UCF to Award 300,000th Degree at Commencement

UCF to Award 300,000th Degree at Commencement

Nearly 5,400 University of Central Florida students are expected to graduate Dec. 16-17, including a student who will receive the university’s 300,000th degree since classes began in 1968.

The three ceremonies at the CFE Arena will be:

  • 9 a.m. Dec. 16 – College of Education & Human Performance, College of Health & Public Affairs and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
  • 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16 – College of Arts & Humanities, College of Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, College of Sciences and the College of Undergraduate Studies.
  • 9 a.m. Dec. 17 – College of Business Administration, College of Engineering & Computer Science, College of Medicine and the College of Optics & Photonics.

Of the 5,393 students who filed an intent to graduate, there are 4,655 bachelor’s degrees, 658 master’s degrees, four education specialist degrees, nine educational doctoral degrees, 65 Ph.D.s, and two Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. Including these expected graduates, UCF will have awarded more than 302,000 degrees since classes began at the university in 1968.

The 300,000th degree is expected to be awarded to a business administration student during the Saturday ceremony.

Speakers for the ceremonies are Dean Alvin Wang of The Burnett Honors College (Friday morning), NCAA official Don Remy (Friday afternoon), and Don Fisher, Osceola County manager (Saturday morning). Here’s more on the speakers:

Wang has served as dean the past 12 years and this year observed his 30th anniversary at UCF. He joined the university as a psychology instructor, and when The Burnett Honors College began in 2001 he became its first associate dean. He plans to step down as dean next summer and return to the classroom in the Department of Psychology. During Wang’s term as dean, the academic records of UCF’s first-year honors students have increased each year, with 2016 holding the best records to date: a 4.4 GPA and 1408 SAT score. He has led programs such as the Honors Freshman Symposium, Elevation Fellows Program and Honors Educational Reach Out opportunities, more than doubling the number of students involved in community engagement during the past decade. Wang has served the region by his membership on the boards of the Mad Cow Theater, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Council, which he chaired. He received his doctorate in psychology from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his bachelor’s from SUNY at Brockport.

Remy is the executive vice president and chief legal officer at the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He is the key legal, policy and strategic advisor to the NCAA president and members of the senior management group, and is responsible for the organization’s health and safety initiatives, including medical research regarding concussion. Remy previously was with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins and has held positions in government, including deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice and assistant to the general counsel of the U.S. Army. He has served on the boards of many non-profit organizations and spent many years volunteering as an Amateur Athletic Union basketball coach in the Washington area. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and he earned his juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. This year’s commencement is an especially memorable one for Remy, whose son Johnathan will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Fisher, who has been the Osceola County manager since 2010, has more than 30 years of local government experience. Most recently, he has been an advocate for the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research that UCF has been developing with multiple partners in his county. He serves on the consortium’s board of directors for the center that is dedicated to the research and manufacture of smart sensors. He oversees a $1 billion budget and 1,450 employees in the county. Fisher is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the International City and County Management Association and the Florida Association of Counties. In 2016 he was honored as an Orlando Business Journal CEO of the Year. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and was the program’s outstanding undergraduate in 1998.

All guests attending commencement, including children and infants, are required to have a ticket.

Commencement guests should anticipate long lines because of security measures. It is advised not to take purses, backpacks or large bags to expedite security screenings. Doors of the arena will open 90 minutes before the start of each ceremony.

Guests who do not have tickets for the arena can view a telecast of the ceremonies on closed circuit television at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center and the Student Union if seats are available. The telecast will include closed captions.

For other details, go to the commencement website.