UCF’s 250,000th graduate will cross the stage on Saturday morning, May 9, during one of six commencement ceremonies this week at the CFE Arena.
More than 7,500 students are expected to graduate May 7 to 9. Below are stories of interest that media are invited to cover, along with the details for each ceremony.
During the 9 a.m. ceremony Saturday, UCF will surpass the 250,000 alumni milestone. University officials will pause briefly during the ceremony to recognize the milestone and take ceremonial photographs with the 250,000th graduate.
UCF has awarded 270,962 degrees through the December 2014 ceremonies. Because many graduates earn multiple degrees, the number of graduates has not yet surpassed 250,000.
Saturday’s morning ceremony is for students in the College of Business Administration. Roger Pynn, an UCF alumnus and founder, president and CEO of the Curley & Pynn public relations and marketing company, will be the speaker.
Mom and Daughter to Graduate on Same Day
Raina Sims will watch her mother Debbie Tyson earn her degree in psychology on Friday morning. They will switch seats for the afternoon ceremony – Tyson will move to the stands and watch her daughter collect her degree in education.
UCF’s largest ceremony is Thursday morning and includes graduates from the College of Arts & Humanities, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, and the College of Optics & Photonics. The speaker will be the president and CEO of United Arts of Central Florida, Flora Maria Garcia.
The afternoon ceremony is for students in the College of Health & Public Affairs. U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, whose congressional district includes Hillsborough and Polk counties, will speak.
17-Year-Old Computer Whiz
Adrian Gilliam,who started as a UCF student at age 13, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science on Thursday morning. He already has lined up a job at Optima Health Care.
He is the youngest graduate this spring – but not the youngest in UCF’s history. That honor goes to a 16-year-old, who graduated in 1998.
Graduation Numbers and Other Ceremony Details
Friday’s morning ceremony is for those in the College of Sciences, and the speaker will be vice president of training and logistics solutions for Lockheed Martin, Jon Rambeau.
Falecia Williams, president of Valencia College’s West Campus, will be the speaker at Friday’s afternoon ceremony for students in the College of Education & Human Performance and the College of Nursing.
The last ceremony, held Saturday afternoon, is for students in the College of Graduate Studies, College of Medicine, Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. The speaker will be Brandon Arrington, chairman of the Osceola County Commission.
On each day the morning ceremony begins at 9 a.m. and the afternoon program begins at 2:30 p.m. Doors open to the public about 90 minutes before each event.
Guests must have tickets to enter the arena, and guest parking will be available in garages C, D and H. Those without tickets can watch live telecasts of the ceremonies at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center across the street from the arena and on campus on Bright House Campus Cable Channel 734.
The processional begins about 20 minutes before the listed start time, and the ceremonies are expected to last at least two hours each.