Five Things Alumni Need To Know This Week – Nov. 20, 2017

1. Black Friday is upon us, and all eyes will be on the War on I4. Fresh off its 10th-straight win, the No. 12 UCF football team and No. 19 USF will not only battle for bragging rights in the rivalry series, but the winner will also move on to face Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Championship game on Dec. 2. UCF Alumni’s Indoor Tailgate will open doors at 12:30 p.m., and the Future Knights Fun Zone will be held in the Dr. Hitt Library of the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center this week.

2. Speaking of football, senior linebacker Shaquem Griffin ’16 is up for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, and you can help him become the first UCF male student-athlete to win it. Fan voting accounts for one-third of the total award process, and fans can vote once per day. Vote for Shaquem and while you’re at it, read this recent Sports Illustrated feature that is getting a lot of love.

3. For the sixth consecutive year, a computer programming team from UCF has advanced to compete in the top collegiate programming contest in the world, to be held next April in China. Out of the 40,000-plus students and 13,000-plus teams from more than 100 countries that began the competition this year, 128 teams are expected to meet in China to test their programming skills. Way to go, Knights!

4. In case you missed it, National Philanthropy Day took place last week, and we heard directly from Vice President for UCF Advancement and CEO of the UCF Foundation Mike Morsberger about what service and philanthropy means to UCF. You can make a difference again when Giving Tuesday rolls around on Nov. 28.

5. On Monday, the UCF Presidential Search Committee holds its first meeting at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center from 10 a.m.-noon. The search committee meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live at the UCF Presidential Search website: www.ucf.edu/president-search.

First International Alumni Chapter Established

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Cynthia Young, PhD (left), Yahya Alassaf ’16PhD (center) and Julie C. Stroh (right) announce UCF’s first international alumni chapter

 

By Jenna Marina

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2016) — With 31 active chapters in cities across the country, UCF Alumni announced the addition of the UCF International Alumni Chapter of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning – the first international chapter in university history. The inauguration ceremony was held appropriately at the UCF Global building.

It will be led by Yahya Alassaf, who earned his doctorate in civil engineering during December’s fall commencement. Alassaf will be returning to his native country in three weeks to begin his career in academia as a civil engineering professor at Northern Border University, located in the city of Arar.

“UCF has been and will be a special place for every Saudi. It’s a place where people dedicate their life to supporting us and making us better,” Alassaf said. “To be a part of and to lead the first international alumni chapter at UCF is a great honor. It means a lot to all of us. It means the spirit of UCF will be with us forever. We are proud to support and represent UCF in Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

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Alassaf said he came up with the idea a few months ago. The idea became a reality after meetings with UCF Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence and UCF Global Cynthia Young, PhD; Assistant Vice President for UCF Global Nataly Chandia; and Senior Associate Vice President for UCF Advancement Julie C. Stroh.

Stroh said half of UCF’s alumni base lives in the Central Florida area and roughly 200,000 alumni live in the state of Florida, but as UCF looks to strengthen its global presence, international alumni chapters seem like the logical next step.

“UCF is nothing if not entrepreneurial. It’s important that we look across the country and across the globe for these connections,” she said. “Diversity is important. The beauty of this culture – the smell of the Arabic coffee in the room, the lovely music playing, the beautiful faces – how could that not be important?”

Young said of the 75 conferred Ph.D. degrees last weekend, 25 percent were bestowed to international students like Alassaf. However, of all the undergraduate students at UCF, half of 1 percent are international students. She hopes to increase that number to 5 percent (3,000 undergrads) and challenged the alumni chapter to help in achieving that goal.

“Think about how you can impact not just graduate students but undergraduate students and help them transform their lives by coming to UCF,” she said in her address to the crowd. “You’re truly ambassadors.”

Alassaf took the message to heart.

“I assure you that every Saudi Alumni will be a great representative of the values of UCF and its commitment to excellence,” he said. “And we will do our best to be an exceptional alumni chapter for UCF.”

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—Oct. 10, 2016

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IT’S HOMECOMING WEEK!

1. We’re kicking off Homecoming Week with a special Black-and-Gold-spirited edition of Five Things. Fun fact: This year is the 45th anniversary of Homecoming at UCF, which started in 1971. It originally was held to coincide with basketball season, which was the university’s first varsity sport.

2. This year’s theme is “Celebrate The Knight.” Alumni looking to attend Concert Knight (Ludacris, Ty Dolla $ign) or Comedy Knight (Nick Swardson) can purchase discounted tickets to these events at the CFE Arena box office or on Ticketmaster. Use the code “HC2016” to receive $5 off the regularly priced $25 tickets.

3. Spirit Splash, one of the most unique campus traditions in the nation, will go down at the Reflecting Pond from noon-2 p.m. Friday – the actual splash is expected to commence at 1 p.m.

4. UCF Alumni’s annual golf tournament and the Black & Gold Takeover will also take place on Friday. Connect with fellow AlumKnights as we start the fun-filled weekend early. Find out more information about these events, including how to register, here.

5. It all leads to Saturday – UCF football’s matchup against Temple under the lights at Bright House Networks Stadium. History is on the Knights’ side as the football team holds a 25-11 mark on Homecoming. The UCF Alumni Indoor Tailgate will start at 4:30 p.m., and #UCFansWear any color – black and gold approved, of course – for the game. You can also check out the UCF Tailgate Concert Series prior to kickoff where Better Than Ezra will be playing.

Knights Participate in Third Annual
Student Philanthropy Week

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It takes many hands to smoothly and effectively run the second-largest university in the nation. Busy students often don’t realize where our school’s resources come from, so the UCF Student Philanthropy Council started spreading the word of philanthropic giving with Project ’63.

The mission of Project ’63 is to remind students of the importance of philanthropy and its impact on higher education. To accomplish this, the SPC is hosting its third annual Student Philanthropy Week, bringing the spirit of giving back to campus.

This year’s celebration takes place Feb. 22-25, and includes the following daily events to inspire tradition:

Monday – Education Day
Students host a table outside the Student Union and play educational/trivia games.

Tuesday – Appreciation Day
Students sign a “Thank You” banner for young alumni donors, which helps stewardship with donors and gives students a better appreciation for and understanding of how philanthropy impacts their education.

On both Monday and Tuesday, the Student Philanthropy Council also introduces Philanthropy Cab, like the TV show “CA$H CAB,” where members pick up students and drive them to their classes on a golf cart, all the while testing their knowledge and school pride!

Wednesday – Participation Day
Students focus on peer-to-peer solicitation to cultivate donations in anticipation of launching a senior giving program.

Thursday – Celebration Day
The week concludes with all of the previous days’ activities, plus the Student Philanthropy Symposium, featuring a panel of some of the UCF Alumni Association’s 30 under 30 award winners.

“Student Philanthropy Week is one of the first opportunities many students have to learn about the impact of philanthropy on their education,” says Danielle Warren, coordinator of the UCF Fund. “Facilitating experiences through which students might recognize that many academic, scholarship and programmatic opportunities are funded by donations cultivates the spirit of philanthropy on campus — an important step toward assuring the future of private support at UCF.”

For more information about the Student Philanthropy Council and Student Philanthropy Week, contact Danielle at 407.882.1254.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Nov. 9, 2015

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Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. The UCF Alumni Association and Career Services is hosting a Virtual Networking Hour tomorrow from 4-5 p.m., where participants can connect with fellow Knights working in different industries in their own backyards and around the world.
  2. To commemorate Veterans Day on Wednesday, UCF is honoring and remembering veterans during a special, month-long series of events.
  3. Kenyatta Rivers, ’88, ’90, Ph.D., associate professor in the UCF Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health and Public Affairs, is teaching students how to help children, adolescents and adults acquire effective speech, language and communication skills.
  4. Once again, UCF student-athletes are graduating at a higher rate than any other NCAA Division I FBS public institution in the nation, with a sixth-best mark overall.
  5. The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Knight-Thon team partnered with Pet Rescue by Judy to bring 14 shelter dogs to the Rosen campus for a Rent-a-Pup fundraiser that brought in more than $500 toward the team’s $3,000 goal, benefiting the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — July 27, 2015

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Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. Renowned physician, surgeon, educator, entrepreneur and proud UCF Knight Dr. Gideon Lewis, ’00, was named to the UCF Foundation Board of Directors. “I have always strived to lead by example,” he said. “Serving on this board provides me with a much larger platform to encourage more people to give back to UCF.”
  2. ICYMI: Alumni, students, faculty and staff, and the Central Florida community came together to help Tivoli Apartments residents who were devastated by a July 12 fire.
  3. After losing his partner to an early retirement due to medical issues, UCF Police Officer Matt Scott has a new K9 partner, a 16-month-old German Shepard named Justice.
  4. UCF Athletics announced a change in traffic flow following all of this season’s home football games. Get in the know!
  5. We’ve got six new UCF Alumni Facebook cover photos anyone can use! Spruce up your profile and share with friends!