UCF Foundation, Inc., Annual Report 2013

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The UCF Foundation encourages, stewards and celebrates charitable contributions from alumni and friends to support the University of Central Florida.

UCF FOUNDATION, INC. 12424 RESEARCH PARKWAY, SUITE 250 ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32826-3208 407-882-1220 UCFFoundation.org Donorrelations@ucf.edu UCF Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

UCF Stands For Opportunity

The UCF Foundation supports that opportunity. To the many alumni, friends, parents, corporations and foundations whose generous gifts help support UCF’s most important funding needs — thank you. Your support ensures affordability, enhances academics and is crucial to the continued growth of UCF’s reputation as the nation’s leading partnership university. The stories on the following pages are a small sample of the reasons why you give. From students to faculty, and from programs to facilities, your gifts are transforming this university.

UCF ENROLLS NEARLY 14,000 first generation students, those who are the first in their families to attend college. Gifts to help fund scholarships for first generation students like Ericka Simmons, ’15 (health services administration), Kevin Choy, ’14 (biomedical sciences), and Danielle Abbott, ’14 (biomedical sciences), are matched dollar for dollar by the state of Florida through the First Generation Scholarship Matching Gift Program.



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Education is a Game Changer [

A message from UCF President John C. Hitt

On the heels of UCF’s magnificent win in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1, I found myself thinking not only about how far we have come as an institution, but of my own unlikely journey from a working-class home in Houston, Texas, to the presidency of a university poised for evergreater levels of national and international impact.




SPRING 1962. Sherman, Texas. John and Martha Hitt during their time at Austin College.

When I was a child my father used to say, “There’s no prize for quitting,” and that sentence has stuck with me. It was sage advice from a man who, sadly, didn’t live long enough to see his only child graduate from college. While neither of my parents had the opportunity to attend college, they were well read and literate people, and it was simply assumed that college was in my future. It was a time when hardworking parents who lived paycheck to paycheck could make such an assumption, pushing their children to brighter and better lives. The rules were simpler then: Work hard. Do well. Show up. I, along with many of my generation, assumed that if we followed those rules, the proverbial door of opportunity would open to us. I had no idea what was on the other side of that door, only that I was supposed to do whatever I needed to do to walk through it. I never imagined on that first day of college that education would be such a game changer. I didn’t know just how deeply and permanently it would alter my worldview. Exposure to art, history, the sciences and fields that demand critical thinking did far more than alter my worldview, it transformed my life.



In time, working in higher education became my career, and expanding access to education became a lifelong passion. Whatever success I enjoy today is due not only to my parents, who believed in me and taught me never to quit, but also to the scholarship I received when I first entered college. It was a surprising and life-changing vote of confidence from someone who believed in my ability to succeed. That’s why Martha and I support UCF’s First Generation Scholarship Program, designed to help ensure the success of students who are the first in their families to attend college. For these students, entering college is a longsought dream that comes true in unfamiliar territory. Away from home for the first time, without the benefit of parental guidance, these students often struggle with issues

ranging from time management to making new friends. First Generation scholarships can relieve students of the burden of worrying about bill-paying, so they can focus on meeting UCF’s high expectations for course work, study habits, extracurricular activities and mastering key aspects of college life. And make no mistake, alleviating financial concerns is no small thing — for students and for our society. Today, as governments cut support for education budgets, as the cost of a college education soars, as the economic crisis of 2008 and lingering high unemployment lead some people to question the value of a college degree, and as technology is fundamentally changing our lives and our economy, education as a public good has never been more necessary. Citizens transformed by education are needed not only by our immediate communities, but by our national and global communities, as well. This report is filled with stories of people who believe, as Martha and I do, in our students’ unlimited potential and in the power of education, and who themselves have transformed the lives of others. Our commitment to those who support UCF is to demonstrate the very qualities these individuals exemplify, and to honor their belief that UCF can and will be better tomorrow than it is today. Quitting has never been an option for UCF. It’s just not in our DNA. Instead, what distinguishes this university and its students, faculty, staff and alumni is our habit of defying expectations. We’re the small commuter school built to provide technicians for the space program that has grown into the second-largest university in the country. We’re the university that contributes more than $7.7 billion to the local economy. And yes, we’re the “Who are those guys?” team that blew past Baylor in a win that pundits and oddsmakers thought was unlikely at best and impossible at worst. As you read the stories in this year’s Annual Report, I hope you will join me in expressing your gratitude to our donors for their generosity, their vision and their belief in our ability to excel. I hope that you, too, will be inspired to contribute to UCF’s burgeoning success, whether through creating a student scholarship, an endowed professorship, or a research endowment to fund life-changing breakthroughs in the sciences, humanities or technology.


Quitting has never been an option for UCF. It’s just not in our DNA. Instead, what distinguishes this university and its students, faculty, staff and alumni is our habit of defying expectations.”

And when it comes to quitting, don’t give it a thought: We’re just getting started.



AFTER HER BREAST CANCER went into remission 20 years ago, Jane Torres founded the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, which last year gave UCF a generous grant to further groundbreaking research on the disease.

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Advocacy and Research Can End Breast Cancer [ JANE TORRES ]




reacted the way she did after her breast cancer went into remission 20 years ago — not by saying a prayer of thanks and moving on as some survivors might, but rather by launching a crusade for more and better breast cancer research. Her drive ultimately morphed into the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, which last year gave UCF scientist Dr. Annette Khaled and her team a $100,000 grant to further the groundbreaking study of a peptide molecule that appears to kill cancer cells without affecting healthy tissue. Not even Torres is sure why she reacted the way she did. It had to do with the values she learned from her parents: “We try and make a difference

in the world, however we can do it.” It also had to do with her profession. As a marriage and family therapist, she often tells clients, “We can’t control what happens to us, but we can, to a certain extent, control what we do with it. And if something good can come out of something really bad, then it hasn’t been for naught.” But there was more to it than altruism. It also had to do with an innate drive to protect herself and those close to her. “In all honesty,” she says, “I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that if, God forbid, I had a recurrence, or somebody

license plate the organization conceived of in 2001, was able to provide $363,000 in research grants last year. Torres remains heavily involved though, sitting on the board of directors and on the committee that reviews grant applications. It’s a life she could hardly have imagined in 1995, when she marshaled the help of four other survivors to try and make things better in the world. “I’m constantly shaking my head in wonder that this has actually gotten to where it is,” she says. “When I was first diagnosed, a woman said to me, ‘You know,


We can’t control what happens to us, but we can, to a certain extent, control what we do with it. And if something good can come out of something really bad, then it hasn’t been for naught.” I loved got breast cancer, there was a lot of research being done on better treatments. That was a little on the selfish side … but I don’t believe the urge to make things better for everybody and to make them better for yourself and your family are in conflict with each other.” These days, a professional staff manages the day-to-day operations of the foundation — which, thanks in part to the “End Breast Cancer” specialty

some day you may actually be thankful for this.’ Thank goodness she was a breast cancer survivor herself, or else… But the truth is so many wonderful people and things have come into my life because of this. … It’s just really nice to recognize that I did make a difference, because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.” Then she pauses for a moment, thoughtful, and says, “But I’m mostly just amazed.”


[ ANNETTE KHALED, PH.D. ] Dr. Frankenstein inspired Annette Khaled’s childhood interest in science, but the lab she runs at the UCF Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences is nothing to fear. Dr. Khaled doesn’t make scary things — she fights them. Kahled, who holds a Ph.D. in immunology, has demonstrated over the past year that a certain molecule, known as the CT 20 peptide, attacks cancer cells while ignoring healthy tissue. The findings offer great promise for killing or controlling metastatic tumors of the breast, brain, prostate and perhaps other parts of the body. Khaled’s findings offer a hope that would not exist without a $100,000 grant from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, founded by a breast cancer survivor, Jane Torres. “The grant advanced us tremendously,” Khaled says. “We could gather the data and say ‘Yes, this could cure cancer.’ ” Her laboratory is beginning tests on human tissue, a process that will require additional funding. Over time, she hopes to validate the results that so far have occurred only in mice and one day develop a therapy for a deadly disease.




Student Entrepreneurs Need Wiggle Room THOUGH STILL A SENIOR at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Julien Meyer established a scholarship to help another entrepreneurial student.

[ JULIEN MEYER ] JULIEN MEYER IS AN OVERACHIEVER. He’s a senior at UCF, but he already owns three businesses, which he manages from the UCF Business Incubator—Orlando while working toward his degrees in hospitality management and event management at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Several months before his own graduation, he’s already made a gift to help another student. “I gave because I want to get started earlier, rather than later, in giving back to UCF,” Meyer says. The gift will benefit a Rosen College student with entrepreneurial experience or aspirations and significant work experience. It’s meant “to give someone the leeway they need to build their own brand or business.” That someone will most likely be a lot like Julien, who is also a scholarship recipient. He has been building his businesses — collegeTKTS, CollegeStack



and Meyer Group Enterprises — for the past few years. He hopes his entrepreneurial path will lead to a career in the hotel industry, which he’s dreamt of since childhood. “I think the two are going to connect seamlessly,” he says. “I’m learning a lot about business by trying to build one. “Ever since I was young, I’ve liked the idea of working for myself. I don’t like being bored, and I come from a family of hard workers and believe that you should never let your dreams fade away. I want the scholarship to give a student the wiggle room so they can invest in themselves and their future.”


You Put Your Faith in Us

THE UCF COLLEGE OF MEDICINE’S CHARTER CLASS established a $300,000 scholarship endowment to thank the community for the full four-year scholarships they received in 2009. More than $6.5 million in donations from business leaders, health care institutions and local philanthropists funded the scholarships for the charter class, who graduated in 2013. Those scholarships covered tuition, fees and living expenses. “You took a burden of risk from us and put it on yourselves,” an emotional charter class president Will Kang said when announcing the endowment. Kang’s scholarship was funded by Judy and David Albertson, who have “become like surrogate parents to me,” he says. “I can never repay them.” Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director of the Tavistock Group and co-founder of the charter class scholarship drive, said the students had taken a risk enrolling in a brand-new medical school that had not yet received full accreditation. “You put your faith in us,” he told them. “Now we’re putting our faith in you … to make the world a better place.” Endowments provide financial support indefinitely because the donation is invested, and the returns are used to fund scholarships. The students’ gift involves donations for the next 10 years and will provide a $50,000 scholarship over four years to a deserving student.

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE CHARTER class president Will Kang, ’13, graduated from medical school debt free thanks to the generosity of donors.


SCHOLARSHIP DONORS ] Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery and Leavitt Management Group David and Judy Albertson The Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation/Russell W. Ramsey, M.D. Central Florida Cardiology Group, P.A. Central Florida Hospitalist Partners CNL Charitable Foundation, Inc. Joseph D. Conte/Consulate Health Care Mary L. Demetree Dillard family Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust and Edward Ball Fund of The Nemours Foundation Edward H. Eliscu, M.D., and Hy Lake Florida Emergency Physicians Florida Heart Group Florida Hospital (two scholarships) Florida’s Blood Centers Galloway Foundation Alan H. Ginsburg Family Foundation Group of Friends Kalidas family Rita and John Lowndes Medical Center Radiology Group The Nemours Foundation Orlando Magic Park Square Homes Parrish Medical Center & Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation South Lake Hospital Tavistock Foundation United Medical Corporation Walt Disney World Winter Park Health Foundation Robert and Judith Yarmuth and Family

COMBINED SCHOLARSHIPS Bank of America Charitable Foundation Broad and Cassel Central Florida community O’Ann and Pat Christiansen Fifth Third Bank Saundra and Charlie Gray/GrayRobinson Hospice of the Comforter Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando HuntonBrady Architects, Affiliated The Robert W. Mead, Jr. Scholarship, presented by Dean Mead, Jr.* Engineers, Walter P. Moore & Associates, and Harris Engineers Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation* Winter Park Chamber of Commerce/Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation * Endowed scholarships




Big Business Needs Big Data ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY’S SMALLEST DEPARTMENTS IS having a big impact on Central Florida’s economy. That is the message retired UCF Professor Paul Somerville wanted to spread about statistics and big data before he died in 2013. So committed was he to that goal that he made a gift that enabled the Department of Statistics to establish the Paul Somerville Endowed Chair in Statistics and hire a renowned big data expert. In real-world terms, big data is anything too big to manage with an Excel spreadsheet or even 1,000 spreadsheets. It is the estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes per year that companies gather from the digital footprints we leave as we conduct our daily lives, posting on social media, using rewards cards at stores, making insurance claims, surfing the Internet and using Google for directions to a new restaurant. Our digital activities create a vast and ever-expanding mass of data points, which convey detailed pictures about how we live: when we buy new shoes, why we seek medical treatment, and what movies we prefer to watch. While recent news coverage about the National Security Agency has highlighted concerns about data collection, the field is considered to hold great commercial and life-enhancing promise. Many uses for big data are only postulated, but scientists are already trying to improve cancer therapy by running torrents of facts about drugs and tumors through special algorithms. Netflix reportedly allocates computing power and limits streaming problems with



sophisticated analyses of customer viewing patterns. And the New York Times reported last year that Target detects pregnant customers based on their purchases and sends them coupons for disposable diapers and baby shampoo before some moms-to-be have announced their happy news. In Central Florida, Walt Disney World, Sodexho, Republic Bank, Florida Blue and others hire UCF statistics students and interns long before they graduate. Experts predict that data scientists will be in demand in the future, as companies, medical organizations, policy planners and others seek the behavioral patterns buried deeply in big data. Somerville’s gift helps ensure that UCF will be at the global forefront of this rapidly developing field. Michael Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences, is grateful for Somerville’s contributions to UCF, both as a longtime faculty member and as a donor. “His donation has added new life to the Department of Statistics. [It says] that the university and community recognize the importance of what [faculty, students and staff] do, and seek to support and expand it.”


UCF Offered Exactly What I Needed MARK PLAUMANN, ’74, ’79, WAS NOT A TRADITIONAL junior when he entered UCF, then known as Florida Technological University. “I hadn’t exactly graduated from high school,” he says. “And I hadn’t exactly graduated from Valencia Community College [in Orlando].” Plaumann’s credentials simply lagged his accomplishments. An Orlando native who took summer courses in calculus and trigonometry for fun, he earned his bachelor’s degree just a year after earning his high school diploma (which took him only two years) and his associate degree. Viewed as a prodigy, Plaumann joined Ernst & Ernst — then one of the biggest eight firms in the world — at age 18 and was training for a prestigious assignment in the new consulting division when he decided he needed an M.B.A. Again he turned to UCF, studying at night to complete the degree in 1979.

square feet of real estate around the country, but he remains grateful to UCF for embracing his fast-paced approach to academics. “I flew through the university because they bent over backwards for me,” he says. He shows that gratitude with generous support of UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “I think it’s a fantastic idea for the university to combine disciplines to develop ideas for viable, new companies,” he says. “People could think of UCF as the school that develops dynamic entrepreneurs who are discovering the next Google.” But for Plaumann, giving back to the university that named him to the College of Business Administration Hall of Fame isn’t just about spurring innovation; it’s also about creating opportunity. “I am the son of a manager of a Black & Decker store,” he says. “My dad was the only one earning money in the family, and we weren’t wealthy by any means. UCF was flexible and affordable, and the education was rigorous. I am grateful for my career, and UCF prepared me for the success I have had.”

Today Plaumann is a managing member of Greyhawke Capital Advisors, a firm that he co-founded, which controls several million





We Believe in UCF’s Future

TOM AND LYNN MESSINA with daughters Lori (L) and Michelle in front of the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.




A LITTLE OVER 30 YEARS AFTER THEY MET AT UCF, Lynn, ’85, and Tom Messina, ’84, named the university as a beneficiary in their estate plans. Their gift will support the work of the Alumni Association. It’s a gift that comes on top of many others, including their shared commitment to the planning and programming intended to unite and engage their fellow Knights — now nearing 250,000 — including their daughters, Michelle, ’11, and Lori, ’13. This UCF family of four might not be members of today’s Knight Nation if Tom had gotten his way in the spring of his senior year in high school. Back then his sights were fixed on attending a school with a good football program in Georgia or North Carolina — one as far away as possible from Arcadia, Fla., where he attended high school after growing up on Long Island, N.Y. The move to Florida provided land and a citrus grove for his parents and a major change for Tom and his twin brother, Mike, who struggled to decipher the Florida accents of their new classmates. The Messina brothers’ planned long-distance road trip to explore out-of-state colleges was quickly scrapped by their mother. She wanted her sons closer to home. Instead, they were off to Orlando to visit a new school, one that was starting a football program. On a spring day in 1979, Tom and Mike entered UCF’s Office of Admissions in Millican Hall and were accepted on the spot. Alafaya Trail was a dirt road and the mostly commuter university had 400 on-campus beds for a student population of just under 9,000. Tom describes his initial trip to campus as feeling like home, adding, “It was a friendly place, less complicated than some of the bigger schools we thought we’d attend.” What Tom didn’t know was that in a few short years, he’d be back in Millican Hall with a phone, no budget and a mandate to help UCF build its alumni association into a force for keeping alumni engaged in the life of the university. The two-time chapter president of Lambda Chi Alpha got to work. Tom’s early career included buying parts for F-18 fighter jets, working in investor services for a commercial real estate firm, and learning best practices in customer service at Florida Power & Light Company. The customer service training serves him still as he manages strategy, events and programs designed to keep nearly 250,000 graduates engaged through 45 chapters and clubs and 300 annual events. The office he once occupied at Millican Hall has since moved to the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, where he is assisted by a dedicated volunteer board (see next page), 26 staff members, and chapter and club leaders. Tom’s family — who are as boldly black and gold as he is — also support him, as do the countless Knights who are glad he never made that trip to Georgia.





Once a Knight


Always a Knight

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A Nice Beautiful Headline will go Right Here [ FEATURED PERSON ]

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WITH THE UCF ALUMNINient POPULATION MEMBERS, ex enempeNEARING de as conse250,000 doluptas dolor sint Knight Nation is represented by a dedicated Alumni Association board omni berovit, qui dolut elenis maximagnihil modi of directors, pictured hereblanisquis on a summer day in 2013ut during their annual qui cullore cuptat lab incimaio tem strategic planning retreat.utLeaders in their fields, board members devote estium eum atquam, quid et, vendernatur as their time, insight and financial support to ensure that all alumni have the rest, con re nonsequo et magnimo luptiatectum opportunity to remain active and engaged in the UCF community voluptas solenim agnatur reperit ionseroremlong after they graduate.


U C F F O U N D A T I O N , I N Cbecause . • ANNUAL REPORT • 2013



Wealth Does Not

IT STARTED WITH A TELESCOPE, an Edmonds 3-inch Newtonian Space Conqueror, to be precise.

commercialization, a key piece of UCF’s identity and an enterprise that moves research from labs into business.

That was the first optical instrument ever owned by M.J. Soileau, who took on a third paper route to buy it. The price tag, $29.95, was real money in 1957, but it helped set the tenacious boy on his path to science.

But back in 1957, he was still a school boy in Louisiana, growing up in a family that had moved from sharecropping to living in town, from having no running water or electricity to owning their own home with full amenities.

Soileau has since become an internationally recognized expert in optics and photonics who serves as the UCF vice president for research and

Soileau was the first in his family to speak English as a first language and the first to attend high school and college. He and his mother hoed cotton to help pay for



FIFTY-SIX YEARS after he bought his first telescope, M.J. Soileau (top left) has never forgotten the lessons he learned early in life from his parents, Marion and May Ann Soileau (above), including that wealth does not equal worth.

Equal Worth his first term’s tuition at Louisiana State University. Extra money was also earned from baling hay, harvesting pecans and cleaning hotel rooms. He remains grateful for the support of his parents, Mary Ann and Marion Soileau, and for the help he received from others. His first grade teacher, Mrs. Lewis, took up a collection among other teachers to buy the suit he wore to his high school graduation. Mrs. Connelly was the best math teacher he ever had, and Fr. Peter Bloom taught him the importance of providing opportunity to the least fortunate. And there were Ms. Mority, who got him hooked on astronomy, and Mr. Pete Antie, his sixth grade teacher and Boy Scout master who was like a second father. He not only gave Soileau his first paying optics job — as a projectionist at the local movie theater — he also provided introductions that helped him prosper at LSU. Today, Soileau spends much of his time looking ahead, recruiting the


Faculty members are like athletes. In order to get the best, they want stateof-the-art facilities to develop their talents to the fullest and a chance to be on nationally competitive teams.”

[ M.J. SOILEAU ] SOILEAU’S BOYHOOD INTEREST in astronomy led to physics, which led to an interest in light and his eventual arrival at a career in optics. With degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of Utah and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and quantum electronics from the University of Southern California, he served as an Air Force officer and an executive for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, the company that built the first personal computer, before coming to UCF in 1987. Today he is UCF’s vice president for research and commercialization.

UCF teachers who will shape students’ lives and their promise for the future. “Faculty members are like athletes,” he says. “In order to get the best, they want state-of-the-art facilities to develop their talent to the fullest and a chance to be on nationally competitive teams.” The team Soileau has helped build now includes scholars who, like their leader, are committed to building a great university. He oversees a complex structure of institutes, centers and sponsored research programs, and his goals include making it easier for businesses to work with UCF, creating countless opportunities for faculty and students and thousands of jobs for Central Floridians. Fifty-six years after he bought his first telescope, Dr. M.J. Soileau has never forgotten the most important lesson he learned: Wealth does not equal worth. It’s among the reasons he directs his personal financial support to students who, like the young stargazer from Louisiana, are the first in their families to attend college.




We Need More Renaissance Men And Women IT’S NOT THAT VIVIAN, ’71, AND HERB KNISPEL think college doesn’t need to prepare students for their careers; it’s just that they think it ought to do more than that — a lot more.


As far as they’re concerned, education should prepare students for lives well lived — lives made richer, deeper and more nuanced by a broad understanding of culture, history, art and language. That is exactly what education did for them. “I feel like my education opened up the whole world and made my life more wonderful than it would have been,” says Vivian, a former humanities professor at Brevard Community College and an inveterate traveler with friends scattered across the globe. The same goes for Herb, who was classically educated in his native Germany and learned to speak four languages before preparing for a successful engineering career. So if you want to push the emphasis in higher education back toward broadbased, classical study and away from more specialized career preparation, where do you start?

Thanks to their gift, generations of future UCF students will have the opportunity to learn from teachers and scholars from around the globe.

If you’re the Knispels, you start from the bottom up, student by student, with a planned gift that will bring a series of international visiting humanities professors to UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities.

“I think we have to invest in people and educate them,” Vivian says. “We need more Renaissance men and women.”




UCF Has Helped Our Children MASSACHUSETTS NATIVES Michael and Bari-Ann DiPietro graduated from colleges in their home state, but all three of their children chose to attend UCF. Their oldest, Matthew, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, while their middle child, Joshua, is a graduate of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Their youngest, Jessica, is currently a senior nursing major who is also enrolled in The Burnett Honors College. As parents who appreciate the value of a UCF education, but know that tuition doesn’t cover all of its costs, the DiPietro’s began making charitable donations to show their support for the university. They believe UCF offers the best of both worlds: a small college experience within a large and academically vibrant setting. In daughter Jessica’s sophomore year, she was selected for Nursing @ Nike, a community where pre-nursing students share campus housing and special programs. The resulting camaraderie makes UCF feel smaller, Bari-Ann says. The emphasis on small-group experiences continued with Jessica’s enrollment in the College of Nursing and The Burnett Honors College.



We want to see opportunity for everyone, and we think education is important to increase the standard of living and the quality of life for people.” MICHAEL DIPIETRO

“Each college offers the benefits of a small school, yet the students have the advantages of a large school,” Bari-Ann says. Michael agrees. “They have provided academic excellence associated with Ivy League or private schools. It transforms a very large and potentially overwhelming school size and creates a small-school environment where the students absolutely thrive. This is an amazing accomplishment.” In 2010, the DiPietros made their first gift to the UCF Parent & Family Fund, which supports a broad array of programs that enhance the student experience. Since then, they’ve made additional gifts to benefit The Burnett Honors College and the College of Nursing. “We want to see opportunity for everyone, and we think education is important to increase the standard of living and the quality of life for people,” Michael says.

MICHAEL AND BARI-ANN DIPIETRO, with their daughter, Jessica, give so that others might have the opportunity to receive a UCF education.



COMPUTER PROGRAMMING TEAM members Daniel Wasserman, Antony Stabile and Travis Meade with Associate Professor of Computer Science Ali Orooji.


UCF’s Competitions Are Not Only Won on the Field

HERE’S THE QUESTION: HOW MANY HUGS CAN DR. OROOJI receive, at most, if he crosses a rectangular room full of friends who are standing at varying distances from him, with varying interest in an embrace? This may seem unanswerable to anyone not steeped in algorithms and the ones and zeros of computer programming. But for the gifted students of the UCF Programming Team, which Orooji advises, this is child’s play. In fact, the students devised this problem for the High School Programming Tournament held on campus each year. “They like to put me and my children in the problems,” says Orooji, an associate professor of computer science. He is happy to oblige if it helps get young people interested in computer programming. U.S. students have fallen behind those



in other countries when it comes to mastering the rigors of programming. In the competition UCF participates in, Russia has won the world championship eight times and China four times since 2000, he says. “The time and effort we put into football and basketball, they put into programming problems,” he says. “They start in high school. If we played football with the Russians and Chinese, we would demolish them. But they beat us in programming competitions.” Orooji is not alone in his concern, which has economic and national security implications for the United States. Donations have been made


The time and effort we put into football and basketball, they put into programming problems.” DR. ALI OROOJI

to UCF that allow Orooji to offer programming team scholarships. The support frees students from taking part-time jobs, so they have more time for studies and programming practice. The goal is for the UCF team to one day win the world championship in the prestigious Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. The last time the prize went to the United States was in 1997. There are good reasons to believe in the UCF team. In 32 years of competition, 25 of them under the leadership of Orooji, the team has earned an international berth 25 times, reaching as high as second place against teams from as many as 45 regions of the world. UCF will again match wits with international contestants when the team travels to Russia in June, after winning the 2013 Southeast Championship in the United States. It takes dedication and rigorous practice to win championships. The UCF students, who compete in three-member teams, spend 40 to 45 Saturdays a year listening to an hour-long lecture, solving problems for five hours (the length of a contest) and then absorbing assessments. During the week, the students read and search out new algorithms that might give them an edge.

Orooji arrives early for those long Saturday sessions and leaves late. “I try to make it fun,” he says. He is assisted by several former team members who serve as volunteer coaches. On the way to a world championship, Orooji’s first goal for his team is to make the top three in the United States, competing against such universities as Harvard, Stanford and MIT. Partial scholarships have been offered to promising freshman, creating a junior varsity level to allow them to develop. To encourage female participation in competitive programming, partial scholarships have also been offered to female students, bringing the number of women on the team to seven this year. Looking ahead, Orooji is optimistic that the UCF team, boosted by the funding, will achieve lofty goals. “UCF’s overall performance is matched by very few schools in the world,” Orooji says. “We have finished as high as second, fourth and fifth in World Contest Finals. It should be noted that finishing fifth, for example, means fifth out of 8,000-plus teams. That means UCF finished in the top one percent in the world.”

MEMBERS OF THE JUNIOR VARSITY (JV) DEVELOPMENT TEAM represent UCF at the Mercer University Spring Programming Competition each year, modeled after the Southeast Region ACM Programming Contest. Members of the JV team include Sarah Myhre, Isabella Moreira, Beckylin Orooji, Cindy Moline, Brook Stacy, Jessica May and Cindy Harn.




Student-Athletes Are Stellar [ TIM MOON ]

TIM MOON IS A SELF-DESCRIBED SPORTS NUT. A UCF Athletics donor since 1998, the Seminole County entrepreneur believes in investing in his local university. “In Central Florida, it seems like we’re all from someplace else,” he says. “I’ve been in Florida since I was 14 years old, and I wanted to get involved with the local team.”



AS A BUSINESSMAN, Tim Moon sees his gifts to UCF Athletics as investments in people, and encourages other local businesses to do the same.

Why join the Golden Knights Club? Annual gifts to the GKC provide funds to meet UCF Athletics’ most pressing needs and are crucial in developing a nationally competitive athletics program. Each year, donations to the GKC and other funds support the success of the UCF Athletics program by allowing it to recruit the brightest and most talented student-athletes, attract and retain the best coaches and staff, and invest in the improvement and construction of athletic facilities.

How do I join? Donor support of the GKC gives student-athletes a first-class UCF experience. A minimum annual contribution of $100 is all it takes to support the Knights. For the past three years, Moon has held courtside seats for UCF men’s basketball games. “I like basketball: It’s high action with more than 10,000 people in an arena, there’s a band playing, and it’s condensed into a couple of hours,” he explains. “I’ve seen the players grow and get better, and my seats let me get to know the players. They are stellar.” Basketball is one of several sports at UCF that benefit from Moon’s support. As a businessman, he regards his gifts to the university as investments in people, and he encourages other local businesses to do the same. “These athletes are going to graduate and contribute to society. Academically, they’re doing very well, and they’re good ambassadors of the school. They’ll know how to compete in life,” he says. As one of nearly 3,300 members of the Golden Knights Club (GKC), Moon’s gifts to UCF Athletics provide scholarships for the university’s more than 500 student-athletes. Gifts to the GKC are essential to UCF Athletics’ goal of developing a nationally competitive athletics program. This year, Moon’s commitment led him to become a Diamond Knight — one of UCF Athletics’ most distinguished supporters. “I think the enjoyment factor is key — it’s more than any money I can give,” he says. “To see these young people and to have somewhere great for my grandchildren to go is important to me.”

For more information on becoming a GKC member, visit ucfgoldenknightsclub.com.


These athletes

are going to graduate and contribute to society. Academically, they’re doing very well, and they’re good ambassadors of the school. They’ll know how to compete in life.”



Fiscal Year 2013 Total Giving $55,747,633 A complete set of statements, schedules and footnotes, including the auditor’s opinion, is available from the UCF Foundation, Inc.


The UCF Fund The UCF Fund accepts cash gifts from alumni and friends that can be put to immediate use by the university. These gifts are critically important because they allow university leaders the flexibility to meet changing and sometimes urgent needs.

— Types of Gifts — Direct Gifts - Check, Card, Cash Direct gifts – whether cash, check or via credit card – are critically important to UCF because they can be put to work immediately. Pledge Gifts A pledge is a statement of intention to make a gift to UCF. Donors who seek to defer the bulk of their giving until a future date, or who want to give via installments over time, may use this giving strategy. Recurring Gifts Monthly deductions via your checking or savings account or via credit card are a simple way to maximize your gift and sustain your impact through regular and consistent contributions to students, faculty and programs at UCF.

Planned Gifts A planned, or deferred, gift — such as a bequest made through your will or a gift of life insurance — enables you to make a larger gift to UCF than you may have thought possible, while providing financial security for you and your family. Stock Gifts Gifts of stock can be designated to support an area most meaningful to you. Real Estate By making a gift of real estate, you can leverage a significant asset for your benefit and the university’s.




Investment Return



Board of Directors OFFICERS Judy Albertson James W. Ferrell, ’80 Phyllis Klock Michael Manglardi, Esq., ’84 Ronald C. Thow, ’93 Larry F. Tobin, ’83

DIRECTORS Rita Adler Jim Atchison, ’92 Richard O. Baldwin Jr., ’80 Kevin P. Barkman, ’77 Scott Buescher Larry Chastang, ’80 Anthony J. Connelly, ’87 Carol M. Craig Melanie Fernandez, ’86 Keith J. Flannery, ’86 Hany M. Girgis, ’94 Bruce K. Gould Suresh Gupta James R. Hopes James A. Jahna Sr., ’81 Beat M. Kahli Phillip L. Kean Rita A. Lowndes Marcos Marchena, ’82 Nelson J. Marchioli, ’72 Paul J. Mirabella, ’75 Anthony J. Nicholson Margery Pabst J. Oscar Rodriguez, ’86 Michael J. Sarpu, ’95 John R. Sprouls Rajesh S. Toleti, ’94 Richard J. Walsh, ’77

EX OFFICIO David Albertson Randy E. Berridge Bob Dallari Buddy Dyer A.J. “Bert” Francis II, ’77 Michael J. Grindstaff, ’78 John C. Hitt Robert J. Holmes Jr. Teresa Jacobs Ben McMahan Dianne Owen, ’93 Dominic Persampiere Rick Weddle EMERITI James T. Barnes Jr. R. Van Bogan Phoebe Carpenter Peter Dagostino Mary Jo Davis Alan G. Fickett, ’71 Manuel A. Garcia III J. Charles Gray Gerald F. Hilbrich Deborah J. Komanski, ’79 John F. Lowndes Gerald R. McGratty, ’71 Richard A. Nunis Roger W. Pynn, ’73 Allen Trovillion Al R. Weiss, ’76 Nelson Ying Thomas Yochum HONORARY DIRECTORS H. Trevor Colbourn Joan D. Ruffier

for more information on supporting ucf, please contact joyce henckler, chief development officer 407.882.1257 • joyce.henckler@ucf.edu • ucffoundation.org



Every Gift Counts

because KNIGHTS


#KnightsGive50 was an innovative 50-hour social media fundraising campaign that took Knight pride viral. Driven by online alumni ambassadors who celebrated UCF’s 50-year anniversary, social media networks buzzed about UCF and its fundraising needs through Facebook, Twitter and email. By the end of the 50-hour campaign, $33,258 was raised to support First Generation scholarships. Each donation was matched dollar-for-dollar by the state of Florida.

has opened so many doors for me. In 2001, [ JENNIFER SANGALANG ] UCF I was commuting from Melbourne to Orlando

two days a week for classes and working full time. I quickly burned out and stopped going to class. For 10 years I felt bad whenever I saw a UCF logo or heard others talk about the Knights. Now the amount of pride I feel for the university is borderline overkill. I was able to go back to school at the regional campuses in Cocoa and Palm Bay and leave UCF as a graduate. Any chance I get to pay it forward, I do. (’12, COLLEGE OF SCIENCES)


june 11 • 2013 To all my @UCF alums out there, show your support for UCF’s 50th anniversary. #KnightsGive50 Visit: https://giving.ucffoundation.org/tw50 DONATED


june 12 • 2013 #KnightsGive50 is off to a great start! Celebrate UCF’s 50th, Florida gov’t will be matching funds. https://giving.ucffoundation.org/tw50 KNIGHTS



50 is a good number: #KnightsGive50 Let’s keep #UCF going for another 50! Visit http://giving.ucffoundation.org/tw50 DONATED


I have a lot of pride in my school. I know my education and degree helped me get initial job offers and move up in my field. I have enjoyed watching UCF grow over the years, and it has been especially fun watching the sports programs grow and compete at a very high level. I feel like I’m the most crazy, passionate UCF fan living in North Carolina, but I will keep being vocal to get more recognition for my Knights! (’89, COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION)

include the extensive relationships that UCF has developed within the Orlando community, the tremendous growth from the physical plant to enrollment, and [UCF’s] national standing in both academics and athletics. All of these things have really elevated the recognition of the university in Central Florida, and I believe people are taking notice nationally as well. I am very proud to be a part of UCF’s success. I cannot give President Hitt enough credit for what he has done for UCF.


june 12 • 2013


is my alma mater, and I really do not need another reason [ DAVID WELCH ] UCF to support my university. But if I were making a list, it would



@realtyoptimist june 11 • 2013

#KnightsGive50 Support #UCF at https://giving.ucffoundation.org/tw50 I will pledge $1.00 for every RT up to $250. DONATED



I support UCF because I took classes at four different colleges over my academic career, and I felt most at home at UCF. I felt like I was part of a community as opposed to just a student. A few weeks before graduation, I locked down a job offer. The market was tough in 2003, and UCF made it easier.


give online at ucffoundation.org.


We Are A Team ON JANUARY 1, 2014, UCF defeated No. 6 Baylor 52-42 to win the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, earning a victory that many sports experts thought the Knights could not achieve. UCF student-athletes are also champions in the classroom; the university has the secondhighest graduation rate for football players among the 10 teams that played in BCS bowls during the 2013-14 bowl season, trailing only Stanford. To the many whose support strengthens UCF Athletics, know that we are thankful to have you on our team.