U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at one of UCF’s five commencement ceremonies Thursday, and received an honorary degree from the university. To read more about his advice to graduates, click here.
UCF will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the university’s founding during each of the spring commencement ceremonies, held Thursday, May 2, through Saturday, May 4. Approximately 7,800 students expect to graduate this spring, and tickets are required for all guests, including children, at each of the ceremonies.
President Clinton made his third visit to the UCF campus, and became the second U.S. president to speak at a UCF graduation ceremony. President Richard M. Nixon addressed graduates in 1973.
President Clinton has frequently highlighted Central Florida as a strong example of how partnerships between government, academia and businesses help the economy flourish.
The honorary degree awarded to President Clinton will recognize his service as president and also his service as a humanitarian and international ambassador since he left office. The Clinton Foundation’s areas of focus include eliminating economic inequality around the world, improving global health, reducing childhood obesity and addressing climate change.
UCF also will award an honorary degree to Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who will address graduates of the College of Education and Rosen College of Hospitality Management at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 3. Crow will be recognized for his transforming Arizona State into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities during his 11 years as president. Arizona State is the largest university in the country.
The first spring commencement ceremony was held at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 2. Peter Delfyett, a professor at the College of Optics and Photonics/CREOL, will address graduates of the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Delfyett has earned national recognition for his cutting-edge research and his leadership inspiring a new generation of scientists.
The speaker during Friday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will be Orlando attorney and CPA Jim Heekin, a partner in the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed and a longtime supporter of UCF. Heekin has served on the boards of the UCF Foundation; the UCF Research Foundation; and the Florida Board of Regents, the former governing body of the State University System. Heekin will speak to graduates of the College of Nursing and College of Business Administration.
Florida Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony on Saturday. Before his 2009 appointment to the Supreme Court, Perry served for nine years as a judge in Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit, which includes Seminole and Brevard counties. That ceremony will feature graduates of the College of Optics and Photonics, College of Graduate Studies, Office of Undergraduate Studies and College of Sciences.
The procession of graduates will begin 20 minutes before the start of each ceremony. Tickets are provided directly to graduates.
Guests who do not have tickets are welcome to view a live telecast of each ceremony via closed circuit television at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center and Student Union and also on campus cable channel 21.
Following the spring ceremonies, UCF will have awarded more than 240,000 degrees in its history.