As I reflect on 2021, I am so thankful for our entire UCF family and all that you accomplished during a difficult year.

We know for certain that our successes would not be possible without you — our faculty and staff. Your compassion for our students and dedication to the work we do here make us a better institution. I am very proud that we have continued our forward momentum and that we look to the future with a commitment to compassion and care.

Because of your efforts, we are building a strong foundation for our future and we have so much to celebrate.

The excellence you have helped shape was recognized in big ways this year:

And, as always, you continued to create and innovate. This year, faculty:

Because of accomplishments like these, our rankings continue to rise, jumping 12 spots for overall academic excellence this year — one of only three universities to improve its national ranking each of the last five years, according to U.S. News & World Report. We also were again recognized as one of the Most Innovative Schools in the country and as a rising leader in social mobility.

I am grateful to each of you who are committed to the transformational work we do here, and I am grateful to those who matched that commitment with the hard work and dedication that is pushing us to even greater heights. As we work toward building the university for the future, we must ensure we have not only the tools to be exceptional but also the climate and culture that positions us all to look forward with great anticipation to 2022.

Thank you for all that you do. I hope you use the upcoming time off to spend time with your families, recharge, and celebrate all we have accomplished. You have definitely earned it.

Melinda and I wish you the best for a joyous holiday season and for health and happiness in the New Year.

With Gratitude,

Alexander N. Cartwright
UCF President