Public administration student Joe Richardson made history when he was elected to the Titusville City Council in 1977. The 21-year-old was the youngest elected official to join the Council – and in the process, he defeated Assistant Professor Jefferson Duffey for the seat.

Now, history has come full circle: During this week’s election, Sarah Stoeckel, a student within the Public Administration Track of the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, was elected to the Titusville City Council.

Throughout the past 40 years, the School of Public Administration has produced multiple generations of public service professionals. The school is celebrating those 40 years of public service, scholarship and success on Monday, Nov. 14, which has been proclaimed UCF School of Public Administration Day by both Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

The school will host its 40th Anniversary Family Reunion that evening, which will feature a live performance from student a capella group Voicebox, historical displays and photo opportunities with Knightro. Mark Brewer of the Central Florida Foundation will serve as the emcee for the event, which will also feature remarks from Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles.

Cowles was one of the first students to graduate with a B.A. in public administration after the degree debuted in 1975, along with the Department of Public Service Administration. Cowles was one of some 30 students enrolled in the program, which was administered by three faculty members.

Today, the department, now known as the School of Public Administration, is composed of more than 1,000 students, more than 30 faculty and staff members, and boasts a network of more than 4,800 alumni.

“As we celebrate 40 years of success in scholarship, service and education, we are proud of how far the school has come,” said Naim Kapucu, the director of the school. “I am inspired by our students, alumni and faculty and their dedication to making the world a better place by strengthening communities and changing lives.”

To learn more about the school’s history, view our interactive timeline.