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Unleashing Potential

As UCF approaches its 60th anniversary next year, we continue to focus on unleashing the potential of people and ideas to change the world. 

With an emphasis on inspiring purposeful action, Charles Millican, UCF’s first president, reminded students to “Reach for the Stars.” He said, “One day; you may be surprised and find that you have caught hold of one.”

Belief in the inherent potential of every individual is as prevalent at UCF as if Millican still walked the campus today. And, those stars, while still far off in outer space amongst distant galaxies, are getting a little closer as UCF researchers study the universe’s origins with powerful technology like the James Webb Space Telescope and the dust and dirt on the moon and Mars. In almost 60 years, UCF has evolved into a metropolitan research university unlike any other.

UCF is one of the most innovative universities in the country, inspired by boundless optimism. We remain committed to unleashing potential in people, organizations, ideas and the communities we serve. That charge inspires us and illuminates fantastic possibilities ahead. Recently, our university renewed its mission statement while staying true to the values present when we first opened our doors:

UCF is a public research university invested in unleashing the potential within every individual; enriching the human experience through inclusion, discovery and innovation; and propelling broad-based prosperity for the many communities we serve.

We are a university on the rise, a metropolitan research institution with high academic standards, highly regarded faculty and student outcomes — such as graduation and retention rates, social mobility and graduate indebtedness — that rank in the top 25 of the nation. Excellence and advancement drive us, and we endeavor to create prosperity for our region and state.

We want the world to recognize the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni and our mission to unleash the potential of individuals for a better future. Our many successes have earned recognition locally; however, it’s time to amplify our impact, tout those successes and extend the recognition to the national stage. With it, doors to new opportunities will open, more resources will become available, and we’ll be able to better serve our students, support our faculty and their research, and honor our commitments to our community.

Our vision is guided by five aspirations:

  1. We strive to become a leading enterprise for innovative research and creative works, discovering ideas that enable breakthroughs and inspire the world.
  2. We will attract the best minds and create a culture that establishes UCF as a best place to learn and work.
  3. As a leading source of talent, we intend to build upon our position and emerge as the preferred partner and No. 1 provider of diverse talent.
  4. We seek to expand our impact on the communities we serve by focusing on student achievement, high-impact practices, and developing an educated citizenry to become a campus without boundaries.
  5. To truly unleash the potential of our students, faculty and regional communities, we must fortify our position as a university with a high return on investment and engagement for our students and our faculty.

We prioritize our students’ success and well-being in reaching for our aspirations. This encompasses everything from providing a curriculum that will prepare them for emerging jobs to setting them on a path to being the thinkers, doers, creators, innovators, healers and leaders of tomorrow. Our students are global citizens who are culturally competent, prepared to lead enriched and fulfilling lives, and have the knowledge, skills and aptitudes that align with the workforce of the future.

As discovery and exploration are part of our institutional DNA, we will continue to invest deeply in our knowledge enterprise. Pursuing new innovations and solutions for the most significant problems humankind faces today — and in the future — will remain central to us.

Our people have always driven the success of our institution. We will further our success by establishing a community and culture that attracts and nurtures the brightest minds. We continue to foster a culture of innovation, inclusion, public service and collaboration — knowing that our people and the support of our community are crucial to achieving our vision.

Over the next five years, we will focus on new investments in areas aligned with our existing strengths, and take advantage of emerging opportunities. These areas of research, teaching and industry create new pathways for technology, community and economic development; integrate scholarly activities throughout the campus community; and leverage existing programs, assets and strengths.

This is our vision and our road map — a road map that will guide us as we unleash the full potential of people and ideas, and create prosperity for the communities we serve. As a University for the Future, it’s our responsibility to do more than dream about the future; it is imperative that we actively pursue it, and chart a course for our shared place in it.

To learn more about our goals, visit