Posted Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 6:40 PM
It’s often said that a crisis builds character.
However, my experience is that a crisis more often reveals character.
In the past week, Hurricane Irma revealed that UCF is home to the most dedicated and compassionate students, faculty, staff, and alumni anywhere in the country.
I think of the essential university personnel who helped prepare us for Irma, rode out the storm on campus, and immediately began restoring normal operations. On behalf of Knights everywhere, I thank you for your selfless service, especially as many of you dealt with personal impacts from Irma.
About 150 student residence hall assistants stayed at our campus ride-out locations, caring for more than 1,600 students during the storm. These student leaders have my admiration and appreciation.
As a public university, we have a special duty to serve our community. That’s why I am pleased that nearly 1,000 National Guard troops have called Spectrum Stadium home while they help Floridians recover from the storm.
While I share our fans’ disappointment at how Irma has disrupted our football season, I also share their pride in seeing UCF give the National Guard everything it needs to help our community.
As life slowly returns to normal, it’s important to remember that many members of our UCF family face continuing challenges — especially students from communities directly in Irma’s path. With that in mind, I encourage you to join me in making a convenient online gift to the Knights Helping Knights fund to help our students recover.
UCF Foundation Board Chair Nelson Marchioli, UCF class of ’72, has generously pledged to match the first $25,000 in contributions. For Hurricane Irma, donations to the fund also will support our faculty and staff.
In times such as these, your dedication and compassion remind me what an honor it is to serve as president of this outstanding university.