Before I assumed the presidency of UCF in February, I was a fan and advocate of this great institution. But in the past eight months, I’ve come to understand so much more about this university, its people and its potential. I believe that for all that we have accomplished together, we have only scratched the surface.

Yesterday at our annual State of the University event, I shared stories of the many people who are leading UCF to become the model of a 21st-century university. If you’d like to view yesterday’s event, please visit the UCF Facebook Page.

Our successes continue to impress. We have opened our UCF Downtown campus. Our IGNITE campaign concluded in June and is responsible for 405 new student scholarships and 12 endowed faculty positions. We welcomed another record-breaking fall freshman class, historic in quality and diversity. UCF set another record by bringing in $192.1 million in research funding for fiscal year 2019. Is it any wonder we’ve again ranked #1 in Florida and top 20 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s “most innovative schools” list?

The reason UCF is able to do so many amazing things is clear to me: because of our dedicated faculty and staff. United in a shared belief that a dream can only become reality when we draw on the unique perspectives and experiences of everyone in our community, motivated to push ourselves beyond the conventional and a refusal to settle, the team here at UCF is the best I have ever had the pleasure of serving with.

To the thoughtful, hard-working, “can-do” faculty and staff members: Thank you for all that you do for UCF and our students.

Go Knights!