1. UCF President John C. Hitt H’17 and his wife Martha H’17 will retire this week from the Office of the President after 26 years of service to the university. Several alumni took the opportunity to share memories of this beloved couple as a humble way of saying thank you for all they have done.
2. Speaking of the president, that means Dale Whittaker will take over as UCF’s next great leader this week. He recently outlined some lofty goals he has in store to continue the university’s upward trajectory.
3. UCF’s Spectrum Stadium will play host to a professional football team coached by former Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier, part of a new spring league that will start next year. The Orlando team, which will be part of the new Alliance of American Football, will play at least five games each season at the stadium on UCF’s campus for three years.
4. Two alumni are changing the game for public transportation around Orlando with their startup company, Omnimodal. The company, launched in early 2017, merges real-time information from public transit systems (I-Ride Trolley, Sanford Trolley) with existing navigation apps on mobile phones (Google Maps, Transit App) so users can plan how to get around and make adjustments on the fly.
5. Summer has officially begun, and our Knights around the nation have rounded up tips for your travels to their cities. Whether you’re planning on heading to the beach, the city or the mountains, check out these recommendations first from locals about food to eat and must-do activities!
1. UCF’s Presidential Search Committee selected four finalists for UCF’s next transformational leader, and each finalist will visit UCF to meet with students, faculty, alumni, donors and community partners and also will give a presentation at an open forum. The campus community and public are invited to attend presentations by each of the candidates scheduled for March 2 and March 6-8. Attendees will be able to provide feedback. Visit www.ucf.edu/presidentsearch to learn more about the finalists and their soon-to-be scheduled visits.
2. DUUUVAL! Former UCF football great Blake Bortles signed a contract extension over the weekend with the Jacksonville Jaguars to lead the team through the 2020 season. “This is definitely the place I wanted to be,” the quarterback said, also citing personal reasons such as Jacksonville being close to his hometown of Oviedo, Florida.
3. Radio-TV alumna and former Order of Pegasus recipient Kaitlyn Chana ’13 overcame three eating disorders from the time she was in middle school until she was ready to get help in college. Now, she’s using her experience to help others and raise awareness for mental health. Check out this National Eating Disorders Week spotlight
4. UCF has brought in 1,575 new football season ticket accounts since Jan. 1, its highest amount since the stadium first opened in 2007. Season ticket renewals are also around 90 percent sold. Shannon Green breaks down all the rewards from the best football season in school history in this Orlando Sentinel article.
5. FAIRWINDS Credit Union will fund a new $1.1 million endowed professorship for a proposed UCF FinTech program, the first of its kind in the State University System. The gift to benefit financial-technology education, to be fulfilled over the next eight years, was announced Feb. 20.
The UCF community is in mourning after its second president, Trevor Colbourn, passed away on Jan. 13, at age 87.
Colbourn became the university’s president in 1978, when it was still known as Florida Technological University. It was upon his suggestion that the university was renamed to the University of Central Florida the same year.
He also established UCF’s football program, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences (now the College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Sciences), the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Honors program, among many others.
During his presidency, the campus increased in size with the building of the Wayne Densch Sports Center, the establishment of Greek Park, a library expansion, growth in residential housing, and the construction of new buildings for Fine Arts (later renamed Colbourn Hall), the College of Business and the College of Engineering. The arena, student union and Barbara Ying Center also went into planning.
After retiring as president in 1989, he returned to teaching history full time at the university. In 1990, he earned the title President Emeritus, and he assumed the role of university historian in 1991.
READ MORE about the legacy Trevor Colbourn created at UCF.