Here’s a look back at the year that was 2020 through images that captured us.

Anna Eskamani and UCF student look at 3D printed parts of a prosthetic limb on a table
(Photo taken Jan. 31, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Florida state representative Anna Eskamani ’12 ’15MNM ’15MPA (right) visited the Limbitless Solutions lab on campus. The nonprofit direct-support organization at UCF specializes in creating and donating personalized 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children.

5 students smooth concrete on a canoe under a pavillion
(Photo taken Feb. 1, 2020, by Thomas Bell ’08)

Civil engineering students built a canoe for the annual ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition in February.

Knightro high fives student seated at a table on Memory Mall
(Photo taken Feb. 5, 2020, by Carly McCarthy Hollowell ’14 ’20MA)

Nearly 500 students enjoyed a free meal together on Memory Mall during simpler times in early February for the fourth Gather Luncheon, an annual event organized by Wellness and Health Promotion Services and dedicated to community building among Knights.

Outdoor view of John C. Hitt library
(Photo taken Feb. 13, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

UCF’s first building, the John C. Hitt Library, saw the completion of the first phase of its expansion earlier this year.

Knugget the mini horse sticks out his tongue
(Photo taken Feb. 17, 2020, by Kim Go ’20)

Knugget joined the UCF Police Department for a day to provide a little extra encouragement to students on Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Four biology students pose with white bird houses
(Photo taken Feb. 20, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Led by a Department of Biology Research Scientist Anna Forsman, the Purple Martin Project — led by which aims to attract the bird using strategically placed nests around UCF’s main campus — gave students hands-on experience in scientific methods.

Men's basketball player in white uniform is guarded by SMU defender in red uniform
(Photo taken March 4, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

The UCF men’s basketball team finished their 2019-20 season with back-to-back wins at home against SMU (pictured here) and East Carolina before COVID-19 canceled the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Two dancers dressed in black lift their left legs behind them in dance studio
(Photo taken March 5, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

UCF students rehearsed for UCF Celebrates the Arts, which was ultimately canceled due to COVID-19. The dance concert is expected to take place in April 2021.

black and white photo of empty UCF breezeway
(Photo taken March. 17, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

UCF’s breezeway is usually packed with people, and it’s emptiness captures the 2020 mood.

Alexander N. Cartwright addresses conference room from large video screen
(Photo taken March 20, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Alexander N. Cartwright, a first-generation college student who earned a GED and attended community college before earning his Ph.D. and rising through the ranks of academia, was selected as UCF’s new president in March.

four white 3D printed visors on a table
(Photo taken March 30, 2020, by Thomas Bell ’08)

Limbitless Solutions shifted operations in the spring to 3D print visors, a component of the disposable face shield used by many medical workers. Each piece had one of four messages: Hope, Love, Compassion or Thank You.

Man wearing glasses squats near planters in UCF Arboretum on sunny day
(Photo taken April 9, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Andre Simoes ’20, who served as the greenhouse coordinator for UCF Arboretum in the spring while finishing his plant sciences degree, was one of the essential personnel staff who maintained UCF’s campus operations when the pandemic forced classes to move to remote instruction.

Woman in cap and gown sits on front porch with her Mac laptop as dog inside the home looks at her through a window
(Photo taken May 7, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

One of the perks of virtual graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020? Pets can attend.

UCF Downtown's DPAC building lit in rainbow colors
(Photo taken June 12 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

UCF lit up the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons on the downtown campus in pride colors on June 12 in remembrance of the 49 people — including student Juan Ramon Guerrero and alumnus Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen ’07 ’09MS — who were killed at Pulse in 2016.

2 UCF students wearing gospel choir T shirts sing
(Photo taken June 19, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

On June 19, UCF’s Gospel and Cultural Choir, including president Hector Garcia and member Jessica Pugh, lent their voices to the university’s inaugural Juneteenth Celebration, which was organized by students.

Parents help daughter move into UCF Housing, loading bins on a dolly in front of their car
(Photo taken Aug. 10, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

With 6,000 students moving into main campus housing during a pandemic, UCF turned to its IT team, engineers and a fast food drive-thru expert to make the process as safe and efficient as possible.

Overhead view of Memory Mall at Knighting event
(Photo taken Aug. 23, 2020, by Joel Hartman ’02EdD)

Pegasus Palooza, which welcomed students to the fall semester with a mix of virtual and physically distant in-person events — kicked off with The Knighting on Memory Mall, a tradition that inducts new students to UCF.

Student wearing black face mask, white shirt and pants stands in front of Pegasus Mural at Student Union
(Photo taken Aug. 25, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Kori Zamora wears a face covering and SVAD (School of Visual Arts and Design) shirt while standing in front of Pegasus mural in by the Student Union entrance during the first week of school. “I’m part of a church group and the pandemic has definitely changed the way we interact, but I’ve been connecting to my community through virtual meetings and it’s definitely helped me stay positive during the pandemic,” the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, resident says.

Three Black women wearing Knights T shirts pose for a photo in their seats at the Bounce House
(Photo taken Sept. 19, 2020, by Carly McCarthy Hollowell ’14 ’20MA)

Students enjoyed a physically distanced watch party at the Bounce House to cheer on the UCF football team’s first game of the season on the road at Georgia Tech.

Man admires glass artwork of Parramore Room at UCF Downtown building
(Photo taken Sept. 22, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

UCF unveiled custom glass artwork at its downtown campus that showcases the rich history of the surrounding Parramore community. The installation was produced in partnership with Parramore residents and business owners, along with UCF and Valencia College leadership and spotlights community landmarks and milestones dating back to the early 1920s.

Keyuna Julien poses on one leg with arms outstretched in front of Reflecting Pond on sunny day
(Photo taken Oct. 7, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

On National Coming Out Day, political science student Keyuna Julien, who identifies as a lesbian, shared their gratitude for their mother’s support.

Charging Knight statue in front of the Bounce House wears a face mask
(Photo taken Oct. 16, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

Everyone who visited campus was required to wear a face covering — even the Charging Knight statue. Consider Armoring Up with an exclusive UCF face covering from Knight-owned business Rock ’Em Socks. Proceeds benefit the UCF Student Emergency Fund.

Francina Boykin kneels at tombstone of Hickey
(Photo taken Oct. 20, 2020 by Nick Leyva ’15)

Despite being the victim of continued racism in the decades following the Ocoee massacre, Francina Boykin was among those who convinced the community to break its own silence on an ominous past so it could begin the slow process of change. Here, she visits the grave site of John Hickey, an Ocoee resident who had to abandon his 120 acres of land the night of the massacre.

fireworks light up over parking garage on campus
(Photo taken Oct. 23, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

The UCF community celebrated Homecoming 2020 with some of events anticipated annually — such as the Friday night fireworks show and Knights’ football game —and reinvented other traditions for the health and well-being of everyone.

UCF football quarterback Dillion Gabriel looks to pitch football to teammate
Photo taken Oct. 24, 2020 by Rhiana Raymundo ’19)

This year’s Homecoming football game also marked Mission IV (the fourth-straight year) of the fan favorite Space Game. The Knights wore special uniforms that gave a nod to the university’s past and current connection to space exploration.

Two humans wearing jack-o-lanterns sit outside
(Photo taken Oct. 24, 2020, by Rhiana Raymundo ’19)

Two UCF Social Ambassadors got into the spooky spirit on campus before spending the night at home watching horror movies for Halloween.

Joyce DeGennaro sits in an arm chair
(Photo taken Oct. 27, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

On Sunday, November 29, 2020, nursing instructor Joyce DeGennaro ’03 ’09BSN ’13MS passed away. This photo was taken in October for a story in which she discussed why she chose to share her personal experience with cancer to better educate her students. She leaves behind her loving husband Darren and two young children. To continue her legacy, mourners may make a gift in Joyce’s name to the College of Nursing Memorial Scholarships.

International flags in hallway of student union
(Photo taken Nov. 10, 2020, by Brandon Brown ’18)

Even though the Student Union completed its three-year renovation that added expanding dining options, additional square footage and more seating, some of its charm that makes it the heart of campus remain the same.

A blonde woman straightens her son's cap and gown
(Photo taken Nov. 14, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

John Murphy, who earned his degree in kinesiology this semester, prepared to cross the stage at UCF Grad Walk, which was established in the fall as an opportunity to celebrate commencement while adhering to statewide COVID-19 protocols.

Silhouette of graduate in front of gold Pegasus seal
(Photo taken Nov. 14, 2020, by Nick Leyva ’15)

More than 18,000 degrees are expected to be conferred during 2020 after fall commencement is held later this month.