1. A 25-game streak of perfection was certainly something unpredictable, but in the end it was so right and Knight Nation had the time of its life. The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl game against LSU may have brought our winning streak to an end, but the impact, momentum and heart of our football team these past two seasons isn’t going anywhere. Thank you to every one of you who came out to Arizona to cheer on our team, to those of you who purchased tickets so over 1,200 military members and their families from Luke Air Force were able to attend and to all of you Knights who proudly started the new year in your black-and-gold. We loved getting to host so many of you at our ChargeOn Tailgate before the big game! It’s always a big deal to support your team, but it’s another thing entirely to travel from any distance and show up at a 7 a.m. tailgate fully energized to chant “UCF!” as many times as Zombie Nation plays. Check out pictures from the tailgate here. OK. Now. Who’s ready for next season?
2. While we were out in Arizona, Knights made it a priority to give back to the community that was kind enough to host us! Over 70 people from the UCF community came together on Dec. 31 to come alongside an incredible organization, Arizona Helping Hands, which is the largest provider of essential needs for children in foster care and their families in the state. Not only did the group compile 173 first-aid kits, 85 birthday bags and sort all the toys and diapers that came in over the holidays, but our Phoenix UCF Alumni Club has committed to continue serving with Arizona Helpings Hands!
3. Nominations for the 30 Under 30 Awards program are officially open! This event recognizes and celebrates the young alumni who are making an impact through their professional and personal successes. You have to be alum to be nominated, but any family, friend or coworker can submit a nomination on your behalf anytime before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7. If you know a worthy knight, we want to know!
4. We’re only a few days into 2019 and UCF is already out here doing big things. Last week it was announced that the Nicholson School of Communication and Media will be offering a doctorate in strategic communication starting next fall AND THEN the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering announced the launch of its Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. Both of these new programs are just the beginning of an exciting 20Knighteen for the university!
5. Imagine being able to come back to your alma mater and spend a few nights on campus without having to return to your old dorm. In 2020 UCF will open its first on-campus hotel, Pegasus Hotel and Conference Center. Near the campus’ main entrance, the hotel will be five stories and will cater to an upscale clientele as part of the Marriot brand at the northeast corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail. Keep an eye out at the end of 2019 to book a reservation!