UCF prides itself on being the nation’s leading partnership university, and one of its most enduring partnerships is with the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE), an organization of retired professionals from Central Florida and beyond who regularly come to campus to  hear the  lectures of UCF faculty and learn more about their dissertation studies and special research projects.

Created in 1991 and supported exclusively through annual dues, funding from LIFE members supports a wide range of initiatives  that enhance programs, fund scholarships and expand opportunities for students, faculty and community members.

LIFE recently held its annual grants and awards banquet in the Pegasus Ballroom and announced – with the help of Knightro and the Spirit Team – the recipients of $54,600 of financial support and grants, the largest amount ever awarded by the organization in a single year.  LIFE’s cumulative giving to the university is close to $400,000 with more than 100 different programs or groups having received their support over the years.

Twenty-five awards were given in the competitive grants category, to specific program areas and departments ranging from the Institute of Exercise Physiology, Center for Success of Woman,  Burnett Honors College, Graduate Studies, and others.  Seven awards were given in the directed awards category, and included support for the UCF Library, Global Perspectives, Athletics, Parking Services and the Student Union.

Provost Tony Waldrop and UCF Foundation CEO Robert Holmes were among the speakers at the event. Each thanked LIFE for their partnership with the university. Waldrop said the group “provides vibrant examples of lifelong learning and engagement,” and cited the impact they make on “our students, our faculty, and our university community.”