University of Central Florida students and faculty and the Central Florida community are the big winners as Knights from across the country and around the world supported UCF’s most successful Day of Giving ever.
The all-day fundraising event Thursday, April 13, raised over $6.8 million to expand life-changing scholarships, fuel innovative research, power championship athletics and support initiatives that enrich lives throughout Central Florida. UCF received more than 9,500 gifts, a record number, and they were made in all 50 states and 10 countries.
“The passion and support demonstrated for UCF continues to inspire us,” said UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. “We are extremely thankful for the generosity of our alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends on Day of Giving. With their help, we will continue to drive excellence, amplify student success, and enrich lives through research and creative works as we build the University for the Future together.”
Among those who generously supported UCF are foundations and individuals who combined to contribute a total of 14 gifts of at least $100,000.
Those gifts include a $1 million investment in the College of Business from Glenn Hubbard ’79 and his wife, Constance Pond. Hubbard is chairman of the board of MetLife Inc. and a dean emeritus and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at the Columbia Business School. He also served as chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush.
“We are truly grateful to everyone who joined us in celebration of Knight Nation on Day of Giving,” said Rodney Grabowski, senior vice president for Advancement and Partnerships and CEO of the UCF Foundation. “As the university for the future, we aspire to be among the most impactful universities in the country — and philanthropic support is crucial in helping us reach our goals. Yesterday’s results showed us that Black & Gold pride is stronger than ever, as a record number of donors rallied together to help us unleash potential. I could not be more grateful to be a Knight.”
Knights chose from over 175 funds, including the College of Nursing, which received 420 gifts. Many of those gifts support the future College of Nursing building at Lake Nona, which will help UCF graduate more nurses to help alleviate the nursing shortage. Among those gifts was a $100,000 contribution from the VNA Foundation, which supports community organizations that benefit home healthcare services and care for the elderly.
“Knight nurses are needed now more than ever. We are incredibly thankful for the support we received, which will help our students succeed in their studies and graduate to make a difference in the health of our communities,” said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the College of Nursing.
Some College of Nursing gifts also will support the Joyce DeGennaro Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which honors the legacy of alumna and faculty member Joyce DeGennaro ’03 ’09BSN ’13MS, who died from breast cancer in 2020 and leaves a lasting impact on the lives of nursing students, faculty and all who knew her. The scholarship supports UCF’s undergraduate nursing students like Alexis Wade.
“It means that the College of Nursing community and the DeGennaro family have faith in me that I will be successful in being a future nurse, and that I will represent Mrs. D’s name well,” Wade said.
Wade said she is immensely grateful to UCF Day of Giving donors who “truly enable students to be involved and to become successful because they have the opportunity to pursue their passions and areas that they might not have thought of otherwise.”
Other donors of gifts of more than $100,000 include:
- Chip and Zen Carling: Chip and Zen Carling Endowed Football Legacy Scholarship
- Ramesh and Neena Chopra: Indian Community Endowed Chair for the India Center
- Michael and Loretta Corey: Athletic Director’s Discretionary Fund
- Sean Hayes / VoLo Foundation: Football Excellence Fund, First Generation Scholarships, Scholarship for Students with Disabilities, Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator, College of Engineering and Computer Science Outreach, Student Accessibility Services and Inclusive Education Services, Joust New Venture Competition, BIGS Scholarships
- Terry D. McNew: Terry ’86 and Allison McNew Endowed Scholarship in Economics
- Michael and Jennifer Palmer: Football Excellence Fund
- Margery Pabst Steinmetz and Chuck Steinmetz: Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Arts and Wellness Innovation Awards
- Tavistock Foundation Inc.: Lewis Family Scholarship Fund (UCF Global)
- The Acahand Foundation: Knights Helping Knights Pantry
- VoLo Foundation and the Barry Miller Family: Women in STEM, Excellence in FinTech, First Generation Scholarships, Knights Leadership Academy and President’s Discretionary Fund
- Kevin and Christine Wydra ’93: Football Excellence Fund, Men’s Basketball Excellence Fund, Softball Excellence Fund and Baseball Excellence Fund
- Anonymous: College of Medicine