More than 3,000 students have declared their intentions to graduate this semester. Ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the UCF Arena.

In May, Andrea Long became the university’s 200,000th degree recipient when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

Of the more than 203,000 degrees that UCF will have awarded after Saturday’s two ceremonies, President Hitt will have awarded more than 151,600.

UCF has achieved extraordinary success during President Hitt’s 18 years at the university. Under his leadership, enrollment has more than doubled, research funding has risen from $6.2 million to $133.3 million and the number of doctorates awarded each year has more than quadrupled.

In addition, President Hitt has supported UCF’s growth as a national leader and the third-largest university in the nation. U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide ranks UCF No. 5 as an “Up-and-Coming” national university. UCF is the only Florida university on the list.

UCF’s growth has also been fueled by quality students, including the fall 2009 freshman class, which averaged a 1225 on the SAT and included 55 National Merit Scholars, a total that ranks UCF among the top 50 universities in the nation. Similar numbers are expected this fall.