UCF Expected To Hand Out 8,000 Degrees Over Six Commencement Ceremonies
By UCF // May 2, 2018
commencements scheduled for May 3-5
ABOVE VIDEO: Graduation Photo Spots at UCF.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – More than 8,000 students will graduate from the University of Central Florida this week during six commencement ceremonies that run from May 3-5.
These will be John C. Hitt’s last commencement ceremonies as president of UCF, as he will retire from the presidency on June 30. In UCF’s 54-year history, more than 318,000 degrees have been awarded and 82 percent of them were conferred by Hitt. One of Hitt’s strategic goals has been to ease access to a quality and affordable education, a philosophy that has led to UCF being the leading producer of bachelor’s degrees in the country.
During Hitt’s 26 years as president:
· Enrollment has increased 211 percent, from 21,267 students in 1991-92 to 66,180 students in 2017-18.
· Enrollment of minority students has grown to 46 percent of the student body, up from 15 percent at the start of Hitt’s presidency.
· The number of students who are the first in their families to attend college has grown. One in every four UCF students is the first in his or her family to attend college.
Hitt is set to confer 6,788 bachelor’s degrees, 1,183 master’s degrees and 147 doctoral degrees. Of this graduating class, more than half of those receiving bachelor’s degrees are low income, and more than 25 percent of these graduates are the first in their families to earn a post-secondary degree.
Among the first generation students graduating this week are a healthcare researcher and advocate for the DACA and undocumented population; a future MIT and Harvard researcher who overcame the trials of growing up in an environment that promoted drugs and crime; and a Puerto Rico native who partnered with internationally known musicians to record a song for the island after the hurricane. Summaries of their stories are attached. Interviews can be made available but must be arranged in advance.
Commencement speakers include:
· Tom Kuntz, retired president and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Florida and former Florida Board of Governors chair
· Jeb Bush, former Florida governor
· Buddy Dyer, Orlando mayor
· Carolyn Roberts, founder and president of Roberts Real Estate and former Florida Board of Governors chair
· Jim Heekin, attorney at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed
· Teresa Jacobs, Orange County mayor
See here for the schedule of ceremonies and speakers.
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