This has been an academic year unlike any other, and I know our community is looking forward to the repose of Spring Break and the deep breaths that come after the end of a semester.

I recognize how difficult of a time it has been and continues to be for many of you. The stress of approaching final exams weighs on students; our faculty have numerous responsibilities in closing out the semester; and our staff is diligently supporting both, keeping our university charging on.

All the while, we are hopeful but still cautious about the pandemic and we are affected by a national spotlight on issues of race and social justice that brings up painful emotions for so many.

We all need each other right now, and we should not overlook the impact of a simple act of kindness. Say hello to a stranger. Hold the door open for the person behind you. A nod, a wave, a “How are you doing?” – no gesture of compassion and care seems too small.

As Knights, we lift one another up and support each other in good times and in bad.

I want you to know that you have my full support and the full support of my leadership team. We will get through this together.

Self-care is also important, and we have resources to support our UCF family. Students can reach out to CAPS or contact UCF’s Office of Social Justice and Advocacy. Employees can call 877-240-6863 or go to for support through UCF’s Employee Assistance Program.

Thank you for your contributions, your resiliency and your Charge On spirit. Our UCF community is better because you are in it, and you have my best wishes for wellness and success as we move toward the end of the semester.