1. UCF’s Shaquem Griffin ’16 will attend the NFL Draft at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium in Texas on April 26-28, as he looks to join his brother Shaquill ’16 (Seattle Seahawks) in the league. Griffin was featured on Monday’s TODAY show on NBC.
2. The UCF programming team finished first place in North America and 10th worldwide in the Association of Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest held in Beijing. UCF defeated teams from Harvard, MIT and Stanford, among others, en route to earning the program’s highest finish in more than three decades of competition.
3. Renovation of the Reflecting Pond is nearly complete, and the iconic spot on campus is expected to be back in action by April 30. The Reflecting Pond was drained in October after Spirit Splash and has been undergoing an extensive renovation ever since. Pro tip for graduates looking to snap some photos: in order to maintain the pond’s beauty and functionality, please do not throw glitter in the pond.
4. Everyone’s favorite Jeopardy! contestant, UCF sophomore Hannah Sage, finished third in the game show’s College Championship finals, collecting $25,000. Sage received a resounding welcome from fans in Spectrum Stadium at the UCF football team’s Spring Game.
5. Although there are still sports to be played throughout the spring, UCF clinched the War on I4 trophy against rival USF for the second year in a row. The women’s golf team’s runner-up performance at the American Athletic Conference Championship last week sealed the deal, giving the Knights bragging rights for another year. #ChargeOn
1. The UCF Alumni Giving Challenge launches today. Here are three key questions answered: >What is the Alumni Giving Challenge?
It’s a week-long giving challenge inspired by the Class of 2017, who saw more than 500 student donors make gifts to support UCF’s future. Now they are challenging the alumni community to do the same before the end of their commencement week. >When is the UCF Alumni Giving Challenge?
The campaign runs from May 1 through May 7. >How do I participate?
Visit ucfalumni.com/challenge to make a gift.
2. Another UCF alumnus is headed to the NFL. Former UCF defensive back Shaquill Griffin became the 36th Knight to hear his name called in the NFL Draft on Friday when he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round, with the 90th overall pick. He is now the third highest UCF defensive back draftee, coming in behind only Josh Robinson (66th) and his position coach, Travis Fisher (64th). Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in human communications in December.
3. UCF alumna Emily Kramer ’14PhD was honored when an asteroid was named after her to recognize her contributions to planetary science research. Asteroid 10282, aka 1981 ET46, is now officially named Emilykramer. Kramer is a scientist at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and earned her doctorate in physics at UCF in 2014.
4. About 7,900 UCF graduates will earn their degrees later this week at CFE Arena. Welcome to the fam, fellow alumni! If you’ve got a cool cap to set you apart from the rest, we want to see it. Check out our #UCFGrad cap contest rules and you can score yourself a cool prize for your creativity.
5. Danny White talks the lazy river, priorities for 2017-18 and highlights of year one as UCF’s athletic director in this lengthy Q&A by the Orlando Sentinel.
GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran hosted a master music class and performed an intimate, acoustic set for about 300 lucky UCF students on Monday, May 4, thanks to the university winning the #EdOnCampus social media contest. The contest’s organizer, Chegg, also presented the UCF Department of Music with a $10,000 grant as part of the win.
On Thursday, Andrew Kirk will be the first graduate of UCF’s new Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering program. The degree enables students to analyze and design optical and laser systems for a broad set of applications. And, on Saturday morning, May 9, UCF’s 250,000th graduate will cross the stage during one of six commencement ceremonies at the CFE Arena. Learn more about some of this semester’s graduation stories.
The annual Leadercast conference returns to UCF on Friday, May 8, with headliners that include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Navy Seal Cmdr. Rorke Denver and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, among others. The live broadcast from Atlanta will be hosted locally for viewing by UCF’s Human Resources office at the Live Oak Center on the main campus.
The UCF Downtown Leadership Team has proposed a list of academic programs that could relocate to the new downtown campus over a period of time. State funding has yet to be decided.
The Baltimore Ravens selected UCF Wide Receiver Breshad Perriman as the No. 26 pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft over the weekend. Safety Clayton Geathers was also drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round. In addition, four players signed NFL contracts as free agents: Linebacker Terrance Plummer (Washington Redskins), Tight End Justin Tukes (Philadelphia Eagles), Wide Receiver Rannell Hall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Offensive Line Torrian Wilson (Detroit Lions). Go Knights!