More than 5,000 students will graduate from the University of Central Florida during three ceremonies Dec. 13-14 at the CFE Arena.

Friday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will be for anticipated graduates from the College of Business Administration, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Medicine (Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences), and the College of Optics and Photonics.

The 2:30 p.m. ceremony will be for anticipated graduates from the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, College of Sciences, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Saturday’s 9 a.m. ceremony is for students in the College of Education and Human Performance, the College of Health and Public Affairs, and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Doors to the general public will open about 90 minutes before the ceremonies, which are expected to last about two hours. Those intending to walk as part of a ceremony should line up one hour prior to the start of the event. The processional will begin 20 minutes before the scheduled start time.

The speaker for Friday’s morning ceremony is UCF alumus and former Board of Trustees member Rick Walsh. Walsh is a well-known business leader who currently is chairman and CEO of the Knob Hill Companies, a media, investment and strategic consulting firm.  Walsh previously was senior vice president of corporate affairs of Darden Restaurants, and a founding member of the leadership team that took Darden public in 1995.

Walsh has a legacy of community service that has included leadership roles with the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Florida State Chamber of Commerce, Nemours, Florida’s Blood Centers, the Governor’s Florida Tourism Council and others.

The speaker for Friday’s afternoon ceremony is Paula Kerger, president and CEP of PBS, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization. Kerger has led PBS since 2006. Among her accomplishments are the pop-culture phenomenon “Downton Abbey”, which is the most-watched MASTERPIECE program in the series’ history; Ken Burns’ acclaimed 2012 documentary, “The Dust Bowl”; and new children’s, primetime science and arts series. She also helped expand PBS across multiple media platforms.

Saturday’s speaker is Olga Calvet, chair of the UCF Board of Trustees. She has served as a trustee since the inception of the board in 2001. Calvet is also a senior vice president and chief financial officer of Palmas Inc., which has managed restaurants and food-service operations in Central Florida for more than 25 years. She has been active in many local and statewide organizations, as well. Calvet is the first woman to serve as governor of the Florida District of the Civitan International service organization. She is a past chair of the UCF Foundation and has served as a board member of the St. James Cathedral School, LYNX, Orlando Municipal Planning Board and Community Foundation of Central Florida. She is a former member of the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

Those expected to walk across the stage this weekend include 4,144 students who filed intents to receive bachelor’s degrees, 777 for master’s degrees, 5 for an education specialist degree, and 78 for doctoral degrees.

UCF has now awarded more than 250,000 degrees since classes began in 1968.

Tickets are required for guests to attend the ceremonies and are available from graduates. Guests without tickets are welcome to view closed-circuit telecasts of the ceremonies from the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center across the street from the UCF Arena, and on Campus Cable Channel 21. Ceremonies also can be viewed online at

Parking for guests will be available in garages C, D and H.

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