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The Dr. Phillips Charities foundation announced today that it would gift $3 million toward the Downtown UCF campus, according to a press release.

This is the largest private donation the project has received thus far.

Kenneth D. Robinson, the CEO of the foundation, said that the contribution was an investment in the future of the Orlando community’s children.

“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,” Robinson said in the press release. “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.”

The contribution will go toward the construction of the campus’ $60 million academic services building, a 165,000-square-foot facility which, together with the renovated Center for Emerging Media, will house around 7,700 students. Of this funding, $20 million will come from UCF, $20 million from the state and $20 million from private donors.

The foundation has previously contributed funds to the UCF colleges of medicine and business administration and the Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate, according to the press release.

Total private investment has now reached $16 million. Previous donations include three separate $1.5 million donations from Florida Hospital, CFE Federal Credit Union and the Orlando Magic basketball team. Yesterday, seven private donors announced a total contribution of $2.5 million to the project.

Tomorrow, the university will present its revised downtown campus plans to the Florida Board of Governors, who will vote on whether UCF will receive state funding for the project. Last year, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the university's revised $15 million funding request.

If funding is achieved, the campus will begin operations fall 2018.

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Bernard Wilchusky is the Editor-in-Chief of the Central Florida Future. You can reach him by email at bernardw@centralfloridafuture.com or on Twitter @cameradudeman.

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