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IMPACT ~ SPECIAL ISSUE: IGNITE Campaign Review and Results ~


$531,507,722 8 YEARS 106,986 DONORS 444,102 GIFTS


Inside Fall 2019 | Issue 2, Volume 3 Something Every One of Us Should be Proud Of Like our students, UCF has grit. We know that nothing is ever handed to us, and that’s what inspires us. We’re at our best when we have something to prove. The eight-year IGNITE Campaign showed that again. Back in 2011, a study by an outside firm said $400 million was an achievable goal. We upped it to $500 million and got to work. Success wasn’t assured, and the road wasn’t always smooth. In fact, for a couple of years after the campaign was publicly announced in 2016, the goal looked out of reach. But we charged on, inspired by our students’ toughness and determination and dreams, by the university’s sweeping positive impact. When it counted most, the UCF community set new records, giving more than $220 million — 42 percent of the campaign total — in the final two years. In the end, we didn’t just make it to the finish line; we blew past it. And that’s something every one of us should be proud of.



UCF President-elect Dale Whittaker outside Millican Hall





FLASH POINTS Historic $13 million commitment / Amanda Leyva ’18 / faculty investitures / state first-generation match / Parramore Education and Innovation District / record fundraising year


TEN MINUTES WITH… Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine Dr. Deborah German


N OT E S O F G R AT I T U D E MBA student Florencia Rodriguez Lamas


T R A N S F O R M AT I O N A L With more than $531 million in total giving, the successful conclusion of the IGNITE Campaign marks the beginning of a new era for the University of Central Florida.


I G N I T E CA M PA I G N BY T H E N U M B E R S The donors and gifts that combined to make IGNITE a success and where the support was directed IMPACT is published three times a year 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 foundation@ucf.edu or Impact Editor, 12424 Research Parkway, Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32826. VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT AND CEO, UCF FOUNDATION, INC. Michael J. Morsberger, CFRE



ART DIRECTOR John Sizing | jspublicationdesign.com



The Bryants



‘Never Give Up on Your Dreams’ “I experience two levels of joy at my job every day,” says Amanda Leyva ’18, explaining her interpretation of her job title of Level 2 Neonatal Nurse. Now caring for premature babies at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Leyva, a first-generation graduate in nursing with honors in the major, discovered her calling for nursing at the age of 8, after taking care of her ill grandmother in her native Cuba. “Caring for her really fostered that nature that I have to nurture others,” she says. It’s a quality Leyva also displayed as a senior at UCF when she depleted her savings to pay for her aunt’s cancer care in Cuba, which left her without the money to complete her degree. Fortunately, support provided by the ReAnna Greene Memorial Nursing Scholarship — established to honor Greene, a 2011 graduate of the UCF College of Nursing who tragically lost her life in 2015 — enabled Leyva to graduate and land her dream job. Today, Levya says she wakes up every morning grateful to make an impact on the babies and parents she meets in the neonatal intensive care unit and is often named a favorite nurse on patient surveys. “Parents see so many nurses during their time at the hospital,” she says, “so if they remember my name months later, I know I’ve made a big impression and done my job well.” She recalls one mom who, as a non-English speaker, was fearful about leaving her baby’s side because she had difficulty understanding medical updates. “When I met her, she hadn’t left the hospital in months,” says Leyva. “I was able to talk to her and assure her that her baby was doing fine, and she felt okay to go home and take a break.” The mother still texts Leyva pictures and updates, as do the families of many other babies she has cared for. Levya not only stays connected to her former patients, she also stays connected to the UCF College of Nursing by providing advice and support to current nursing students. She serves as philanthropy chair for the Theta Epsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international nursing honor society, and she’s saving up to make a donation of her own to the ReAnna Greene Scholarship, so she can help other student nurses as she was helped. As a Cuban immigrant who faced obstacles that at times seemed insurmountable, Leyva wants to be an inspiration to others. “Keep going forward,” she says. “Never give up on your dreams.”


Family Legacy $13 million estate gift will fund student-athlete scholarships.

Gary and Barbara Bryant recently made the largest gift commitment in the history of UCF Athletics. Once funded, their $13 million estate gift will establish the Gary and Barbara Bryant Family Athletic Endowed Scholarship Fund. Proceeds from the endowment will provide athletic scholarship support for both men’s and women’s student-athletes at UCF. “Barbara and I have always participated in sports and believe in the transformational, door-opening value of a college education,” says Gary Bryant. “We made this commitment to enable student-athletes to get an education and compete in the sport they love at our hometown university. We feel very fortunate to be able to make this commitment and hope other community and alumni friends will support Orlando’s hometown team.” “Their family legacy at UCF will forever provide life-changing scholarship opportunities for hundreds of young men and women to pursue their academic, athletic and personal dreams through the student-athlete experience,” says Danny White, UCF vice president and director of athletics. After many years in public accounting, Gary Bryant became the president and CEO of several life and health insurance companies in the Orlando area. He and his wife, Barbara, are avid travelers and golfers.

“WE ARE COMMITTED TO CREATING AN ACADEMIC PATHWAY THAT WILL EMPOWER PARRAMORE RESIDENTS TO TRANSFORM THEIR POTENTIAL INTO OPPORTUNITY.” — PAUL J. LUNA, president and CEO of the Helios Education Foundation, which has combined with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and The Kresge Foundation to provide more than $2 million in funding to the Parramore Education and Innovation District initiative, a coordinated and far-reaching effort to improve educational access and success in the Parramore neighborhood adjacent to UCF Downtown.




Faculty Named to Endowed Positions Mildred W. Coyle Chair and Al-Ghazali Professorship filled by distinguished scholars. Thanks to philanthropic support, two UCF scholars were recently invested into endowed positions — one in the area of education, another in Islamic studies. Endowed positions allow UCF to identify and honor outstanding current faculty members, to recruit exceptional new faculty members and to honor the donors for which the positions are named. “Academic excellence is at the heart of everything we do at UCF as we seek to be a pacesetter for higher education in the 21st century,” says Elizabeth A. Dooley, UCF’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Faculty excellence is the vital force that inspires our students, elevates our programs, and powers the innovation that makes our world a better place.” In September, Pamela “Sissi” Carroll, dean of the College of Community Innovation and Education, was named the Mildred W. Coyle Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Education — the first endowed chair of the one-year-old college. The late Mildred Coyle was a career schoolteacher who believed strongly in the power of education to transform lives. Carroll, a lifelong educator who came to UCF in 2015 and specializes in teacher education, was drawn to UCF because of the “sense of possibility and energy that UCF exudes across campus,” she says. “The university’s priorities align beautifully with the values that have been important to me throughout my career as an educator.” In January, UCF philosophy professor Cyrus Zargar was named the Al-Ghazali Endowed Distinguished Professor. Zargar’s long-term goal in the position is to build connections among students and faculty to talk about religion, theology and social issues. “I hope to make UCF a center of discussions — a center of learning where scholars and artists from around the U.S. and the world are heard by a curious and participating campus community.” What makes this endowed position so distinctive is that it was not funded by one donor, but by the Islamic Center of Orlando. “Citizens of Orlando united by their common interest in promoting learning, dialogue, the study of religion and the de-stigmatization of Islam and Muslims contributed to making their environment richer by giving of themselves,” says Zargar.

Pamela “Sissi” Carroll (left) with Provost Elizabeth Dooley.



Cyrus Zargar (third from left) with College of Arts and Humanities Dean Jeffrey Moore, Imam Tariq Rasheed and Provost Elizabeth Dooley.

MAXIMUM AMOUNT IN MATCHING FUNDS THE STATE OF FLORIDA will contribute toward scholarships for first-generation students at UCF this year. The state matches private donations to support first-generation scholarships on a 2:1 basis, meaning that every $1 donors give, up to a total of $795,714, the state will give another $2.

$1,591,428 ucffoundation.org




Dr. Deborah German


Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine

center (AHSC) at Lake Nona. Anchored by the UCF College of Medicine, the AHSC will also comprise UCF’s College of Nursing and College of Health Professions and Sciences, a new teaching hospital currently under construction, and a new cancer research and treatment center.

stablished in 2006, the UCF College of Medicine was one of the first U.S. medical schools in decades to be built from the ground up. Numerous partners — government entities, corporations, private donors and Can you explain what a teaching university leadership — worked together to transform the new “madehospital is and how it differs from-scratch” college from vision to reality, but the from other hospitals? driving force at the center of the effort was Founding Dean All hospitals strive to deliver excellent patient care. A university Deb German. teaching hospital does that As the college prepared to welcome its first “WHEN and more. It incorporates class, Dr. German was named the 2008 Business education and research HEALTHCARE Executive of the Year and Businesswoman of the into its core mission of paPROVIDERS ARE tient care. At first glance, Year by the Orlando Business Journal and Central that might not seem like ALSO EDUCATORS, Floridian of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel. much. But when healthTHE QUALITY OF In the years since, the UCF College of Medicine care providers are also CARE SKYROCKETS. has developed a reputation as a pioneer of 21steducators, the quality of care skyrockets. And when century medical education, maximizing innovative research is conducted at instruction and high-tech learning tools. the hospital, the patient care Today, Dr. German is leading a similar effort — this is cutting edge and state-oftime to create a comprehensive academic health sciences the-art. ucffoundation.org




In simple terms, what is an academic health sciences center, and what will UCF’s look like? We all can name the nation’s top academic health sciences centers — Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Harvard. These centers include a teaching hospital, research programs, specific centers for conditions like cancer and cardiac disease. We are building such a center in Lake Nona to bring together UCF’s health-related programs to our Medical City location. The center will increase interprofessional educational opportunities — programs where medical, nursing and social work students can train together, for example. Our AHSC will increase opportunities for faculty to do more interdisciplinary research. By bringing together our new hospital, our new UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center and all of UCF’s clinical programs, we can leverage our expertise to provide even better patient care. And our AHSC will continue to bring increased economic development to our community and state by helping to build Medical City. What does all this mean to area residents who aren’t associated with UCF and don’t work in healthcare? Our AHSC will provide a new level of academic healthcare to our community. It will add an academic dimension to the existing medical care now available in Orlando. With a UCF Academic Health Sciences Center, we can help build Medical City into a national destination for

NOTES OF GRATITUDE In this space, we feature excerpts from thank-you letters the foundation receives from students and others whose lives have been changed by donors like you. This one came from Florencia Rodriguez Lamas, who is pursuing her MBA at UCF.

medical education, research and patient care. Can you characterize how you foresee medical care changing over the next five to 10 years? In the last decade, we developed new technology that helps us provide more innovative care to patients. I hope the next five to 10 years will bring a commitment to preventing disease — not just treating it. Because prevention is better and safer for patients and is cheaper and easier in the long run. I hope the next decade will bring increased emphasis on population health — how we can improve the health of underserved communities. I hope we can use our expanding medical knowledge to create a healthier community and world overall and for every individual. I hope we will also emphasize more interprofessional healthcare training so that healthcare students learn the teamwork and communication skills to better care for their patients. Medicine is a team sport, and I hope, through initiatives such as our academic health sciences center, that we can create better team approaches to care. Private philanthropy played a key role in the establishment of the College of Medicine. What kind of difference can it make in the coming years? Philanthropy can make a huge difference. To build a strong academic health sciences center, we must have the best and brightest faculty and students. It’s all about

Fiscal 2019 Giving Sets New UCF Record June 30 marked not just the endpoint of the IGNITE Campaign but also the end of a record-breaking fiscal year for the UCF Foundation. With $141 million in total gifts and commitments, fiscal year 2019 was the best fundraising year ever for UCF and represented an increase of more than $60 million over the previous year. The significant and steady improvement in fundraising results at UCF has caught the attention of others. In June, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an international professional organization, announced UCF had received the 2019 Educational Fundraising Award. This was the first time UCF received this national honor, which recognizes overall performance and improvement over a three-year span, as determined by a blind review of data submitted to CASE. “The beauty of this awards program is that we look at the data not knowing what institution is being represented. In showcasing these best-of-the-best programs, CASE helps its members identify institutions doing smart and innovative work from which everyone can learn,” said Sue Kubik, an educational fundraiser who led the judging panel this year. Last year also set a UCF record for cash received of $99 million. The $141 million figure includes pledges, planned estate gifts and other kinds of gift commitments. “Our alumni and friends have made this success possible,” said Michael Morsberger, CEO of the UCF Foundation. “There is an excitement, an energy here at UCF that ignites people’s interest and support of this great university.”

recruiting the best talent. Just as scholarships allowed us to attract an extraordinary charter class of medical students, endowed professorships will help us attract outstanding scientists and physicians. Philanthropy can help fund research that will develop new and better treatments for disease. More


scholarships will help us attract the best, brightest and most diverse students to UCF and train them to become tomorrow’s health leaders. Investing in our AHSC, our faculty and students is investing in our community’s health.

I am ho no re d to be on e of th e re cip ie nt s of th e Ja me s T. an d D ia na P. B ar ne s Fe llo ws hip th is se me st er . Th an ks to yo ur ge ne ro si ty , I am on e st ep clo se r to co mp le tin g my M B A pr og ra m. M y go al is to be co me an ins pir at ion al le ad er , bu ild ing my ca re er wi th co mp an ie s th at va lue co mm un iti es an d su pp or t wo me n in th e wo rk pla ce . On ce ag ai n, th an k yo u fo r th e vo te of co nf id en ce . M y ed uc at ion wo uld no t be po ss ib le wi th ou t ge ne ro us su pp or t fr om sc ho la rs hip do no rs lik e yo u.



Transfor I t’s easy to think of finishing a comprehensive campaign like IGNITE as a high point in the history of a university. In many ways, it is. With a $500 million goal, IGNITE is by far the most ambitious fundraising effort ever undertaken at UCF, and the fact that alumni, friends, partners, faculty, staff and students combined to not just reach that goal but eclipse it by more than $31 million is — to put it mildly — cause for celebration.

But to see this achievement as a high point — a single big win — is to miss much of its significance. That’s because campaigns like IGNITE are about more than the dollars they raise; they are about establishing a new normal for philanthropic support at the universities they benefit. In other words, this isn’t a peak; it’s a plateau. In fiscal 2012, the campaign’s first year, donors gave UCF about $23 million. In this final year, total commitments




mational were more than six times that amount. Other key measures of the strength of an advancement program — like alumni participation rate — are also up dramatically since the campaign began. Of course, giving will continue to fluctuate from year to year according to economic conditions and other influences, but the fact is that IGNITE has permanently raised the bar for private support at UCF. In doing so, the campaign has also touched every

corner of the university. There isn’t a student, professor or program at UCF that hasn’t been positively impacted in some way. With 106,986 different donors making 444,102 gifts to hundreds of different areas of support, it would take a lifetime to tell every story of generosity and impact. But a few unifying themes have emerged over the course of this extraordinary eight-year effort.


With more than $531 million in total giving, the successful conclusion of the IGNITE Campaign marks the beginning of a new era for UCF. ucffoundation.org



Historic Alumni Commitments The number of alumni giving to UCF rose sharply during IGNITE, indicating that a new “culture of philanthropy” is taking root. Meanwhile, a series of seven- and eight-figure commitments from alumni were the largest in university history. A marked increase in the number of UCF alumni giving back to their alma mater and several recordsetting alumni commitments played a central role in the success of the IGNITE Campaign. Current students also contributed in a significant way. More than 42,000 alumni donors combined to give more than $118 million during the campaign, while thousands of UCF students gave more than $547,000. In 2017, Kenneth G. Dixon ’75, already the namesake of the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting at the College of Business, made a new gift commitment of more than $5 million to UCF Athletics, the largest cash pledge ever made by an alumnus. The new Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village was named in recognition of the gift. The following year, Jim ’81 and Julia Rosengren committed $6.6 million in cash, pledges and planned estate giving to support a wide variety of areas, including marine turtle research, PTSD research and care, language

programs, sciences and football. The new commitment brought the Rosengrens’ total giving to UCF to $7.95 million. Then, in 2019, Vince ’95 and Joyce ’98 Virga set a new record for the largest single alumni gift in the university’s history with a $10.25 million commitment — made up of cash, pledges and planned estate giving — to support programs in the College of Business and UCF Athletics. The total number of alumni giving back to UCF also reached new levels during IGNITE, with an increase in alumni donors of some 49 percent over the last five years. That suggests that a “culture of philanthropy” — a hallmark of great universities — is taking root at UCF. Meanwhile, UCF’s annual Day of Giving, a 24-hour online giving challenge launched in 2017, has also seen explosive growth in participation, with a 57 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. This March, 3,056 donors combined to give nearly $300,000. I

Donors gave more than $300,000 during UCF’s annual Day of Giving this spring.




Scholarships for Deserving Students Donors gave more than $66 million and established 405 new scholarships during IGNITE to help UCF students afford their education; gifts and commitments specifically for scholarships for first-generation students totaled $9.7 million. Among the top priorities of the IGNITE Campaign was support for student scholarships. Over the course of eight years, donors established 405 new scholarship funds and gave a total of $66.7 million for scholarships. Need-based scholarships help promising students who might not otherwise be able to attend UCF afford their education. They also can reduce or eliminate the need for students to work while attending school, allowing them

to focus more completely on their studies and graduate more quickly. Merit-based scholarships help UCF recruit and retain exceptional students who have a wide range of college choices. In many cases, scholarship support can quite literally make the difference between graduating and giving up. Eliany Torrez Pon ’18, for example, nearly had to put her nursing studies on hold two years ago after she used the money she had saved for tuition to

help her family pay for her grandmother’s cancer care in Nicaragua. A need-based scholarship made it possible for her to graduate and earn a position at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. Like more than one in four of UCF’s undergraduate students, Torrez Pon was the first in her family to attend college. Scholarship support is especially important for first-generation students, who often face financial and other hurdles that their classmates don’t. When


first-generation students graduate, though, their success can create a powerful ripple effect touching not only their own lives but also their families, their communities and our society as a whole. Through the First Generation Matching Grant Program, the state of Florida matches private giving to help fund first-generation scholarships, bringing the total generated for first-generation scholarships during IGNITE to more than $9.7 million. I



Surging Support for Athletics While UCF student-athletes made history in competition, donors set several yearly records of their own and gave a total of almost $111 million to Knights Athletics during IGNITE. Fans, friends and alumni combined to give almost $111 million to support UCF Athletics during the IGNITE Campaign, setting a series of records for total commitments per year, total cash giving per year and number of donors per year. The outpouring of support was accompanied by a surge of high-profile successes on the field, court and track for Knights in a variety of programs. Many gifts supported studentathlete scholarships and programspecific initiatives, but a wave of extraordinarily generous commitments to capital projects — almost $20 million in all — is helping to

reshape the university’s athletic facilities. High-level gifts have come from Ken Dixon ’75 to establish the Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village; from the Wayne M. Densch Charitable Trust and the Marjorie and Leonard Williams Family Foundation for the Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership; from Tony and Sonia Nicholson to help build the Athletics Village and Nicholson Plaza; from John Euliano to renovate the newly renamed John Euliano Park; from Jim ’81 and Julia Rosengren for improvements to the football game-day locker room and other priorities; from Bob H’18 and Carol Garvy to estab-


lish the Garvy Center for StudentAthlete Nutrition; from Tom ’88 and Stacy ’89 McNamara for McNamara Cove; and from the Roth family to help fund construction of the Roth Athletics Center. “We’ve had a lot of very generous donors step up, and a lot of those donors are helping to inspire giving from others,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White. “We’ve had some success on the field and on the court, which has created a lot of excitement. But what I believe is that we’ll look back at this time as the time when things were really just getting started.” I



Millican Society Growth

Over the course of IGNITE, the Millican Society, which recognizes donors who plan to include UCF in their will or estate, grew dramatically, with more than 200 new planned gift commitments.

A wave of generous commitments to capital projects is reshaping UCF’s athletic facilities.

The number of donors who have included UCF in their wills or estate plans increased dramatically over the course of the IGNITE Campaign, with more than 200 new planned gift commitments. Donors who make these commitments are recognized through inclusion in the Charles Millican Legacy Society, named in honor of UCF’s first president, widely considered to be the “father of UCF.” The society now includes more than 330 honorees. Donors made 25 extraordinarily generous planned gift commitments of $1 million or more that


were directed to a wide range of priority areas across the university. New commitments made during IGNITE total more than $96 million. “Charlie Millican left us with two statements about this university’s culture and level of commitment that we should never forget: reach for the stars, and an accent on the individual,” says Millican Society member and alumnus Roger Pynn ’73. “That accent and aspirational vision are why I see giving a planned gift as so important. It is important to maintain a commitment to his dream.” I




Making UCF Downtown a Reality

A timely outpouring of support from public and private partners — including Dr. Phillips Charities, which gave $7 million — helped make the new downtown campus possible. In early 2016, leaders from UCF, the State of Florida and City of Orlando had a grand vision for downtown Orlando. This vision would only become a reality, though, if UCF could raise $20 million in private support within eight months and commit additional funds to the project. Only then would the state provide a final $20 million. It was a daunting task, but the Orlando community rallied around this game-changing initiative, and the university announced that fall that it had surpassed the $20 million goal. In addition to investments by UCF, Valencia College, the City of Orlando, Orange County Government, Creative Village Orlando LLC and the State of Florida, the UCF Downtown campus was fueled by individual gifts of $1 million or more from Dr. Phillips Charities, the Orlando Magic Ltd. and the Devos family, Addition Financial, James M. Seneff, AdventHealth, BB&T Financial Management and the Helios Education Foundation.

Today, the 15-acre UCF Downtown campus stands as a testament to the forward-looking vision expressed just five years ago. This public-private initiative, in partnership with Valencia College, is the academic anchor of Orlando’s Creative Village, designed to activate the urban core. The campus opened in August and welcomed more than 7,000 students from UCF and Valencia College. Calling the opening of UCF Downtown “a shining example of the power of partnerships,” UCF Interim President Thad Seymour Jr. acknowledged the role of private donations in making the dream a reality. “UCF Downtown is the result of many people coming together to make a shared dream a reality,” Seymour said. “It truly took a ‘village’ to build this campus in the heart of downtown Orlando, and we could not be more grateful for our community’s support and belief in the transformative power of education.” I UnionWest at Creative Village, home to some 600 UCF and Valencia College students.



Focus on Academic Excellence IGNITE inspired tremendous private support for the academic enterprise at UCF with a dozen new endowed professorships and chairs and more than $233 million in total giving.

Philanthropic support for academic excellence at UCF, one of the top priorities of IGNITE, totaled more than $233 million in gifts and commitments over the course of the campaign. That support helps establish prestigious endowed professorships, advance research and scholarship, and bring the best teaching and learning technology and equipment to campus. Individual and corporate donors made commitments establishing 12 new endowed faculty positions, increasing the total number of such positions at UCF by some 20 percent and significantly raising the university’s academic profile. Endowed professorships and chairs — created through generous commitments of $500,000 or more — provide their holders with a flexible, permanent source of funding that enables them to advance their research and

teaching, pay student assistants, travel to conferences, host highprofile speakers, mentor colleagues and address community needs. These prestigious positions are invaluable tools to help university leaders recruit and retain top professors in a competitive environment. UCF’s rankings and the academic profiles of our freshman classes have steadily improved alongside increasing private support for academic excellence. In fall 2012, the incoming freshman class had an average SAT score of 1244, the second-highest ever, an average GPA of 3.9, tied for the best ever, and included 67 National Merit Scholars. Since then, nearly every entering class has raised the bar higher. This fall’s freshman class had a 4.14 GPA and an SAT of 1332 (both new records) and included 90 National Merit Scholars. I


Bionic arm recipient Annika Emmert



In 2014 a Central Florida mom named Alyson Pring learned that a prosthetic arm for her 6-yearold son, Alex, was going to cost $40,000 and that insurance might not cover it because he’d outgrow the arm so fast. She went looking for other options and connected with UCF graduate engineering student Albert Manero. Manero gathered a multidisciplinary team of UCF students, and within eight weeks they had created a bionic arm for Alex using a 3D printer. That first prototype cost just $350 and was provided to Alex at no cost to his family. That project grew into Limbitless Solutions, which still designs and delivers advanced prosthetics that use electromyography or “muscle flex sensors” to provide user-directed movement and still provides them at no cost. Because its clients are kids, Limbitless combines art and engineering to personalize its prosthetic limbs with hand-painted designs modeled on comic book, movie and video game characters or other motifs chosen by the children. The arms are so cool that perceptions of disability turn into points of pride, with schoolyard conversations shifting from “What’s wrong with your arm?” to “Cool! How does it work?” Today, the organization is also engaged in advocacy, and Limbitless has twice been invited to speak at the U.N., most recently this September to lead a panel on gender, disabilities and technology. Throughout, philanthropy has played an important role. Donors have helped cover the costs of clinical trials, including materials and assembly, travel and other expenses related to participation. Donors have also helped fund UCF student internships with Limbitless and research and development. And a pair of very generous planned gifts will advance Limbitless’ important work far into the future. I

Helping Limbitless Help Kids

The UCF-based nonprofit Limbitless Solutions has been providing innovative bionic arms at no cost to children with limb differences since 2014. IGNITE donors have helped cover participants’ expenses for clinical trials and ensure the organization’s future. ucffoundation.org



Response to Hurricane Irma After Hurricane Irma spun across Central Florida in 2017, the Knights Helping Knights Pantry put out a call for help restocking its shelves and received an incredible $92,000 in donations from IGNITE donors. Hurricane Irma, which hit central Florida in September 2017 with sustained high winds and torrential rains, left UCF’s Knights Helping Knights Pantry scrambling to meet the needs of students and some staff members who were left short of food and other necessities. “As soon as the alert went out that UCF was going to close, we had about 200 students come in,” said a student pantry manager shortly after the storm passed. “Since then, we’ve had student after student coming in, as well as staff members who have been affected by Irma. They’ve lost everything in their fridge, lost things due to flooding or not

being able to work.” Within days, UCF Foundation leaders announced an effort to replenish the Knights Pantry shelves. Alumnus and thenfoundation board chairman Nelson Marchioli ’72 and his wife Carole pledged to personally match up to $25,000 in donations to make sure no Knight would go hungry. Cash contributions quickly reached $32,000, prompting Marchioli to increase his matching contribution to $32,000. Another alumnus who asked to remain anonymous kicked in another $10,000. Ultimately, total giving exceeded $92,000 from more

Foundation CEO Mike Morsberger at the Knights Helping Knights Pantry

than 500 donors. “These donations really allow us to re-envision our operation,” said Student Union associate

director Jeannie Kiriwas at the time. “They change not just our ability to distribute food but the wholesomeness of the food.” I

The Power of Partnerships Totaling more than $212 million, support from corporate partners large and small played a central role in the success of IGNITE. Corporate giving came in many forms, ranging from gifts of equipment and technology to endowments for prestigious faculty positions. The Lockheed Martin Cyber Innovation Lab

Philanthropic support from UCF’s corporate partners played a major role in IGNITE, accounting for some 40 percent of the campaign total — not surprising given the university’s ongoing focus on partnership with a wide variety of private and public entities. That support came in many forms — endowments for scholarships and faculty positions; commitments to help fund projects like UCF Downtown, contributions to programs like the College of Medicine’s Apopka Farmworkers Clinic, gifts and sponsorships supporting Knights Athletics, and gifts in kind of equipment and technology. The unifying thread is that each of these hundreds of commitments serves to meaningfully advance UCF, our students and the Central Florida community. I










444,102 GIFTS START DATE JULY 1, 2011

END DATE JUNE 30, 2019


IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF officially closed June 30 after eight years of coordinated fundraising. University and volunteer leaders announced the final total for the campaign of more than $531 million during an October 18 reception at UCF Downtown — a project made possible by tens of millions of dollars in private support through IGNITE. With a goal of $500 million, IGNITE was the most ambitious campaign in UCF’s history. It was also the university’s first comprehensive campaign, meaning funds were raised for priority areas across the university. This successful conclusion is an important moment in UCF’s history, but the true impact of IGNITE on the university has just begun to be felt.


Donors came from:



Florida counties


U.S. states


(all of them)


donors were UCF alumni


were UCF students


were individuals or families











Government entities











raised for student scholarships


new scholarships established


raised for first-generation scholarships including state matching funds



were corporations, foundation, government entities and other organizations

raised to advance academic excellence



new endowed chairs and professorships created

made gifts of $100,000 or more



gave by including UCF in their estate plans

raised for Student Development and Enrollment Services programs and scholarships







was given by UCF alumni and former students was given by UCF faculty and staff

raised for the Knights Helping Knights Pantry

was given by the UCF Foundation Board, UCF Alumni Board and UCF Board of Trustees


was given by UCF students

raised for UCF Athletics

contributed to UCF’s endowment


increase in number of alumni donors over the last five years of the campaign


—Rick Walsh ’77 ‘83MS HC’14, Campaign Chair



12424 Research Parkway, Suite 250 Orlando, Florida 32826-3208 407.882.1220 UCFFoundation.org



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

Thank you.

For generations to come, the sweeping impact of the IGNITE Campaign will be felt in every corner of the UCF community, fueling our commitment to do extraordinary things. Like the concentric rings of the main campus, your generosity ripples outward, touching not only the university and its students, but also our neighborhoods, our nation and even our world.

Profile for UCF Foundation, Inc.

Impact, Fall 2019  

The magazine of IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF

Impact, Fall 2019  

The magazine of IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF

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