November 2017 NEWSLETTER

Seasons Greetings 110617

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season! From time spent together at events, to the teamwork in helping Knights Pantry, to welcoming our most diverse and largest student body, to celebrating Athletics’ incredible fall season, there has been a lot to be thankful for this year, and everyone at UCF Alumni is especially thankful to serve you. Cheers!

President Hitt: The Right Time

Dr Hitt retirement

President John C. Hitt announced on Oct. 24 that after 26 years of service to UCF, he will step down effective June 30, 2018. Three alumni have been selected to serve on the Presidential Search Committee: The Honorable Richard Walsh ’77 ’83MS HC’14; UCF Foundation Board Director Emeritus Mike Manglardi ’84; and UCF Alumni Board Chair Sara Bernard ’00. You can stay informed about the search process for UCF’s next president at https://www.ucf.edu/leadership/presidential-search/.

President Hitt and his wife Martha hold a special place in many of our hearts. If you are interested in honoring their legacy at UCF, consider making a #GivingTuesday gift in support of some of the funds near and dear to them: first-generation scholarships or scholarships for UCF’s student-athletes. 

Bill and Melina Gates on Campus

Gates Video Still

UCF was excited and honored to host Bill Gates and Melinda Gates on campus recently. The university is turning heads for its innovative technology and educational partnerships to make a high-quality college degree more affordable, accessible and attainable.

Giving Tuesday: Nov. 28

Giving Tuesday Logo

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 the UCF community will come together to show our support of this amazing university through philanthropy. Mark your calendar for this worldwide day of giving and get ready to share your love of Black & Gold with everyone you know! If you're in the giving spirit, you don't have to wait! You can make your #GivingTuesday gift today.

Want to be an ambassador for UCF on Giving Tuesday? Email [email protected] for more info.

Bowl Bound

Bowl announcement edit

Our nationally ranked football team is bowl bound for the ninth time in program history! Although bowl game selections will not be finalized until Dec. 3, UCF Athletics will be accepting reservations for postseason tickets soon. Remember, when you purchase your tickets from UCF Athletics rather than third-party vendors, you are guaranteed a fair price and your dollars go directly to supporting the Knights. Charge On!

Shining Knights

Shining Knights

Four individuals were recognized for their outstanding service and philanthropy at the Shining Knights Alumni Awards held at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center on Oct. 13. Congratulations to this year’s honorees:

Young Alumni Headshot Happy Hour

Freshen up that LinkedIn photo at UCF Young Alumni Council's Headshot Happy Hour, where you'll have the chance to get new professional headshot taken and network with fellow #AlumKnights. We’ll provide the photographer and food, you just have to show up photo-ready! This event for young alumni (age 32 and under) is free, but space is limited and RSVP is required by Monday, Nov. 13, to Anne Fitch at [email protected].

Too Cool for School

Congrats to our two alumni who are among the five finalists for Teacher of the Year in the Orange County Public Schools system. Kenneth Boyd ’98 is a former member of the Marching Knights and currently teaches at West Orange High School. Kyle Dencker ’08 ’16MA is a computer science instructor at Timber Creek High School. They made the cut out of nearly 190 nominees from OCPS, and the winner will be selected in December. Good luck fellas!

A Pick-Me-Up for Puerto Rico

The Student Nurses’ Association at UCF is collecting donated supplies for Puerto Rico. Just take the items listed here to 12201 Research Parkway, 3rd floor, by Dec. 6. Items will be sent through Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift. As they say in the College of Nursing: “Touching Lives. Leading by Example. Making a Difference.”

The Burnett Honors College Has A New Dean

After a national search, UCF has selected Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres as its new dean of The Burnett Honors College. Piñeres will join UCF next summer from Austin College in Texas, where she serves as executive vice president of Academic Affairs and Special Initiatives and dean of faculty. Learn more about her ties to UCF.

Paisley the Therapy Dog Joins UCFPD

Paisley and Matt Scott

The UCF Police Department’s newest member Paisley will help ease stress and comfort victims of violent crime during interviews and interactions with police. Her partner is UCFPD detective Matt Scott ’07 ’11MS. The idea came from a program that was implemented in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office by three-time UCF alumnus and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jessie Holton ’10 ’12MS ’15EdD. Read Paisley’s Story | Read Holton’s Story


The UCF College of Medicine’s fall MedTalk on Nov. 9 will feature Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy’s discussion on "The Science Behind Medical Marijuana." Dr. Parthasarathy will break down the medical research associated with medical cannabis, uncover the pros and cons of use and address social stigmas. For $10 per person ($15 at the door), guests will receive one drink ticket and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. Complimentary valet parking is provided. RSVP here!


  • Alumna Speechless After Winning Poet Laureate Contest
    Susan Lilley ’75 ’80MA was recently named the City of Orlando's first Poet Laureate or "official storyteller" of her hometown. Lilley's story
  • Flagler Schools Switch to Eco-Friendly, ‘bio-d-GREAT-able’ Lunch Trays
    We love the spirit and attitude of three-time alumna Ellen Asher and her elementary-school-aged students, who kickstarted a green-initiative for Flagler County Schools. Their mission to swap out plastic lunch trays to recycled paperboard lunch trays will keep 1.4 million trays per year out of landfills. Asher’s Story
  • UCF Alumni Michi and Brandon Marshall’s Mission for Mental Health Awareness
    The day that NFL star wide receiver and alumnus Brandon Marshall ’06 went public with his borderline personality disorder diagnosis, his wife, Michi Marshall ’06, remembers turning to him and saying that his diagnosis was going to help someone. That's what they aim to do now with their talks around the country -- including a recent stop at UCF -- about mental health awareness. The Marshalls’ Story

Athletics Highlights

  • After clinching the American Athletic Conference regular season championship and sweeping all six major league awards, the women's soccer team earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host Washington State on Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • The UCF football team is still perfect this season at 8-0 after its road win at SMU. Quarterback McKenzie Milton named one of 16 semifinalists for the 2017 Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year.
  • Armor up and Charge On at UCF Alumni’s Indoor Tailgates! Doors open at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center three hours prior to kickoff and admission is free for all UCF alumni and their guests. See you there! Learn moreIf you're not local, find a UCF Watch Party in your area. 
  • UCF officially broke ground on the expansion to the baseball stadium, which was made possible in large part by John Euliano’s game-changing $1.5 million gift. Director of Athletics and Vice President Danny White, PhD; President John C. Hitt; Head Coach Greg Lovelady; and Euliano were on hand along with several other donors to ceremoniously begin the construction, which is expected to be completed by the 2018 season.
  • The men’s and women’s basketball teams each received their highest standing in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll, which was released at the league’s media day Oct. 16.The men’s team was picked to finish third, and the women were one step behind in their poll at fourth. Buy season tickets

Light Up UCF

Light Up UCF

Light Up UCF, one of Orlando’s most anticipated holiday attractions, is back! This event offers central Florida families and residents an affordable family winter wonderland, featuring ice skating, rides and holiday attractions. Back for its 10th season, Light Up UCF will run from Nov. 17 through Dec. 31 in front of the CFE Arena.

UCF Alumni are welcome to purchase discounted tickets in person at the CFE Arena Box Office using the following discount codes at checkout:

  • Mention discount code ALUMNI for discounted unlimited skating ($9 per person)
  • Mention discount code ALUMN1 for discounts on the Ultimate Ride Package - unlimited skating, ice slide, Ferris Wheel, Winter Whirl and Light Up Express ($17 per person).

Host Your Event at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center


Interested in hosting your next corporate meeting at a premier venue in the heart of campus? Learn more about the meeting rooms, conference amenities and convenient guest parking accommodations the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center has to offer! Discounted pricing available for UCF Alumni.

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


UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving
12676 Gemini Blvd. N., Orlando, FL 32816-0046
407.823.2586 | 
©2017 | Privacy Policy

UCF Quick Links

UCF Homepage  |  Phonebook

Campus Map  |  Events