Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Nov. 26, 2018

1. We’re not completely certain, but we have a feeling the word “bittersweet” was created to describe days like last Friday. As you likely know, McKenzie Milton went down in the second quarter of the game against USF this weekend. Knight Nation has since offered an outpouring of support for #10, and we at UCF Alumni send him our best and wish him a speedy recovery. As for our Knights on the field, they were emboldened to give it all they had and win over the Bulls 38-10. That win bumped us up to #7 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll.

We’re proud as ever for the ways our team rallied and showed the nation what we all already knew — to be a Knight is to be a part of a devoted family that supports each other, laughs together and keeps on charging on.

2. To show our support for McKenzie and just how grateful we are to be a part of his #10hana, Knights will be sporting leis this upcoming weekend for our American Athletic Conference Championship game against Memphis. If you’re in Orlando and want to show your solidarity for our team, join us for the Indoor Tailgate Dec. 1 at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center at 12:30. If you can’t be in Orlando, find out details for Watch Parties here (and don’t forget to stock up on leis!).

3. If you’re looking for other ways to support Knight Nation this week, you’re in luck! Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, the worldwide day of charitable giving. You’ve eaten all the Thanksgiving turkey your stomach could hold, taken advantage of all the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals your heart desired, and tomorrow is the day to exercise your generosity and give.

With 68,00 current students, there has never been a more important time to support your alma mater. We encourage you to check our post Five Things Knights Need to Know About Giving Tuesday at UCF to learn more about how you can be a part of all the undefeated athleticism, unmatched academia and unwavering momentum at UCF.

4. “I love baseball so much and that’s the only sport I wanted to get involved with. Back then, I didn’t think I would ever become a world champion, but the dream was to get there someday.” We get pretty excited when a UCF student’s dream becomes a UCF alum’s achievement! Kiyoshi Momose ’00MS, who is the sports and conditioning coach for the Boston Red Sox, can now add a check-mark next to the bucket list item of winning the World Series in Dodger Stadium. We’re proud to call you a part of the #UCFamily, Kiyoshi! Read more here.

5. With Thanksgiving in our collective rear-view mirror, it’s officially not out-of-bounds to start prepping for December holidays and there’s no better way to do so than to pretend that Florida is colder than it really is and attend Light Up UCF! There’s ice-skating, light shows and even a Ferris Wheel. Get into the holiday spirit and be there.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Nov. 19, 2018

  1. As if you could have possibly missed it with all the (well-deserved) hype, it was a very, VERY big weekend for UCF.

The ESPN College GameDay crew made their first-ever appearance on campus Saturday morning and Knights came out in full force to show the nation what UCF is all about. Memory Mall hosted more than 20,000 UCF fans — including Lee Corso who, decked out in complete Knightro garb, picked our Knights to win against Cincinnati.

Speaking of winning against Cincinnati… Image result for check mark emoji.

And in front of the second-largest crowd Spectrum Stadium has ever seen! If you were one of the 47,795 fans in attendance Saturday night, you already know how electric the stadium felt and how amped our fans were to cheer our team to a 38-13 win over the Bearcats, earning us the AAC East Division Championship trophy, a 23-game winning streak and a rise to No. 8 in the polls.

All in all, Saturday was a really great day to be a Knight. But, then again, so is every day.

  1. Somewhere in between the stare-down kid and Maria Taylor having a staring contest on GameDay and that incredible blocked field-goal-attempt by Joey Connors, we hosted our Indoor Tailgate at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center. We had all the necessary ingredients for a great Indoor Tailgate: the UCF spirit team, Knightro, the sweet smell of Bubbalou’s BBQ wafting throughout the room and a whole lot of alumni ready to cheer the Knights on to victory.

Were you there and are looking for your pictures? Or were you not there and are looking for pictures of what you missed out on? We’ve got you covered.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for our next Indoor Tailgate on Dec. 1 as we gear up to take on the to-be-determined AAC West division winner.

  1. Just in case the feel on campus last week wasn’t joyful enough, Light Up UCF opened to the public on Friday. The Winter Wonderland will run through Jan. 1 and offers ice skating, a world-class choreographed light show sponsored by Duke Energy, free holiday movies, live entertainment, a Ferris Wheel, and an excuse for alumni to throw on their favorite black-and-gold hoodie and come visit campus! Find all the details you’re looking for right here.
  2.  We’re trusting you already know Thanksgiving is this week, but did you know Giving Tuesday is coming up too? After all the turkey on Thanksgiving Thursday and shopping on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is the worldwide national day of giving. Our alumni showed up big last year and we (along with current students and other friends of the university) were able to raise over $71,000 toward scholarships, athletics and academic programs at UCF. We’re looking forward to another year of generosity and giving from our most loyal of Knights. If you’re looking for more information and ideas for how you can help the next generation of Knight Nation, head to our Giving Tuesday Facebook event.

UCF College of Nursing Bears Campaign

  1. Our Give Thanks, Give a Bear campaign is wrapping up next week and we’d love for you to be a part of it. A gift of $50 sends a bear to a child in one of our six pediatric partner hospitals. These limited-edition bears are even wearing a replica of the scrubs worn by UCF nursing students, which means they’re very cute and are pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to a child’s face. All funds raised in the campaign go toward funding priority areas within the College of Nursing.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Nov. 13, 2018

College GameDay at UCF

1.Unless you’ve been off the grid for the past 72 hours, you’ve heard that ESPN’s iconic college football preview show, ESPN College GameDay, will make its first-ever appearance at UCF this Saturday. We are PUMPED!

The ESPN College GameDay set will be positioned in the southeast corner of Memory Mall, as identified in the photo below. For details on all things GameDay, follow along with UCF Knights on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

College GameDay at UCF location

Speaking of Saturday, our Knights kick off against Cincinnati at 8 p.m. in front of a SOLD OUT crowd at Spectrum Stadium! If you can’t be there for this prime-time matchup, the game will be aired on ABC, so find a UCF Watch Party near you.

2. In other football related news, two of our favorite #BuiltByUCF Seahawks got some love this weekend on 60 Minutes. On Sunday night, CBS aired a feature on Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin‘s childhood pact to succeed together, all the way to the NFL. Spoiler alert: they made it, against all odds.

3.  Last week, thirteen UCF alumni were honored at the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards. OBJ’s 40 Under 40 is an annual celebration that recognizes successful professionals who have created a big impact within their industry and in the local community. You have to check out this stellar slate of alumni who are making an impact in Orlando. Congratulations, Knights!

UCF College of Nursing Bears Campaign

4. This holiday season, Give Thanks, Give A Bear! The UCF College of Nursing’s “Give A Bear” campaign offers the opportunity to sponsor pandas in custom UCF scrubs that will be distributed to children in local hospitals during the week following Thanksgiving. All funds raised from the campaign help fund priority areas within the College of Nursing, including student scholarships, faculty research and medical mission trips.

5. We’ve had a really fun season of Indoor Tailgates so far, and are looking forward to our next one this Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center! Did you make it to last week’s tailgate? Find photos from the event in our online photo gallery.

 

Five Things Alumni Need To Know this Week – Oct. 22, 2018

1.Another weekend, another win for UCF Football. Despite winning twenty games in a row and championing the nation’s longest winning streak, our favorite football team isn’t getting any love from the polls. In fact, AD Danny White weighed in on Twitter last night, calling college football “a subjective popularity contest” with a Tweet directed at College GameDay.

Speaking of College GameDay…they’ll be in Jacksonville this weekend. Our Jacksonville UCF Alumni Chapter is determined to make a strong showing of black and gold pride, so if you want to join them, follow along with the Chapter on Twitter and in their Facebook group to be in the know!

2. Starting today, UCF’s main campus will serve as an early voting location for faculty, staff, students and other registered Orange County voters as part of the “Charge Your Vote” campaign.

3. UCF alumnus and president/founder of O’Dang Hummus Jesse Wolfe ’15 is at the front of Walmart’s latest marketing campaign. From UCF to Shark Tank to the world’s largest retailer, O’Dang Hummus is now one of the faces of Walmart’s “Made in the USA” initiative.

4. History alumnus Phil Zoshak’s after-school program, Hero Spark, uses strategic card, board and role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons to help 11-to-18-year-olds improve their self-esteem and hone their social skills.

5. The UCF College of Arts and Humanities is leading a cross-disciplinary effort to create digital stories representing the diverse narratives of UCF through the I Am UCF Digital Storytelling Initiative, and alumni are invited to participate! Learn more about this initiative at https://iamucf.cah.ucf.edu/.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Oct. 15, 2018

1.There’s still time to join us for A Breakfast with UCF President Dale Whittaker in Atlanta this Wednesday! RSVP in advance to enjoy an enhanced continental breakfast in the company of university leaders and fellow Knights.

2. Our favorite football team won in a nail-biter against Memphis on Saturday, increasing the nation’s longest winning streak to #Knighteen games! Our Knights take on ECU this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, so if you need a spot to watch the game, find a UCF Watch Party near you.

3. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded UCF’s College of Community Innovation and Education five grants that will help address a range of challenges in public schools, from enhancing special-needs education to improving math instruction in at-risk schools.

4. UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management is now ranked among the top 10 nationally for two of its most sought-after programs: the hospitality management online master’s program and the entertainment management undergraduate program.

5. The Rosengren Trauma Clinic at UCF RESTORES has opened a new clinic at UCF’s regional campus in Cocoa. This marks RESTORES’ second trauma clinic since it was established on UCF’s main campus in 2011 to treat veterans with PTSD.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know – Oct. 8, 2018

UCF Alumni Indoor Tailgate

1.Our No. 10 Knights had quite the game this weekend and officially broke the top ten in the AP Poll. Up next is Memphis this Saturday, so cheer for a black and gold from a UCF watch party near you!

Speaking of football, we had an awesome time this weekend at our Indoor Tailgate. Don’t believe us? Just check out the photos! If you missed it, we’ll see you at the next one on Thursday, Nov. 1.

2. We’re stoked to welcome alumna Natalie Zfat back to campus tomorrow as she leads a discussion on Using Social Media to Land Your Dream Job. The in-person event is at capacity, but you can tune in to the Facebook Live session here!

3. It’s been a busy time for health research at UCF.  In fact, researchers at our alma mater are developing a new tool to help diabetics manage their daily lives more easily. In addition, associate professor Parag Banerjee, with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation, is to working to develop a device that can rapidly detect heart attacks. Yeah, this is BIG.

4. Have you ever wondered what UCF was like back in the day? Technically, it was FTU, and its first day of classes saw 1,948 students. Alumna Linda (Singer) Black ’71 reflects on what those first days were like and how times have changed!

5. From Breakfast with President Dale Whittaker to watch parties to the UCF Coastal Tour, there’s always something happening in Knight Nation! Check out our UCF Alumni events calendar and join us sometime!

Five Things Alumni Need To Know This Week – Sept. 24, 2018

UCF Watch Parties

1.After a great game against FAU Friday, the No. 13 Knights are gearing up to face Pitt this weekend! If you attended our Indoor Tailgate, check out the photo gallery from the event. Speaking of Indoor Tailgates, we’re hosting another one this Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center during Family Weekend!

Can’t make it to the game? Our UCF Alumni Chapters and Clubs are hosting UCF Watch Parties across the nation – find one near you!

2.We’re proud to call Ron Hawks ’12 a Knight. As a crisis-management lead for Lockheed Martin, Hawks organized the defense contractor’s response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria last year – and his time at UCF prepared him to do it.

3.Exciting news for our alma mater! A new collaboration with Microsoft will have a BIG impact for UCF students and the Central Florida community. Learn more about how UCF will participate in the Microsoft Flagship Schools program.

4.President Dale Whittaker has announced a series of campus conversations to share aspirations for UCF and how to make them a reality. The first takes place this morning at the UCF College of Medicine in Lake Nona. If you can’t attend in person, you can tune in to the livestream via the UCF YouTube Channel.

5.We knew our Knights were strong, but did you know they are strong enough to compete for Team USA? UCF student Allison Fleming joined Team USA for the World University Weightlifting Championships. Fleming emerged as the top American finisher in the 63kg weight class for the snatch event.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Sept. 17, 2018

FIEA Alumnus Wins Emmy For VR Story
UCF grad Jeremiah Graves poses with the Emmy he won for ASTEROIDS!

1.And the Emmy goes to…Jeremiah Graves ’12MS! This FIEA alumnus won a Daytime Emmy for ASTEROIDS!, an interactive short story starring two bumbling aliens.

2. Speaking of FIEA, you’ve got to see how alumna Karen McCarthy ’13MS  is changing the game through her work at EA SPORTS. From meeting some of the world’s greatest athletes to getting more female characters into games, she’s making the video game world her own.

3. At this very moment, the latest issue of Pegasus is on its way to your mailbox! While you wait for your copy, get a head start with the online version.

4. Is This Really A Thing? If you find yourself asking this question about some of today’s biggest trends, you’ll love this new podcast by Paul Jarley, dean of the UCF College of Business. With the help of local experts, enthusiasts and all-around interesting people (like AD Danny White, Richard Lapchick, Ben Noel, Sean Snaith to name a few), Dean Jarley decides whether up-and-coming concepts and ideas have the potential to reshape the business landscape.

5. We’d like to take a moment to let our Knights in the Carolinas know we’re thinking of you. We hope you’ve remained safe and are headed back to normalcy soon.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know – Sept. 9, 2018

Indoor Tailgates

  1. With a win for No. 18 UCF Football and the wild success of our first Indoor Tailgate of the season, it was quite the weekend for Knights fans! If you had as much fun as we did, see if you can find yourself in our photo gallery – and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the next Indoor Tailgate on Sept. 21.

2. Another day, another ranking! U.S. News & World Report ranked UCF at No. 10 most innovative in its annual list of best colleges – above Harvard, Princeton, Duke and Johns Hopkins.

3. Is Pluto a Planet? New research from planetary scientist and UCF alumnus Philip Metzger suggests that it is! The debate is on, and we’re backing our guy in black and gold.

4. Meet UCF’s fifth president and learn more about the future of our alma mater at two special receptions this October. All UCF alumni are invited to join us for An Evening with President Dale Whittaker in D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 3 and A Breakfast with Dale Whittaker in Atlanta on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

5. Last but certainly not least, a BIG thank you to the Virga family. Last week, Vince ’95 and Joyce ’98 Virga committed $10.25 million to UCF, making theirs the single largest alumni gift in university history.

“It’s truly an honor to be able to give back to an institution that has given us so much.” – Joyce Virga ’98

What a way to start a week. Charge On, Knights!

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week – Aug. 27, 2018

UCF Watch Parties

1.UCF FOOTBALL IS BACK THIS WEEK! We know our alumni are pumped for the season opener this Thursday against UConn. In fact, we have more than 30 official #UCFWatchParty locations across the nation where Knights fans will gather to cheer for a black and gold victory!

2. Speaking of football, our first home game is Saturday, Sept. 8 against South Carolina State. Get game day ready with this Fan Guide to UCF Football Season, featuring information on parking, tickets, traditions, and our favorite, Indoor Tailgates!

3. News from the heart of Downtown Orlando: UCF Downtown will open its doors to 7,700 students in less than a year! Take a look at how this game-changing campus will increase access for students and foster collaboration with our partners.

4. Our Knights are out of this world! The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has awarded alumnus Larry Bradley ’94 the Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence for his contributions to space exploration. The foundation has also named two UCF students as Astronaut Scholars.

5. Last week, the Orlando City Council, Orange County commissioners and the UCF Board of Trustees approved the transfer of the Sanford Burnham Prebys building in Lake Nona to UCF so the university can repurpose the facility into a comprehensive cancer research and treatment center. The new UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center will house cancer researchers, clinical trials and treatment for patients.