MAY 2017 E-NEWSLETTER
Breaking Ground on UCF Downtown
“The new UCF Downtown campus serves as a catalyst for the 68-acre Creative Village, which will further our revitalization efforts in downtown and Parramore. UCF Downtown will be as impactful to Orlando as the construction of our community venues, Medical City and SunRail. The City has partnered with UCF and Valencia to bring the vision for the downtown campus to reality because it brings new educational opportunities for residents of Parramore, all while creating 2,000 new jobs and a more than $200 million impact on our economy each year.” – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
There’s no way we’d forget about our Knight Moms. We wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!
Kings of Pop | The groundbreaking of the UCF Downtown campus on Thursday had a little extra pop of flavor thanks to local businessmen and brothers, Brandon ’10 and Adam Chandler. Read The Story
Run the World | A group of UCF alumnae are empowering young women at local elementary schools through the Girls on the Run Orlando program. Read The Story
Dean's Sendoff Surprise | The Burnett Honors College surprised Dean Alvin Wang, who is stepping down to focus on teaching, with the Alvin Y. Wang Endowed Scholarship, which has grown to over $38,000 in commitments and will support undergraduate research candidates in the honors college. Of the donors who contributed, more than 31 are alumni. Read The Story
Knight's Legacy | Kailyn Jones' life centered around helping others. Now, the late UCF student’s memory lives on through family, friends and scholarships to fellow Knights who plan to make a difference, just like she did. Read The Story
Dasha Fuentes '12 | From Miss UCF to WWE Superstar, Dasha Fuentes '12 welcomed WrestleMania 33 to her hometown -- Orlando! – in April. Read The Story
Family of Knights | Jonathan Albers graduated May 6, topping off a family of Knights that has had one or more children at UCF for 11 years straight – including one stretch with three at once. Watch The Video
The UCF Alumni family grew by nearly 7,900 graduates in early May, and one of those new alumni won the internet. Melanie Sanchez received a job offer for a marketing position at a healthcare company in the middle of her graduation ceremony, and everyone is loving her reaction in a quick clip that instantly went viral. Check out more from graduation
The Class of 2017 started a new tradition at UCF this year: the class gift! The class set a goal of 500 donors and suggested gifts of $20.17. By the time graduation rolled around in May, a total of 789 graduating seniors combined to donate $15,867.68 toward helping UCF's future. The College of Nursing took home the inaugural class gift cup for producing the most donors from one college.
Alumni Giving Challenge
Speaking of class gift, the Class of 2017 challenged alumni to meet its original 500 donor goal. With a few days left to give, we have just under 200 donors to go to make it happen. Rise to the challenge.
The Orlando Sentinel featured 10 people who make Orlando great, and we’re happy to say we recognize some Knights among the group! Chris Castro (Class of 2010; 30 Under 30 Class of 2015) of IDEAS For Us; Mary Palmer, a former professor and the former Dean of the College of Education; and Ryan Rivas (Class of 2005), publisher at Burrow Press, all made the list – and here’s why they did.
30 Under 30 Nominations Now Open
Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth class of UCF Alumni’s 30 Under 30. The 30 Under 30 Awards Program recognizes outstanding young alumni who have found success in their professional and personal endeavors. UCF alumni (graduate or undergraduate) age 30 or under as of June 30, 2017, are eligible for this distinction. Nomination applications are due by May 28, 2017. Visit our Nomination Form and FAQ.
Honoring The Brave
Lawmakers recently approved a bill that would rename two Central Florida roads after Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton ’98 ’02MA and Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis ’04. Both officers were killed in the line of duty during the attempted apprehension of a wanted homicide suspect. Both were graduates of UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs who had deep connections to the communities they served. Read The Story
Celebrate the Arts
UCF’s annual showcase produced its most successful year yet and featured a UCF School of Visual Arts and Design alumni panel. The four alumni – including a Disney artist; a film project manager; an award-winning documentary filmmaker; and the vice president of design at Etsy – had some tricks on how to find your place in the trade. Read The Story
National Nurses Week
UCF College of Nursing staff visited five hospitals this past week in celebration of National Nurses Week. It was great reconnecting with so many of our Knight nurses! We thank you all for the continued care you provide to improve your community and create a healthier tomorrow.
There’s still time to jump on the ChargeOn Tour bandwagon. UCF head coaches Scott Frost (football) and Johnny Dawkins (men’s basketball), Director of Athletics Danny White and other Knights coaches will make five stops from May 16-18. RSVP now.
UCF football head coach Scott Frost recently signed a contract extension through the 2021 season. The Knights open the 2017 season on Sept. 2, when they host FIU at Spectrum Stadium. Season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or by calling 407.823.1000.
Another UCF alumnus is headed to the NFL. Former UCF defensive back Shaquill Griffin became the 36th Knight to hear his name called in April’s NFL Draft when he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round, with the 90th overall pick. Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in human communications in December.
Two UCF women's teams brought home American athletic conference trophies this spring. In addition to the women's golf team's championship and NCAA berth, the Knights' win generated enough points to clinch the inaugural War on I4 trophy in the year-long rivalry series with USF. Women's rowing dominated all six races to clinch their third-straight crown. Charge On!
The men’s tennis team also clinched a postseason appearance, making its way back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Knights defeated five Top-30 programs this season under first year head coach John Roddick.
Keeping It 100
Shout out to our regional chapters and clubs who reached 100 percent giving among their leaders! See who made the list.
Calling All Knight Parents
Are you pulling double duty as an AlumKnight and a Black and Gold parent? The newly formed UCF Parent Council could use your help. If interested, please contact Annie O’Donnell or call 407.882.0542.
Things to do
- May 18-20: UCF Baseball vs. USF (Final home series)
- May 18: How to start your business seminar
- May 24: College of Sciences Open Chapter Meeting
- June 8-30: Remembering Pulse (UCF Art Gallery)
- June 8-18: The Lion In Winter (UCF Theater)
- June 9: Ladies Football Clinic
- June 17: Healing 4 Heroes Fundraiser for UCF RESTORES (Palm Bay)
- June 21: Nicholson School Alumni Networking Knight