At Summer Commencement, 3,600 Students Will Join Ranks of Alumni

At Summer Commencement, 3,600 Students Will Join Ranks of Alumni

Workers prepare to hand out caps and gowns for 3,600 new graduates. Photo by Nick Russett/UCF

Some 3,600 students are expected to graduate from the University of Central Florida during two commencement ceremonies Aug. 6 at CFE Arena.

The commencement speakers are alumnus Alan Eustace, a retired Google executive who set the record for the highest freefall parachute jump, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The ceremonies will be:

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

There will be bag checks, wanding and other security precautions. Commencement guests should expect traffic, large crowds and long lines. Please leave purses, backpacks and large bags at home to expedite security screenings. Doors open at the arena for graduates and guests 90 minutes before the ceremonies, and guests are encouraged to arrive early enough to find parking and a seat. The procession of graduates into the arena begins 20 minutes before the start of each ceremony, which last about two hours.

Of the 3,600 students who filed an intent to graduate, there are 2,950 seeking bachelor’s degrees, 511 master’s degrees, one education specialist degree, 37 educational doctoral degrees, 98 Ph.D.s, one Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and two Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

Including these expected graduations, UCF will have awarded 293,869 degrees since the university began offering classes in 1968.

Every guest attending the ceremonies, including children and infants, must have a ticket to enter the arena. Tickets are available from graduates. Those without tickets may view a live telecast via closed circuit television at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center or the Student Union. Parking for guests will be available in garages C, D and H.

Commencement Speakers

Alan Eustace

Eustace will be the speaker at the morning ceremony. He is a pioneer in digital computing, a historic adventurer, an alumnus and generous supporter of the university.

Eustace earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from UCF. His business career includes 15 years with Hewlett-Packard, where he helped develop the foundations of our digital age. In 2002, he joined Google, and retired in 2015 as the vice president of the Knowledge division, where he had oversight of Google’s search engine, mapping initiative, and research efforts.

His engineering expertise contributed to a historic feat of skill and courage, a record-breaking freefall from the Earth’s stratosphere of more than 25 miles. His descent lasted 15 minutes at peak speeds of 821 mph.

Eustace has also championed women in technology. He serves on the board of the Anita Borg Institute, which hosts the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. At UCF, he has been an aggressive advocate for women who seek to enter computer science and related fields.

He has donated resources and time to his alma mater for a variety of causes, including his 15-year sponsorship of the UCF Computer Programming Team, which is among the nation’s best.

Jerry Demings

In 2008, Demings became the first African-American elected sheriff in Orange County. He was re-elected in 2012 and is seeking his third term. Demings began his career in public service with the Orlando Police Department, where he served for 21 years. In 1998, he became the first African-American appointed chief of the police department. In 2002, he was appointed the director of public safety for Orange County, where he served until elected sheriff.

Among his many civic contributions, Demings serves on the FEMA National Advisory Council and the Florida Supreme Court’s substance abuse and mental health task force. He is president of the Florida Sheriffs Association – the first African-American to serve in that role – and of the Major County Sheriffs’ Foundation. He is on the executive boards of YMCA of Central Florida, Boy Scouts of America, and Crimeline.

Orlando magazine has named Demings one of the 50 most influential Central Floridians each year since 2009, and he has been recognized for many years by the Orlando Sentinel as one of the area’s 25 most influential people.

Demings received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University and his master’s degree in business administration from Florida Metropolitan University (now Everest University). He has received two honorary doctoral degrees.