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CFE Federal Credit Union announced its commitment to UCF Downtown on Monday, becoming the second community partner to pledge $1.5 million toward the project.

The credit union’s gift will help fund construction of the new academic building that will be the centerpiece of a new campus serving about 7,700 UCF and Valencia College students.

“The UCF Downtown campus will provide significant opportunities for Central Florida, and CFE is proud to support an initiative that will have such a meaningful impact on both a local and national scale,” said Joseph A. Melbourne, Jr., President and CEO of CFE Federal Credit Union. “By investing in education, we can create a positive future for our community.”

UCF and CFE will celebrate the gift with a check presentation during the UCF men’s basketball game against USF at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in the CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. CFE will present an oversized check to Mike Morsberger, UCF’s vice president for alumni relations and development, during the game.

“CFE Federal Credit Union is a valued friend of UCF and believes in the power of education to transform lives,” UCF President John C. Hitt said. “We are grateful for its support in turning the downtown campus project into a reality.”

CFE’s gift comes just two weeks after the Orlando Magic became the first donor to the downtown campus, also pledging $1.5 million.

Pending approvals, the campus will open in fall 2018. UCF Downtown will offer students an innovative learning environment within walking distance of a wide array of internship and job opportunities in fields such as digital media, communication, public service and health-related programs. UCF will share the campus with Valencia College, which will offer programs in digital media, health information technology and culinary and hospitality, including workforce training and other certificates to increase access to education in the immediate downtown area.

The new academic building at UCF Downtown will complement a renovated Center for Emerging Media building where UCF’s nationally ranked graduate video gaming school, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, is located. One-third of the new building will be funded by private donations. The university also is contributing $20 million from its resources and asking the state for an additional $20 million.

CFE acquired the UCF Federal Credit Union in 2011. Since then, CFE has worked with the university to promote financial literacy. In 2013, CFE acquired the naming rights to the CFE Arena and became the official financial institution of the UCF Knights. The following year, CFE received the President’s Partnership Award for its substantial involvement at UCF. CFE currently offers two branches and five ATMs on UCF’s main campus, as well as a location directly across from campus on Alafaya Trail.

“We have remained firmly rooted in our commitment to education, and our involvement with UCF Downtown will allow us to continue to support financial literacy efforts. Our goal is to provide students, faculty and community members with the necessary resources to make better financial management decisions,” Melbourne said.