Student pride a root of UCF achievement
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 12:08
UCF is huge.
It’s monstrous. It’s enormous. It’s massive and immense and colossal, and, well … The university is just very, very big.
It’s the second-largest university in the United States in terms of student enrollment, with 58,698 students registered this past fall.
The main campus harbors more than 1,400 acres with 158 permanent buildings, while UCF’s other campuses and centers collectively hold 10,369,661 gross square feet.
Its resources serve 11 of Florida’s 67 counties: Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia.
But I digress, because there is much more to UCF than its sheer size. Our school, our future alma mater, is larger than its student population. It amounts to the impressive accomplishments made by past and present Knights who proudly encompass all that it means to be a student of the grandest university in Florida.
Afia Charles embodied this impressiveness when she was chosen to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 400-meter dash. This summer, Charles was invited to represent Antigua, at the world’s biggest arena in London, a mere six weeks before the beginning of the games. In doing so, Charles became UCF’s first-ever track & field Olympian.
Scholar-athletes were not the only Knights that were making headlines this year. UCF researcher Kevin Stevenson led a team that discovered a potential new planet outside our solar system earlier this summer. Of course, Stevenson and his colleagues’ impressive and historic discovery merited an equally prestigious name: UCF 1.01.
How many college students across the nation can say that there is a planet named after their school?
About 58,000 is my guess.
The university has had some remarkable achievements this past year.
Twelve Burnett Honors College students embarked on the President’s Scholars Program, a two-week trip to St. Kitts and Nevis where they participated in an interdisciplinary approach to service learning.
The Campus Activities Board brought the university its largest concert to date, GreenWaves III, which marked the school’s first-ever interactive concert. And, back in November, the College of Education’s generosity ensured that 30 families at Eccleston Elementary would sit down to a hearty Thanksgiving dinner without worrying about having enough.
The university’s pulse rests in the students, those individuals who are proud of their team, their school and the students who attend it, whether past, present or future. It resides in the excitement that resonates throughout the campus, an invisible electric current that emanates from each and every facet of our school.
It’s the exorbitant amount of camaraderie, the enormous hearts of the students and the vast amounts of academic, athletic, spiritual and mental determination that define our student body.
It’s the very pride and bigheartedness embodied in every single Knight, which makes the university much greater than it would be otherwise.