Thank you, Knight Nation! As we express our gratitude and appreciation, we applaud all of you who supported our mission to unleash potential and celebrated all things Black & Gold during UCF Day of Giving 2024, April 11. In a 24-hour show of generosity, you helped raise more than $9.1 million for your university. That’s more than any previous UCF Day of Giving and a 34% increase from last year.

Continue to help UCF unleash the potential of our Knights.

Your contributions are emblematic of pride for all things Black & Gold and a belief in strengthening our local community, funding life-changing scholarships, championing world-class athletics, pioneering advanced learning facilities and curriculum, driving in-depth research and reinforcing our university’s global reputation.

“The incredible success of this year’s UCF Day of Giving speaks to the extraordinary pride in our university and for the exciting future we are building together,” UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright says. “We are thankful for the generosity of our alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends, and for the investments made in the causes closest to their hearts. These gifts will drive our excellence, support student success, advance exploration and discovery, and unleash potential.”

Celebration of Black & Gold Community

By making 10,356 gifts, inspired donors across the globe rallied together for the community-driven effort — supporting the university and areas that aim to empower Knights and solve the world’s most significant challenges. These contributions were made across all 50 U.S. states, as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

“We are truly grateful to Knight Nation for the outpouring of support on UCF Day of Giving,” says Rodney Grabowski, senior vice president for Advancement and Partnerships and CEO of the UCF Foundation. “Yesterday’s results are a testament to the strength, generosity and vision of the UCF family and a reminder of our collective power to accelerate progress. With each of these gifts, we celebrate — no matter what size, big or small — our capacity to do more.”

A Time to Get Involved

With more than 45 virtual challenges throughout UCF Day of Giving, Knights from across the country and around the world joined the global conversation and got behind fun challenges to boost support for the areas that mean the most to them. Leaderboards displayed on the UCF Day of Giving website kept track of their designated challenges in real-time. Among the top colleges and units by participation were the College of Arts and Humanities, UCF Athletics, the College of Health Professions and Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the College of Community Innovation and Education.

Participation in these events not only reminds students of the importance of philanthropy, but also has a way of igniting conversations about how their involvement, not just their donations, can make an enormous impact on UCF beyond the classroom. Kinesiology major Brooke Johnson embraced one of those discussions and joined 4EVER Knights, an organization that serves as a bridge between students and UCF alumni.

“Being involved in 4EVER KNIGHTS has provided me with so many experiences, including opportunities to educate fellow Knights about the power of philanthropy,” says Johnson, 4EVER KNIGHTS president. “UCF Day of Giving is my favorite day of the year because it is a day of celebrating all things Black and Gold. I love being at the Student Union Takeover each year to celebrate UCF with our student body and giving back to a school that provides so many amazing opportunities for students like me!”

John and Cynthia Chamberlin Gifts: Inspiring Women in STEM

The College of Sciences announced two significant gifts from alumni John ’91MBA and Cynthia Chamberlin ’95 ’98MBA, both of whom went back to school as a non-traditional students. The couple is providing immediate-use scholarships in support of women pursuing technical studies, and have decided to leave a legacy commitment, which will establish and endow the John E. and Cynthia A. Chamberlin Scholarship Fund in perpetuity.

Both John and Cynthia are ardent in their support of the advancement of women in science and technology. In fact, their advocacy is not only the inspiration behind creating a scholarship but was the impetus for a unique commitment leading up to their nuptials.

Back when they were saving to become spouses, John enthusiastically encouraged Cynthia to return to school to finish her bachelor’s in marketing. Cynthia re-enrolled and pursued her classes fervently, earning top grades along the way. Now, she wants to help non-traditional students like herself who choose to return and overcome odds to achieve success.

“The real heroes are the women going for science, technology, engineering and math,” says Cynthia, a board member of the UCF Women’s Club who has also given her time and energy to campus initiatives, including Town and Gown and the College of Science’s Women Supporting Science. “We admire the hard work and commitment those students dedicate to an incredibly hard craft. They have this incredible brain power that if they could just get their education — and for economics not to be the reason why they couldn’t — what a contribution to the world that becomes.”

The Taking Flight Foundation Scholarship: Increasing Access to Education

During UCF Day of Giving 2024, generosity from 4,679 donors supported more than 200 areas, including scholarships, which are critical to ensure students have the access and opportunity needed to be successful.

For students growing up in a single-parent home, educational expenses can be a significant burden. Business alumnus Mark Norato ’91 knows firsthand. He grew up in an impoverished neighborhood near Miami International Airport with his mother and brother. That experience was the motivation for him to create The Taking Flight Foundation and choose UCF Day of Giving to establish a . The scholarship aligns with The Taking Flight Foundation he launched and personally funded in honor of his mother’s career in the airline industry.

“I want the students who receive this scholarship to feel special,” says Norato, vice president for North American Partners in Anesthesia. “They are going to have access to a network of people who are willing to help them. I want these kids to have access to something I never had. It’s more than a scholarship, it’s a flight plan for life. If this changes the trajectory for just one student’s life — just one — it will be worth it.”

Continue to help UCF unleash the potential of our Knights.

UCF Day of Giving lasts one day, but your contributions will last a lifetime. By investing, you create impact — no matter the amount, areas supported or number of gifts. You empower every Knight to pursue their passions, chase their dreams and help make the world a better place. Thank you again, Knight Nation, for celebrating all that UCF has accomplished.