Welcome, AlumKnights! (What New Graduates Need to Know)

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By Jeana Capra
UCF Alumni Association Student Intern

Congratulations, Class of 2015 fall graduates! You’re an official UCF AlumKnight, which means you’re now part of a family that’s more than 250,000 strong!

Your connection to UCF and your Knights pride don’t end just because your senior year did. The UCF Alumni Association connects all Knights with the university and each other through social, cultural and professional development events. Now that you’re a part of the family, you should know what it entails.

The UCF Alumni Association is a dues-free organization, which means there’s no annual membership fee to take advantage of all it has to offer. You’re already a part of the alumni association just by graduating!

Remember that key card you got when you picked up your cap and gown? Think of that as your golden ticket. It’s what identifies you as an AlumKnight. Show that card to participating benefit providers for alumni discounts, and use it as your pass into alumni-hosted events, like our annual Indoor Tailgate parties during football season.

The UCF Alumni Association hosts events across the nation, so you can keep connected no matter where life takes you after college. There are countless ways to stay involved, whether it’s on campus or in your new community, through our chapters and clubs program. College-based and regional chapters and clubs help you build of a network of new friends who share your UCF experience.

And, as a brand new graduate, you naturally fit into the Young Alumni Council, a network or more than 60,000 Knights under the age of 30. This community of alumni is a powerful way to help you stay connected to social, career and community events as you begin to conquer “the real world.”

Leaving campus doesn’t have to mean losing touch with your alma mater. Follow the UCF Alumni Association on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up with all of the latest and greatest UCF news and events, and be proud of the university that made you who you are!

Congratulations again, graduates! You’re the future of the UCF Knights Nation, and we look forward to seeing all of the amazing things you’re going to do!

Go Knights! Charge On!

P.S. Jazz up your Facebook profile: Show off your #UCFalumni pride and download one of 10 cover photos. We even made two for your proud parents. :)

Philly Alumni Club Welcomes Knights from Six Other Regions

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By Angie Lewis, ’03

The Philadelphia UCF Alumni Club welcomed Knights from Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, New York and Washington, D.C., to their city for last Saturday’s UCF football game against Temple.

Nearly 125 (chilly!) UCF fans were in attendance at Lincoln Financial Field, which is home to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

“Despite the loss, it was great to welcome fellow Knights to the City of Brotherly Love, and to make so many new friends,” says Brittani DiPaolo, co-chair of the Philadelphia UCF Alumni Club.

Learn More

UCF Alumni Chapters and Clubs

UCF Board of Trustees Revises Downtown Campus Plans

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Rendering of proposed UCF Downtown campus
(PHOTO: UCF Board of Trustees online agenda)

By Eric Gutierrez
Digital Producer, Central Florida Future

Moving forward with plans to establish a stronger downtown presence, UCF’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved of a revised plan for the Downtown Orlando campus. “This update is very different than the plans we saw in January,” Chairman Marcos Marchena said.

The revised plan proposes building an academic services building and renovating the existing Center for Emerging Media. The academic services building will cost about $60 million to build, and renovations for the Center for Emerging Media building will cost about $5 million.

To fund the project, the plan proposes asking the state for about $19 million — about one-third the amount UCF originally asked from the state to build the downtown campus’ first academic building. The remaining funds will be paid for by the university and through private donations.

“We are working with our partners to address parking and housing downtown,” said Provost Dale Whittaker.

The proposed academic building would house academic programs that are well suited for the downtown environment and are expected to bring out more than 7,000 students to the downtown campus the first year. “We’ve refined our plans to include nine academic degree programs with strategic emphasis to meet workforce gaps in Florida,” Whittaker said. “We see the new academic building to be a key catalyst to the development of this campus.” So far, the programs offered are centered around health care, communications, technology, social work and legal studies.

The downtown campus would offer students work and internship opportunities that would apply what they learn in the classroom into the real world, he said.

Though plans for the downtown campus are set to continue, the projected opening date has been pushed back an extra year. “We moved from [opening in] fall of 2017 to fall of 2018,” said Grant Heston, vice president of communications and marketing.

The downtown project has always aimed to improve students by bringing them downtown and improving downtown by having students in the area, Heston said. The overall impact of the project will affect the downtown area in a very positive way, he said.

This story appeared in a Sept. 24, edition of the Central Florida Future online. See original article.

UCF Among Top 30 Worldwide for Patents

(Photo: CFF Archive)
(Photo: CFF Archive)

By Amelia Truong
Digital Producer, Central Florida Future

UCF ranks No. 30 out of 100 universities worldwide that were granted U.S. utility patents in 2014.

As one of the three Florida High Tech Corridor research universities, UCF joins the University of South Florida and the University of Florida, totaling 257 granted patents, according to a list by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

The list recognizes the important role patents play in university research and highlights the corridor region’s growth as a high-tech hub through continued innovation and technology transfer from universities to marketplace.

UCF totaled 66 granted patients, while No. 13 USF totaled 104 patents, and No. 20 UF had 87 granted patents.

Collectively, the three universities beat out other established and well-recognized, high-tech hubs, such as North Carolina’s Research Triangle and Austin’s Silicon Hills region.

The Research Triangle universities — Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina —totaled 109 patents, while 230 were granted to the Texas universities, including the entire University of Texas system, Rice University and Texas A&M University.

“The countless scientists, researchers, innovators and inventors at UCF, USF, UF and throughout our region, enrich our innovation ecosystem and work tirelessly to make tomorrow better than it is today,” said Randy Berridge, president of Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

The corridor is an economic development initiative that has resulted in a strategic approach to high-tech economic development, supporting factors that include matching funds research, marketing and workforce development on a regional rather than local basis.

This article appeared in a July 8, 2015, edition of the Central Florida Future online. It has been slightly edited in accordance with AP and alumni association style guidelines. See original story.

UCF Alumni Hosts 2015 Chapter & Club Council

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During the annual AlumKnights of the Roundtable: 2015 Chapter & Club Council, chapter and club chairs were presented with
framed photos of the Reflecting Pond as a token of thanks for all of their hard work and dedication to the UCF Alumni Association.

On Saturday, June 13, following the previous evening’s 8th Annual UCF Jefferson Awards & Alumni Volunteer Reception, nearly 60 regional, college and special interest chapter and club alumni volunteers — from Central Florida and across the nation — attended the UCF Alumni Association’s AlumKnights of the Roundtable: 2015 Chapter & Club Council at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.

The morning began with a keynote address and Q&A by Anthony Jenkins, Ph.D., UCF’s senior associate vice president and dean of students.

Next, alumni staff presented this year’s Chapter & Club Awards, which included:

  • The College Chapter Challenge Award tasked college-based alumni chapters to engage in professional development activities within their chapters that add value to their degrees and make meaningful connections back to the university. This year’s winner hosted an evening to provide alumni with a tool that’s invaluable in the industry in which they work — customer service training, provided by best-selling author Tim Miles. Congratulations to the Rosen College of Hospitality Management Alumni Chapter!
  • The Regional Chapter/Club Challenge Award tasked regional chapters with executing events with a strong university connection — which isn’t always easy when you’re not in Orlando! However, this year’s winner impressed the selection committee by working on events with local businesses in their community, while also working with the UCF regional campus closest to them on their signature event, Starry Knights. Last year, Starry Knights raised more than $6,000 for scholarships and, after this year’s event in July, they will be one step closer to their goal of endowing their chapter’s scholarship. Congratulations to the Space Coast UCF Alumni Chapter!
  • The Constituent Chapter Challenge Award tasked special interest chapters with creating opportunities to create meaningful connections with our student population. Chapter volunteers participated as panelists for the 4EVER KNIGHTS Alumni Speaker Series and served as mentors in the 4EK Connect program. Their signature professional development conference, PRO CON, raised $8,000 this year and allowed the chapter to engage with students in various stages of the UCF experience. Congratulations to the UCF Young Alumni Chapter!
  • The Chapter or Club of the Year Award was presented to the overall chapter or club that covered all of the bases in not only event programming, but in communicating with alumni and building meaningful connections. The selection committee was impressed by the winning group, not only for their philanthropic events — participating in multiple events through the year in addition to UCF’s annual day of service, Knights Give Back — but also in the goals they set and how they reached them. They’ve grown their LinkedIn following from just 10 members to nearly 300, while becoming a chapter only two years ago. The judges were thoroughly impressed! Congratulations to the Denver UCF Alumni Chapter!

Chapter and club leaders then participated in breakout sessions on the alumni association’s strategic plan goals of communication, engagement, relevance and funding. After lunch, they continued with roundtable discussions on board management, social media, student engagement, professional development/career-focused events, and partnerships.

Before wrapping up the day-long conference with a catered happy hour and UCF Bookstore merchandise sales, attendees got to meet and participate in a Q&A with Mike Morsberger, the new vice president for alumni relations and development, and CEO of the foundation.

Thank you to all of our dedicated alumni volunteers! Go Knights! Charge On!

VIEW EVENT PHOTO GALLERY

Just the Facts

Each year, UCF Marketing publishes a facts guide, highlighting the university’s successes in numbers. Here are the facts for 2014-15:

UCF at First Glance

GROWTH WITH QUALITY AND DIVERSITY

  • Fall 2014 freshman class set UCF records with an average SAT score of 1256 and an average high school GPA of 3.9.
  • UCF set records for diversity in the fall: 41 percent of students are minorities and 22 percent are Hispanic.
  • UCF is the nation’s second-largest university with 60,810 students, including 52,532 undergraduates, 7,858 graduate students and 420 M.D. students.
  • UCF ranks second among Florida’s state universities with 275 National Merit Scholars enrolled.
  • UCF’s six-year graduation rate is 69.7 percent, third best among Florida’s state universities.

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE WORKFORCE

  • More than 20,000 students gain practical experience through co-ops, internships and service-learning projects annually.
  • UCF awarded nearly 2,000 baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields in 2013-14, the second-largest number in the State University System.
  • Career Services helped 30,000 students search and compete for jobs in 2013-14.

AN AFFORDABLE, BEST-VALUE EDUCATION

  • 48 percent of UCF students graduate without any educational debt. Nationally, only 33 percent of students graduate debt-free.
  • Kiplinger and The Princeton Review consistently rank a UCF education among the nation’s best value.

A LEADER IN ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • UCF employs about 11,000 faculty and staff members. The university impacts more than 112,000 additional jobs and adds $7.73 billion of value to the economy, according to a 2009-10 study by the Florida Board of Governors.

Enrollment

TOTAL: 60,810
Undergraduate: 52,532
Freshman: 6,513
Transfer: 7,476
Graduate: 7,858
Medical Professional: 420

Hispanic (21.6%), African-American (10.5%), Asian and Pacific Islander (5.7%) and Multiracial (3%)

$44.9 million awarded to Bright Futures students (second-largest amount in Florida)

77 percent of undergraduate students received financial aid

$437 million in financial aid awarded

275 National Merit Scholars enrolled, a UCF record

Fall Freshman Profile

Average SAT Score: 1256* (1849**)
Average ACT Score: 27.4
Average High School GPA: 3.9

Fall Freshman Profile, The Burnett Honors College

TOTAL: 506
Average SAT Score: 1398* (2057**)
Average ACT Score: 31.5
Average High School Weighted GPA: 4.3

*Critical Reading and Mathematics
**Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing

Degree Programs

TOTAL: 210
Bachelor’s: 92
Master’s: 83
Doctoral: 31
Specialist: 3
Professional: 1


Degrees Conferred (as of Summer 2014)

TOTAL: 265,582
Bachelor’s: 217,552
Master’s: 43,830
Doctoral: 3,613
Specialist: 587

Top 15 Majors by Enrollment

  1. Psychology
  2. Health Sciences: Pre-Clinical
  3. Biomedical Sciences
  4. Nursing
  5. Mechanical Engineering
  6. Hospitality Management
  7. Accounting
  8. Biology
  9. Interdisciplinary Studies
  10. General Business
  11. Finance
  12. Elementary Education
  13. Marketing
  14. Computer Science
  15. Criminal Justice

Cost of Attendance (estimated per semester†)

IN-STATE
Tuition and fees: $2,972
Books and supplies: $573
Room and board: $4,879
TOTAL: $8,424

OUT-OF-STATE
Nonresident tuition and fees: $10,484

†Based on 14 undergraduate credit hours

Facilities

The main campus is 1,415 acres, approximately one-third of which is managed for conservation.

  • 180 buildings
  • Housing: 11,593 beds (includes affiliated)
  • Bright House Networks Stadium: 45,000-seat capacity
  • CFE Arena: 10,000-seat capacity

Research Funding

2013-14: $145.6 million
UCF researchers have earned more than $1 billion in external grants and contracts during the past decade.

Endowment Assets

June 30, 2014: $155.5 million

Operating Budget

2013-14: $1.5 billion

Employees

TOTAL: 11,074
Faculty members: 1,961
Staff members: 9,113

Regional Locations

  • Center for Emerging Media
  • Executive Development Center
  • Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona
  • Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Regional Campus Locations

  • Altamonte Springs
  • Cocoa
  • Daytona Beach
  • Leesburg
  • Ocala
  • Palm Bay
  • Sanford/Lake Mary
  • South Lake
  • Valencia Osceola
  • Valencia West

Alumni

More than 235,000

Unless otherwise noted, figures are for Fall 2014.


UCF Goals

  1. Offer the best undergraduate education available in Florida.
  2. Achieve international prominence in key programs of graduate study and research.
  3. Provide international focus to our curricula and research programs.
  4. Become more inclusive and diverse.
  5. Be America’s leading partnership university.

The goals are directions of travel. We’ve changed, and the way we pursue the goals has changed. —John C. Hitt

Houston, We Have a Victory!

The Chicago UCF Alumni Chapter cheered on our Knights at the Pony Inn.
The Chicago UCF Alumni Chapter cheered on our Knights at the Pony Inn.
Watch Parties | UCF at Houston

Alumni gathered from coast to coast Thursday evening to watch our Knights play their first conference game of the season, as they took on the Houston Cougars. Many of the alumni association’s regional chapters and clubs hosted watch parties for the matchup — from Florida to San Francisco, and everywhere in between.

In addition, the alumni association hosted an AlumKnight Out at BlackFinn American Grille on Wednesday night to get everyone excited for what ended in another win for the Knights!

Check out more photos from watch parties across the nation.