UCF will award more than 6,000 degrees during three commencement ceremonies at Addition Financial Arena Dec. 15-16, sending a talent pipeline of highly skilled graduates into careers that are vital for our region and our state.
Of the degrees UCF expects to award, 4,859 are bachelor’s, 923 are master’s, 106 are doctoral and four are specialist degrees. UCF will also award 123 graduate certificates.
Overall, UCF anticipates awarding 1,686 degrees in STEM fields — including 948 in engineering and computer science — as well as 692 in business-related fields, 315 in hospitality-related fields, 225 in nursing, 145 in biomedical sciences, and 40 in digital and emerging media.
About half of the bachelor’s degree recipients are students eligible to receive Pell Grants (2,458), demonstrating the university’s impact on social mobility. In addition, 1,135 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded to first-generation students — accounting for about 18% of the graduating class.
Held in Addition Financial Arena, the spring commencement will take place Dec. 15-16.
All guests, including children and infants, need a ticket for admission. All graduates who have filed an intent to graduate will receive five commencement ceremony tickets when they pick up their regalia packet.
Three different photo-ops on UCF’s main campus are available for students to their accomplishments.
The Reflecting Pond is one of the most iconic spots on campus for grad photos and this year the pond will have enhanced elements, such as flags on the lawn and black and gold balls in the water through Dec. 17.
Graduating Knights will also be able to take photos in FBC Mortgage Stadium Dec. 11-14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please enter through Gate 17 to access the stadium. Taking photos on the field is prohibited.
On Thursday, Dec. 14, 3-7 p.m., graduates will be offered a photo-op — Grad Walk — within Addition Financial Arena. This will be a first-come, first-served occasion for graduates and up to 10 of their well-wishers to take photos and videos on the ceremony stage. Register you and your guests here.
Graduates and guests can review the below commencement ceremony schedule, listing colleges, ceremony dates and streaming links:
Dec. 15, 9 a.m.
College of Business
College of Engineering and Computer Science
College of Optics and Photonics
Dec. 15, 2 p.m.
College of Health Professions and Sciences
College of Medicine
College of Nursing
College of Undergraduate Studies
Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.
College of Arts and Humanities
College of Graduate Studies
College of Sciences
Dec. 16, 9 a.m.
College of Community Innovation and Education
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
President/CEO for Addition Financial Credit Union
Dec. 15, 9 a.m.
Kevin Miller has served as president and CEO at Addition Financial Credit Union since 2017, upholding the organization’s commitment to financial education and empowerment for individuals, families and businesses in Central Florida. During this time, Addition Financial grew from $1.7 billion to more than $2.8 billion in total assets. The credit union is a strong UCF partner, holding naming rights to Addition Financial Arena.
Stewarding a culture of continuous improvement, integrity and lifelong learning is the core of Miller’s vision for Addition Financial’s future. He believes the organization’s dedicated team members are essential to creating a world-class member experience. Under his leadership, Addition Financial has built effective partnerships and developed agile solutions to address challenges in the financial industry.
Born and raised in Michigan, Miller graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his J.D. degree from Emory Law School in Atlanta.
Miller joined Addition Financial in 2004 and led a variety of functions prior to being named president and CEO, including executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel.
Within the credit union industry, Miller serves on the board of Shared Services for Credit Unions. He is also active in the Central Florida community, serving on the boards of the UCF Foundation; SSC Presidential Advisory Committee; and the Galileo School for Gifted Learning.
President/CEO for AdventHealth Florida
Dec. 15, 2 p.m.
Randy Haffner is president and CEO of AdventHealth Florida, which encompasses more than 40 hospitals and ERs throughout the state. The world-class hospitals, combined with a comprehensive outpatient care network, treat more than 4.8 million patients annually.
AdventHealth became one of UCF’s first two Pegasus Partners this year, joining Orlando Health in contributing $5 million each to support the UCF College of Nursing building at Lake Nona, as well as tuition assistance and paid internships for nursing students.
Haffner has been with AdventHealth since 1989 and has held senior leadership positions throughout the organization. He most recently served as president/CEO of the Central Florida Division, overseeing nearly two dozen hospitals and ERs, including AdventHealth’s flagship campus, AdventHealth Orlando.
Haffner previously served as president/CEO of the Multistate Division, where he oversaw AdventHealth’s operations outside of Florida, comprising 20 campuses across eight states. Earlier in his career he served as CEO of Porter Adventist Hospital in Colorado, and as administrator of AdventHealth Orlando.
Haffner graduated from Walla Walla College, earned his graduate degree from the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a doctorate in leadership studies from Andrews University.
He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, Florida Hospital Association Board and the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Governor’s Council.
Haffner and his wife Cindy have three children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors including running, cycling and snow skiing.
Melissa Tomasso ’94
Philanthropy Committee Chair, UCF Alumni Board
Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.
Melissa Tomasso ’94 is a proud UCF alumna who resides in Sarasota, Florida. Her bachelor’s in journalism served her well throughout her career including stints as a manager of Marketing/Special Events at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School and as manager of Public Relations/Advertising for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC). During her time at KSCVC, Tomasso spearheaded projects with Mercury and Apollo astronauts and collaborated on the premieres of HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon and Paramount’s Armageddon. While at UCF, Tomasso spent summers working as a Counselor and Wing Commander for U.S. Space Camp. Later, she earned her private pilot’s license and shared her passion for science as a substitute teacher in Sarasota County.
Not only does Tomasso serve as the Philanthropy Committee Chair on the UCF Alumni Board, she also travels to Tallahassee annually meeting with state lawmakers to effectively advocate for UCF’s legislative priorities. She is also a valued member of the UCF Parent & Family Philanthropy Council.
Tomasso married her Knight in shining armor, Chris Tomasso ’93, CEO of First Watch Restaurants. Devoted season ticket holders who never miss a home game, their family also boasts two Knights: Jared Tomasso ’21, who currently works with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Malia, a junior at UCF.
Chair, Visit Orlando board of directors, and chief operating officer, Lift Orlando
Dec. 16, 9 a.m.
Terry Prather currently serves as chair of the Visit Orlando board of directors, leading the official tourism marketing organization for the most visited destination in the U.S. With a membership of 1,500 companies spanning every facet of the tourism industry, Prather steers strategic initiatives aimed at promoting Orlando.
The tourism industry fuels our economy, supports our community, and provides gainful employment opportunities for Rosen College of Hospitality Management graduates.
For the past decade, Prather dedicated his efforts to Lift Orlando, a Florida-based nonprofit focused on strengthening neighborhoods so people can thrive. As a founding board member, and chief operating officer, his leadership played a pivotal role in the organization’s last 10 years.
A seasoned professional in tourism, Prather’s career at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, culminating as president of SeaWorld Orlando, spanned over three decades. Starting from the ground up in maintenance and water quality at SeaWorld San Antonio in 1988, he amassed extensive industry experience.
Active in various community boards and associations, including Visit Florida and the Florida Council of Tourism Leaders, Prather’s contributions also extend to Florida Citrus Sports and Bethune-Cookman University’s Board of Trustees. Presently, he remains on the advisory board for the Smithsonian National Zoo and he chairs the Dr. Phillips Charities board.
Together with his wife Shayla, Prather shares five adult children and ten grandchildren.
For more details and FAQs about Fall 2023 commencement celebrations, visit ucf.edu/graduation.