NCAA Championships. They will be one of 30 teams to compete in Stillwater, Okla., from May 25-30. In order to qualify, UCF bested seven of the eight ranked teams at the Regional Championships, including No. 5 and top-seeded Vanderbilt, No. 17 North Carolina and American Athletic Conference rival No. 20 USF.
- Rowing’s Dynasty
The UCF rowing team secured its fourth straight conference championship title in May, putting them among elite company. In the five-year history of The American, only two women's programs have won four or more championships -- UCF Rowing (2015-18) and UConn Women's Basketball (2014-18). At UCF, rowing becomes the fifth program to accomplish the feat, and they have something in common besides their trophies – all five are women’s programs.
- War on I4 Champion
What’s better than beating the Bulls? How about beating them again. When the UCF women's golf team earned a share of runner-up honors at the American Athletic Conference Championship in April, it clinched the second straight all-sports War On I-4 Rivalry Series title for the Knights. The year-long rivalry series was created in 2016 and pits the Knights and the Bulls against each other in every sport the two programs share.
- Fundraising Records
With two months remaining in the fiscal year, UCF Athletics has already broken a recently-set record for cash gift revenues. The 2017 fiscal year saw records for cash gift revenues ($10.7 million) and total commitments ($17.3 million). For the 2018 fiscal year to-date, UCF's Championship Resources unit has already realized cash gift revenues of $10.9 million. The gift commitment total is currently at nearly $16 million and that total is expected to surpass last year's total by the end of the fiscal year in July. A big thank you to all of our loyal black and gold supporters!
Host Your Event at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center
From elegant weddings to corporate meetings, the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center is ready to host your next event. Learn more about the grand ballroom, meeting spaces, amenities and convenient parking accommodations from a friendly staff of fellow Knights! Discounted pricing is available for UCF alumni at this premier venue in the heart of campus.
Regional Alumni Facebook Groups
Your UCF connection is never far from home! Each of our regional UCF Alumni Chapters and Clubs have their own Facebook groups, so join the fun with fellow Knights in your area.
Things to Do
- June 2: New York Soccer AlumKnight Out - New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC (7:30 p.m.)
- June 3: UCF Freshman Welcome in Jacksonville (Noon)
- June 6: UCF MEDTalk (5:30 p.m.)
- June 6: UCF Freshman Welcome in Tampa Bay (6:30 p.m.)
- June 7: UCF Freshman Welcome in Southwest Florida (6 p.m.)
- June 9: Tallahassee Summer Picnic (Noon)
- June 11: ChargeOn Tour – Tampa/St. Petersburg (6 p.m.)
- June 12: ChargeOn Tour – Miami/South Florida (6 p.m.)
- June 13: UCF Freshman Welcome in Southeast Florida (6:30 p.m.)
- June 14: UCF Freshman Welcome in Daytona (6 p.m.)
- June 18: ChargeOn Tour – Daytona/Space Coast (6:15 p.m.)
- June 19: D.C. Trivia Knight (6:30 p.m.)
- June 21: Eighth Annual Starry Knights - Space Coast (6 p.m.)
- June 30: Atlanta Soccer AlumKnight Out - Atlanta United vs. Orlando City - (details coming! Follow along with the Facebook group for more info.)
- July 17: D.C. July Trivia Knight (7 p.m.)