Dr. Phillips Charities today made the largest private gift to UCF Downtown, investing $3 million in the campus project.
The gift will help fund construction of a new academic building that will be the centerpiece of the UCF Downtown campus serving about 7,700 UCF and Valencia College students.
Dr. Phillips’ gift comes just one day before university leaders will present plans for the campus Wednesday at UCF to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System.
Dr. Phillips’ $3 million contribution also brings the total community support for UCF Downtown to $16 million.
“When our Board first heard about UCF Downtown and the compelling vision of President Hitt and his team, we knew we wanted to help make this campus a reality,” said Dr. Phillips’ President and CEO Kenneth D. Robinson. “Our mission as an organization is to help transform lives, and in doing so, lift our entire community. We believe this gift to downtown is an investment in our children’s future.”
Dr. Phillips Charities have a long-standing partnership with UCF, contributing toward the College of Medicine, College of Business Administration and the Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate.
“These gifts have produced life-changing opportunities for so many of our students,” said UCF President John C. Hitt. “We are so grateful for Dr. Phillips Charities’ support of the UCF Downtown campus and the lasting impact it will have on our community.”
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 asking the state for an additional $20 million.
The Orlando Magic, CFE Federal Credit Union and Florida Hospital each pledged $1.5 million toward the construction of the new academic building that UCF would share with Valencia College. 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.
Pending approvals, the campus will open in fall 2018. UCF Downtown 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 nationally ranked graduate video gaming school, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, is located.