A Better Future: $100 Million

 

By leveraging existing strengths, seeking strategic partnerships, and pursuing new opportunities, we will strive to lift lives and livelihoods across Central Florida and beyond. Through IGNITE, we seek $100 million in philanthropic support for these efforts, which include, among many others, four key initiative areas:

Expand UCF's DownTown Presence

 

In addition to bringing nearly 8,000 students within walking distance of jobs and internships in numerous high-demand fields, UCF Downtown represents a further expansion of the university’s commitment to educational access and community service.

In partnership with Valencia College, the new campus will create pathways to vocational training and two-year degrees from Valencia as well as advanced degrees from UCF. But more than college students and their employers will benefit from UCF’s downtown campus. The project’s location adjacent to the historic Parramore community creates many more opportunities for engagement with the new PS-8 Parramore community school and other community-based organizations.

UCF Downtown is a striking example of an innovative and productive public-private partnership. Phase I of the project will include a 164,000-square-foot academic building to be shared by UCF and Valencia College students. The building’s approximate $60 million cost is being shared equally by the university, the state of Florida, and private philanthropy.

We invite IGNITE Campaign contributors to join us in making UCF Downtown a reality, whether in support of campus facilities, scholarships and other resources for downtown-based students, or initiatives designed to improve the lives and livelihoods of our Parramore neighbors.

We have a strong commitment by all partners not just to be in downtown, but to be of the downtown community.

—UCF President John C. Hitt

Promote Innovation in Healthcare

 

For physicians and other health care professionals, a fundamental diagnostic question is, Why?” For students and faculty in UCF’s colleges of Medicine and Nursing, and colleagues in other disciplines, the question is more often “Why not?”

Why not encourage a team of altruistic UCF engineering students to use a 3-D printer to create a low-cost, highly functional prosthetic arm for a 6-year-old boy?

Why not combine UCF’s expertise in virtual reality with the latest psychological insights to help treat veterans struggling with PTSD?

Why not tap UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training to help develop a state-of-the-art simulation lab that allows College of Nursing students to gain essential skills in a safe yet realistic setting?

At UCF, where we’re educating the health care professionals of tomorrow, we know that creativity, flexibility and thinking beyond disciplinary boundaries are critically important skills — not only for treating individual patients, but for improving the health of our community as a whole.

Through the IGNITE Campaign, we’re seeking philanthropic partners who see in those “why not?” questions enticing possibilities for improving 21st century health care, whether through exciting new avenues of research, or fruitful cross-campus collaboration.

In Iraq, we said that every day is a good day to die. Well, how about every day is a good day to live?

— former Spc. Bruce Chambers, who received at UCF RESTORES, an on-campus clinic developing innovative and effective PTSD treatments.

Contribute to a Healthier Environment

 

With greater Orlando’s population at 2.3 million and growing fast, infrastructure challenges are inevitable, but standard solutions needn’t be.

Population growth presents opportunities to think differently about how millions of people power their homes, access a safe and reliable water supply, transport themselves around the region, and enjoy clean and green surroundings — all in the context of a desire to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.

Thinking anew about environmentally friendly approaches to life in Central Florida drives the work of multiple centers and institutes at UCF. In the Department of Biology, for example, the SPICE Lab – Science and Planning in Conservation Ecology – examines issues ranging from the impacts of road and animal crossings, to the effects of sea-level change on biodiversity. In the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, research efforts focus on novel ways to curb stormwater runoff and maintain drinking water quality.

For contributors with a passion for the environment, the IGNITE Campaign offers numerous opportunities to partner with UCF in supporting these initiatives and more. Whether your ecological interest is in Florida’s flora, fauna or fellow humans, UCF can serve as the conduit to a more sustainable future.

In 2007, UCF President John C. Hitt committed to making the university climate neutral by 2050. Since then, new facilities have been designed to the highest LEED standards of efficiency. Today, a third of campus energy comes from natural gas instead of other fossil fuels, and UCF’s existing buildings use 38 percent less energy than they did just nine years ago.

Expand UCF's Global Footprint

 

It’s a big world out there. And it’s a world represented in a big way on campus and throughout greater Orlando. Increasingly, UCF’s student body mirrors the globe, with nearly 2,300 international students from more than 120 countries.

UCF’s Division of International Affairs and Global Strategies (IAGS), headquartered in the brand-new Global UCF Building on Memory Mall, is the university’s primary hub for all things international. In addition to growing the number of high-impact international experiences undertaken by UCF faculty and staff, IAGS seeks to make UCF the Florida university of choice for international students, scholars and global partners.

Growing UCF’s global engagement, as well as its services to the international community in Central Florida, requires resources beyond the scope of yearly budgets. Gifts through the IGNITE Campaign for study-abroad scholarships can bring transformative international experiences within reach of many more UCF students.

Support of UCF college-based international initiatives, such as the College of Business Administration’s Global Advantage Program, can enhance educational offerings and help defray expenses. With your help, UCF can extend its global reach and its impact on the students who will make tomorrow’s world their home.

© University of Central Florida Foundation, Inc. 2015