The University of Central Florida today received a $1 million gift from BB&T Corporation for its downtown campus, the first major contribution since Florida Gov. Rick Scott approved $20 million in state funding for UCF Downtown in March.
BB&T’s donation brings total community support for the campus to $17 million and will help pay for the construction of a new academic building that will be the centerpiece of UCF Downtown, serving about 7,700 UCF and Valencia College students.
“As part of our mission, BB&T strives to make the communities in which we work better places to live, and as a corporate citizen BB&T has a strong track record of supporting its local groups and institutions,” said Tony Coley, BB&T Central Florida regional president. “We are proud to work with and support the University of Central Florida, and very excited about the positive impact our contribution will bring.”
The gift was announced Monday during a community leader forum at GrayRobinson’s Orlando office with President John C. Hitt, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Valencia College West President Falecia Williams.
“This generous donation brings us one important step closer to building a campus in downtown Orlando that will transform so many lives,” Hitt said. “We are grateful for BB&T’s support of UCF Downtown and the lasting impact it will have on Central Florida.”
The downtown campus, expected to open in fall 2018, will offer students an innovative learning environment within walking distance of a wide array of internship and job opportunities in fields such as digital media, communication, public service and health-related programs.
UCF will share the campus with Valencia College, which will offer programs in digital media, health-information technology, and culinary and hospitality, including workforce training and other certificates to increase access to education in the immediate downtown area.
The new academic building at UCF Downtown will complement a renovated Center for Emerging Media building where UCF’s top-ranked graduate video gaming school in North America, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, is located.
One-third of the new $60 million downtown academic building will be funded through community support. The university also is contributing $20 million from its resources and received $20 million from the state.
BB&T’s gift joins those of other public and private partners. In March, Dr. Phillips Charities contributed $3 million toward UCF Downtown. The Orlando Magic, CFE Federal Credit Union and Florida Hospital each pledged $1.5 million toward the construction of the new academic building. University leaders and board members have made personal contributions totaling more than $1 million. Orange County commissioners voted unanimously to contribute $3 million, and Valencia College will contribute $2 million.
Other contributors to the campus include Creative Village Development, Orlando philanthropist Alan Ginsburg, Orlando City Soccer Club, CNL Financial Group, Universal Orlando Foundation and Universal Orlando Resort, Dr. Bruce Douglas of Winter Park, and Coca-Cola.
Additionally, the value of in-kind contributions of land and infrastructure by the City of Orlando and the developers of Creative Village is approximately $75 million.