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impact T h e m a g a z i n e o f IGNI T E : T h e C a m p a i g n f o r U C F

Star Power Endowed faculty positions and the extraordinary cast of scholars they attract

Güneş Murat Tezcür Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies

17 fall

Inside Fall 2017 | Issue 1, Volume 1

Inspired by the courage of our students, UCF has never been afraid to dream big. IGNITE, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in our history, powers the pursuit of those dreams through an unprecedented infusion of philanthropic support from alumni, friends and partners like you. Impact is your connection to that effort. Join us as we transform the future.


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“There’s no VA for first responders. More and more of them come in here saying, ‘I need help.’ ” — Deborah Beidel, Pegasus Professor of Psychology and director of the UCF RESTORES clinic


Flash Points UCF Downtown / President Hitt’s 25th / Eliany Torrez Pon / senior class giving / Athletics Village / $1,769,975 / perspective: David Bass


Ten Minutes with… Deborah Beidel, Pegasus Professor of Psychology and director of UCF RESTORES.


s ta r p o w e r Endowed faculty positions attract top professors from around the world. Meet some of the remarkable men and women who hold them.


Countdown IGNITE Campaign at a glance / Fiscal Year 2017 figures / IGNITE Campaign progress / gift spotlight: Nurses First Solutions Endowed Scholarship Cover photograph by Malcolm Yawn

Impact is published twice annually by UCF Advancement for alumni, friends and partners of the university who have made philanthropic commitments to IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF. Please direct correspondence and address changes to or Impact Editor, 12424 Research Parkway, Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32826. VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT AND CEO, UCF Foundation, Inc.




Michael J. Morsberger, CFRE

Graduation Day, 2017

Zack Thomas



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Matt Williams benefitted from generous scholarships funded by UCF donors.

Inspired Season UCF and Valencia College will share a new downtown campus.


Work begins on Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, First Building of Downtown Campus Children from the Parramore community helped Central Florida leaders ceremonially break ground May 11 on the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, the first building of a new downtown campus UCF will share with Valencia College. The four-story academic building — which will serve as the center of the campus — would not be possible without the help of its namesake, Dr. Phillips Charities, which has given $7 million toward the project. “Having students downtown will provide the surrounding community with a wonderful example of hope through education,” Dr. Phillips Charities president and CEO Kenneth Robinson says. Of course, the project has benefitted from the generosity of many other individuals and organizations, too. More than 100 different donors have given in excess of $28 million dollars so far, playing an indispensable role in transforming the campus from dream to reality. The groundbreaking was a chance for the community to celebrate the campus’ beginnings — and the changes it will bring not only to downtown Orlando and the adjacent Parramore neighborhood but also to the lives of the 7,700 UCF and Valencia students per year it will serve. MORE ONLINE: Learn more about UCF Downtown and related giving opportunities at An artist’s rendering of the planned Dr. Phillips Academic Commons

“My belief is that for our beloved UCF, the best is yet ahead.” —president John C. Hitt, speaking March 1 at a celebration of his 25 years as university president, during which total enrollment has increased by more than 200 percent, minority enrollment by 191 percent, average freshman SAT score by 25 percent and research funding by more than 400 percent.

When he graduated from UCF in May 2016 with a degree in human communication and one year of eligibility left, Matt Williams was looking for somewhere else to play his final season. He’d had a tough run at UCF — three straight losing seasons and a string of injuries. UNLV, Miami, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, among others, came calling. But in the end, thanks to his growing admiration for the Knights’ new head coach, Johnny Dawkins, the Orlando native decided to stay home for one more year. That translated to an inspired season: new UCF and American Athletic Conference records for three-pointers made in a single game (11) and in a season (126), a new UCF record for most threes in a career (274), a conference-high 542 points on the season, the most minutes played in a season by any Knight ever (1,315), a 24-12 record, and a trip to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Throughout his time at UCF, Williams benefitted from generous scholarships funded by donors like Tim Moon, who supports men’s basketball because, he says, “These athletes are going to graduate and contribute to society. They’ll know how to compete in life.” That’s certainly the case for Williams. He signed with the Miami Heat this summer, but if for some reason professional basketball doesn’t work out, he wants to parlay his degree into a position as a program director with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “I just want to say thank you to the donors who made it possible for me to go to UCF,” he says.


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Speaking Volumes The class of 2017 set a new UCF record as 789 students made gifts — most of them in the amount of $20.17 — totaling nearly $16,000. Graduating seniors who gave wore green cords with their regalia and were recognized during commencement for their generosity. They were also invited to a celebration in the Carl Black & Gold Cabana at Spectrum Stadium. The largest number of gifts went to help fund scholarships for first-generation students, but donors supported nearly 40 different priorities across campus, from general excellence funds for their colleges to athletic scholarships to the Knights Helping Knights Pantry. “It speaks volumes that students took the time to learn

The planned Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village

‘A Major Impact’

Ken Dixon ’75 Commits to Fund Athletics Village

Student donors gathered at Spectrum Stadium before graduation.

about the many different ways their $20.17 donations could impact the lives of future Knights,” says Latoya Jackson ’12, coordinator of student programs within the Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.

“pick your passion and invest all you can so you can make an impact. UCF is worthy of your support.”

A section of UCF’s main campus dedicated to athletic competition as well as the health, academic success and professional development of Knight student-athletes will be named to honor a $5 million commitment by alumnus Ken Dixon ’75. Dixon — who is founder and CEO of Leland Enterprises, Inc., a diversified real estate company located in Central Florida — first established his legacy at UCF 13 years ago with another generous commitment to name the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting. “We can’t thank Ken Dixon enough for his generosity and support of UCF Athletics,” says UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White. “The Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village will have a major impact on the lives and experience of our student-athletes and the university community.” But Dixon has another goal in mind too: inspiring more gifts. “My challenge to anyone who loves UCF,” he says, “is to pick your passion — whether it’s business, engineering, athletics, performing arts or another area of the university — and invest all you can in one or two areas, so you can make an impact. UCF is worthy of your support.”

Total giving per week, on average, needed to successfully complete IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF with $500 million in support by July 2019. “Obviously it’s a challenging goal,” says UCF Foundation CEO Mike Morsberger, “but its importance can’t be overstated and neither can our commitment.”




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Deborah Beidel


Pegasus Professor of Psychology

will develop it. It can and does des scientists, we get funded to do a study, we do the study, we write stroy lives and families. The kinds up a paper, and then we move on to the next study,” says Deborah of events that can lead to PTSD Beidel, director of UCF RESTORES, an on-campus PTSD treatment change a person forever. You are and research center. “Never in my career have I turned around and always going to carry that memory with you. What we try to do is said, ‘I can’t let this go.’ But I can’t let this go.” get you to where that memory no Initially funded through a research grant by the Department of Defense to study longer drives your behavior. PTSD treatment in veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, RESTORES now We hear about the disorder functions with help from new grants — including one for treatment mainly in relation to combat vets. of Pulse victims and responders — that allow Beidel and Are there are other groups with her team to see more than just military veterans. The high rates of PTSD? clinic got an additional boost last year in the form We work with a lot of first reof a generous commitment from UCF alumnus and sponders — police officers, Philanthropic firemen, paramedics and veteran Jim Rosengren. support allows How widespread is PTSD in military veterans and how severe is the disorder? The best estimate we have is that about eight percent of individuals who have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan either come home with PTSD or

emergency dispatchers. We’ve seen a number who responded to the Pulse attack. The horror, the trauma that first responders witness every day is not being talked about as much as it needs to be. There’s no VA for them, really no place to turn,

us to do things over and above our research funding and grants.



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because they’re supposed to be the strong ones. More and more of them come in here saying, “I need help.” Sometimes they have PTSD, and sometimes they’re just angry about the things they’ve had to see and do. In layman’s terms, how does exposure therapy work? If you’re scared of dogs because you were bitten by one in the past, you have to be around a dog to get over your fear. But if you think about it, all kinds of triggers and signs get associated with an event like that. For example, if the dog’s owner was wearing a red shirt, seeing someone in a red shirt might trigger the kinds of feelings you had when you were bitten. For many of the Pulse victims, it’s strobe lights or the smell of alcohol. Those things had nothing to do with the horrific events that night, but for some of the victims they are now associated. If they smell alcohol or see strobe lights, they’re right back inside Pulse. What exposure therapy does is break that association. You expose people to strobe lights, for example, until they’re just strobe lights again. Why does RESTORES get such extraordinary results? Exposure therapy is a learning process. What we are doing is teaching you that a red shirt does not mean a dog attack, that something on the side of the road does not mean an IED explosion. It takes time for your brain to learn those things, and you have to work at it consistently — not for 50 minutes once a month. In our treatment program, we do exposure therapy five days a week

for three weeks. We combine that with daily group therapy, because there’s often a lot of anger or guilt involved that we address at the same time. If you think of it like a big wildfire, we’re not just hitting one end of it once a month and letting it flare up in between. We’re going up and down, putting water on it the entire time. We’re getting it out and out for good. Can your treatment be scaled, or does it require a university setting like this? It’s definitely scalable. We’re hoping to do a dissemination project for the military soon to show them how to do it and then develop a partnership. We also hope to open satellite clinics around Florida as well as develop a training program for community clinicians to teach them this treatment. Our three overarching goals are treating PTSD, researching its treatment and training others — both students and working clinicians — to treat it effectively. What role has philanthropy played for RESTORES? Philanthropic support allows us to do things over and above our research funding and grants. In addition to Jim Rosengren’s gift to establish the endowment, a foundation that wishes to remain anonymous just gave us $25,000 to house Florida veterans and first responders who need our help but live in other parts of the state and can’t afford a place to stay in Orlando for three weeks. That’s the kind that of support that no amount of research funding will ever be able to do.

Notes of Gratitude

In this space, we feature excerpts from thank you letters the foundation receives from students whose lives have been changed by donors like you. As a DREAMer (a beneficiary of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), nursing student Eliany Torrez Pon isn’t eligible for federal student aid, but she wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of her education. Until last November, that is, when her grandmother passed away in Nicaragua and Eliany, unable to be there in person, sent all her savings to help her family with expenses. Without enough money to get through the coming spring semester, Eliany was on the verge of giving up. Then, just in time, she learned she’d been awarded the Vivian and Barry Woods Educational Endowment Scholarship. The amount? Two thousand dollars — almost exactly what she’d sent to help with her grandmother’s funeral.


Affirming Value Philanthropy as a Signal of Commitment

Public higher education is arguably confronting a moment of crisis. Declines in state funding, concerns about student costs and outcomes and changing demographics all pose serious challenges for public colleges and universities. More critically, what has long been called a “crisis in confidence” in higher education may be intensifying. A recent poll by the PEW Research Center found that 36 percent of Americans believe that colleges and universities “have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country” and suggests that perceptions of higher education have become increasingly politicized. In this environment, philanthropic support is vital to public institutions’ ability to innovate and fulfill their increasingly challenging mission of ensuring equity of opportunity for students, preparing them for success in the workforce of the future, and sustaining American leadership in research and development of new technologies. At a moment when many seem to be questioning the fundamental value of higher education, donors are telling a different story. In 2016, giving to higher education increased to $41 billion, making colleges and universities the second largest beneficiary of charitable support in the U.S. behind religious organizations. While gifts from alumni reflect gratitude for doors opened and dreams fulfilled, the majority of support comes from other sources. Beyond pride in association and a desire to give back, community members, social entrepreneurs and other philanthropic “investors” see the university as a partner capable of helping them fulfill some philanthropic vision. In this sense, higher education campaigns are not simply opportunities to celebrate an institution. They’re an important way to affirm the value of higher education and an opportunity for donors, large and small, to signal their collective commitment to the belief that colleges and universities have a unique capacity to transform lives, create knowledge, foster innovation, steward truth and enrich our cultures and communities. —David Bass is senior director of research for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, an international association of educational institutions. Prior to joining CASE, he served for 10 years as director of foundation programs and research for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.



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Star Power Endowed chairs and professorships attract top faculty from around the world and elevate the academic environment. At UCF, these positions are held by a celebrated cast of scholars. It’s an idea almost 2,000 years old: associate a pool of money with an academic position and let the scholar who holds the position use it to further his or her study and teaching. Since the time of the Roman Empire, the details have changed, but not the fundamentals. Today’s endowed chairs and professorships are faculty positions that come with a substantial chunk of money that is invested to provide annual earnings. Those earnings can be used to augment the salary for the position, which — combined with the prestige of a Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair named position — helps public universities like UCF compete with better-funded instiIn 1992, Lockheed Martin had a training program for STEM problem: the global aerospace, professionals who want to tutions for sought-after talent. defense and technology company change professions and put Endowed professors and chairs also use needed to recruit more and better their knowledge to work quickly funds from their endowments to advance engineers in Central Florida for in high-need classrooms. its Orlando site. So it made a $1 “It’s win-win-win,” says Dieker. their research and teaching, pay student million grant to UCF, establishing “Schools have better K-8 math assistants, travel to conferences, host higha program to enhance K-8 math and science teachers, students and science teaching in the area. are more likely to major in STEM profile speakers, mentor colleagues and With the help of another fields, and Lockheed Martin has address community needs. $750,000 in matching funds from an exceptional pool of candidates

Lisa Dieker

the state, plus funding from the National Science Foundation, the Lockheed Martin/UCF Academy for Math and Science was born, along with an endowed position to direct its activities. Now, 25 years later, that position is held by Lisa Dieker, the Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair, who guides an intensive and highly selective master’s program transforming already strong teachers into superstars — teacher-leaders with exceptional STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) capabilities who elevate and inspire not only their students but also their peers. The academy also delivers an innovative, fast-track teacher

in Central Florida.” In fact, UCF is one of Lockheed Martin’s top workforce suppliers worldwide. As for Dieker, the Eminent Scholar title has given her opportunities she never expected — serving as an ambassador at home and abroad for both Lockheed Martin and UCF, influencing policy as a nationally recognized authority on teacher education, even traveling to the White House to discuss STEM initiatives. “Some people think professors just get to sit in their office and be an endowed chair,” she says. “But it’s an ongoing partnership that really can be beneficial to everybody, sometimes in surprising but always rewarding ways.” I


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“It’s an ongoing partnership that really can be beneficial to everybody, sometimes in surprising but always rewarding ways.



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to say that Kurdish politics are complicated hardly captures the reality of the situation. arguably the world’s largest stateless ethnic group, the Kurds inhabit a homeland split among turkey, syria, iraq and iran and are themselves divided among myriad political factions, the most influential half dozen of which have occasionally gone to war with one another. confusing? Very. consequential? Extremely. since the 2003 invasion of iraq, Kurdish military forces have been key allies of the United states against saddam hussein’s forces, al Qaeda and now is. and yet, until 2015, there wasn’t a single academic program in the U.s. dedicated to understanding and teaching the intricacies of Kurdish politics. that’s when güneş murat tezcür was named the Jalal talabani chair of Kurdish political studies at Ucf and set about establishing what remains the country’s only Kurdish political studies program. in addition to teaching, tezcür travels regularly to turkey and iraq to conduct fieldwork for studies published in journals like the American Political Science Review, Foreign Policy Analysis and Comparative Politics and for research presented around the world on topics like the motivations of ordinary people who join armed rebellions. the endowment — named in honor of Jalal talabani, Kurdish leader who served as president of iraq from 2005 to 2014, and funded by a gift from dr. najmaldin Karim, an iraqi-born, american-trained neurosurgeon who now serves as governor of Kirkuk province — almost instantly distinguished Ucf as the hub of Kurdish political studies in the U.s. of course, there are numerous advocacy groups that study Kurdish issues, but, tezcür says, “it’s one thing to try to engage the policy makers. We have a different and unique task — to produce knowledge so people can get more informed and make better decisions.” I

“We have a different and unique task — to produce knowledge so people can get more informed and make better decisions.

Güneş Murat Tezcür Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies


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Dr. Neil Euliano Endowed Chair in Italian Studies As higher education becomes increasingly commodified and fields of study are considered in terms of financial return on investment for students, programs in the liberal arts — emphasizing development of broad knowledge and critical thinking over preparation for a profession — get more difficult for public university leaders to justify to cost-cutting legislatures and governors. But Paolo Giordano, the Dr. Neil Euliano Endowed Chair in Italian Studies, is too busy — teaching the Italian language, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Italian literature and composition, and the Renaissance; researching, writing and translating; and laying the groundwork for a sweeping study of the largely unrecorded cultural life and literary production of

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Paolo Giordano the Republic of Genoa in the 16th and 17th centuries — to concern himself much with justifications. In fact, Giordano has contributed so extensively to the study of Italian culture and the Italian-American experience that Italy has bestowed on him its highest honor for a foreigner — the title of Cavaliere dell’ Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana, or Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity. In addition to helping insulate the Italian Studies program — one of only a few in the American Southeast — from budgeting vagaries, the Euliano endowment funds a lecture series that brings other notable Italian and Italian-American scholars to UCF and helps pay for research and outreach trips to Italy. I


Demetrios Christodoulides Cobb Family Eminent Scholar Chair

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It wasn’t the Cobb Family Endowed Chair that attracted Demetrios Christodoulides to UCF 15 years ago. In fact, he wasn’t named to the position until 2014, the year after he was named a Pegasus Professor, UCF’s highest honor for faculty. Rather, it was the simple fact that UCF was home to one of the most remarkable concentrations of optical scientists in the world. It remains so today. “If there’s anything you want to know about optics,” says Christodoulides, “all you have to do is walk down the hall to a colleague’s office.” Even in such formidable company, Christodoulides stands out. Along with other UCF researchers, he discovered in 2007 that a light beam in free space can travel a curved path, which led to a new class of light beams, known as “Airy” beams, and created a new area of research. He’s considered the “father” of discrete optics, producing breakthroughs that impact the world of telecommunication and optical computing, and has been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher List, identifying him as one of the top one percent of researchers in his field. The Cobb Family Endowment helps fund travel to conferences and meetings with colleagues for Christodoulides and his students. “That’s very important,” he says, “at the end of the day, nothing’s done in a vacuum. You have to be interactive with your colleagues. You can only do so much through Skype.” I


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“The endowed chair gives you a level of credibility from the public’s perspective. It makes you in a way responsible for a branch of science.

Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy Florida Hospital Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Science

“It was my number one reason for coming to UCF,” says Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy of the Florida Hospital Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Science, a position he accepted in 2011 at what was then a fledgling medical school that had yet to graduate its first class. The co-discoverer in the late 1980s of the major cardiovascular concept that LDL cholesterol builds up on the walls of arteries in the heart, eventually blocking them, Parthasarathy is a worldrenowned scientist and scholar who continues to break ground on the prevention of heart disease through nutritional and lifestyle changes, as well as

pharmacological treatments. “There’s a huge gap between science and clinical practice,” he says, noting that scientists’ discoveries about things like the workings of heart disease often take years to work their way into clinical practice and public knowledge. His position, he says, allows him a unique opportunity to work toward bridging that gap. “The endowed chair gives you a level of credibility from the public’s perspective. It makes you in a way responsible for a branch of science. I feel the person in this position represents the cardiovascular sciences at UCF.” I


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Vicki Loerzel

Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professor in Oncology Nursing

With trained nurses in high demand nationwide, nursing jobs pay well and are relatively easy to come by. The downside? The practice of nursing is so attractive that few nursing graduates choose to stay in school and pursue advanced degrees and research, which has led to a shortage of nursing faculty. Vicki Loerzel, the Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professor in Oncology Nursing, is one who did, and now she works to get her own students excited about the possibilities of advanced research. The endowment allows her to pay stipends to several student research assistants who work on a National Institutes of Health-funded project investigating innovative new ways to educate elderly cancer patients about self-care between medical visits. “At the undergraduate level,” she says, “ these students need to know that research is an option. The fact is that it can be intimidating. But if they can get some work under their belt now, they might seek that advanced education later.” Loerzel also uses funds from the endowment to keep her own research skills sharp through workshops and conferences so that she can mentor doctoral students, fellow nurse-researchers, and practicing nurses in the community. I

IGNITE Priority: Endowed Faculty Established through generous gift commitments from individual, corporate or nonprofit donors, endowed faculty positions are critical to UCF’s ability to compete for top professors. Creating more is a key priority of both the IGNITE Campaign and the university’s strategic plan, which calls for an increase from 64 to 80 endowed positions by 2021. For information about establishing a position, please contact Bill Dean at (407) 882-1220 or




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IGNITE AT A GLANCE IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF is an intense, focused and strategic effort to channel the collective resources of our alumni, friends, partners, faculty and staff toward the common goal of infusing the university with $500 million in mission-critical private support by 2019. Goal $500 million Projected completion June 30, 2019 Leadership IGNITE is powered by volunteers — the UCF Alumni and UCF Foundation boards as well as thousands more at many different levels — whose efforts are steered by a dedicated and dynamic Campaign Cabinet: Richard J. Walsh ’77 ’83mS, Chair, IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF Nelson J. marchioli ’72, Chair, UCF Foundation Board of Directors phyllis a. Klock Lawrence J. chastang ’80 michael J. Grindstaff ’78 allen R. Weiss ’76, Honorary Member michael J. morsberger, ex officio Vice President for Advancement and CEO, UCF Foundation, Inc.

Priorities: Student Success By expanding access through alternative pathways, by making a UCF education affordable to all deserving students through scholarships and fellowships, and by expanding programs that enrich the student experience and prepare students for success after graduation, we will continually strive to offer the best education to one of the nation’s largest and most diverse student bodies. Academic Excellence By attracting and retaining top faculty members, by supporting the work of interdisciplinary faculty clusters, by helping fund critical research, and by providing the most advanced learning facilities and technologies, we will further elevate UCF’s academic environment and spur exciting and relevant discoveries. Growth and Opportunity By leveraging existing strengths, seeking strategic partnerships and pursuing new opportunities — including expanding UCF’s presence in downtown Orlando, promoting interdisciplinary endeavors to develop innovative health care solutions, contributing to a healthier environment, and expanding global initiatives — we will strive to lift lives and livelihoods across Central Florida and beyond.

IGNITE CAMPAIGN PROGRESS (beginning July 1, 2011)

Total gifts and commitments



(as of August 1, 2017)











$323,002,501 300






Buildings and Equipment


Current Use









71,264 Total Campaign Donors as of June 30, 2017

234,072 Total Campaign Gifts as of June 30, 2017



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“the scholarship puts more back into the community and students that want to make a difference in people’s lives.


Nurses First Solutions founders Alvin Cortez ’08 (left) and Richard Manuel

gift spotlight

Nurses First Solutions Endowed Scholarship As the name suggests, Nurses First Solutions — a travel nurse staffing agency founded by long-time friends Alvin Cortez ’08 and Richard Manuel and grown in the UCF Business Incubator — emphasizes the professional wellbeing of the nurses it represents. That’s no surprise in light of the fact that Manuel is a nurse himself, as are his wife and Cortez’s wife, Jesiccalou ’08 ’14. With Nurses First enjoying remarkable success — growing from three employees and $300,000 in revenue last year to a dozen employees and $6 million in revenue this year — Manuel and Cortez decided it

was time to start giving back. After hearing from scholarship students at a College of Nursing Scholarship Luncheon earlier this year, they made the decision to establish the Nurses First Solutions Endowed Scholarship, which will support undergraduate nursing students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher who are members of the Student Nurses Association. “These students have a wide array of opportunity ahead of them if they are truly passionate about nursing,” Manuel says. “The scholarship puts more back into the community and students that want to make a difference in people’s lives.”

For more information about establishing and supporting endowed scholarships, please contact Jeff Coates at (407) 882-1220 or

A year of Bests



ith $63 million in total giving, Fiscal Year 2017 was a milestone year for IGNITE. More than 15,000 alumni, friends, corporations and other groups made 33,167 separate gifts during the year. FY2017 was also the best year in total giving since FY2006, when more than $100 million was raised to help establish the College of Medicine. Of the $63 million yearly total, $32 million was given in the form of cash, making FY2017 also the best year of the campaign for cash gifts. Meanwhile, the foundation disbursed a campaign-record $26 million to the university for use in accordance with donor intent.






$39M 30









12424 Research Parkway, Suite 250 Orlando, Florida 32826-3208 407-882-1220

Nonprofit org. u.s. postage paid permit no. xxx orlando, fl

change service requested

UCF Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Next at Lake Nona

In 2010, the UCF College of Medicine celebrated the opening of its new 170,000-square foot building with tours, fireworks and a champagne toast — using test tubes of bubbly instead of flutes. Philanthropy played a pivotal role in the founding of the college and the construction of the new campus at Lake Nona. In fact, a groundswell of support from both community partners and individual donors led to an unprecedented $123 million in total giving during Fiscal Year 2006 — a record that still stands.

Now, the next phase begins. In late July, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration approved the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, a 100-bed medical and surgical teaching hospital to be built next to the College of Medicine in partnership with HCA Healthcare’s North Florida Division. With UCF providing the land and HCA contributing $175 million, no state dollars will be used to build the facility. Private support will remain vital to advancing the College of Medicine’s education, research and patient care missions.

Profile for UCF Foundation, Inc.

IMPACT, Fall 2017  

The magazine of IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF

IMPACT, Fall 2017  

The magazine of IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF

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