Archive for January, 2014

The Princeton Review Names UCF as 1 of Nation’s ‘Best Values’

January 31, 2014

UCF Today     By gkruckemyer      Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The University of Central Florida is again one of the nation’s “best value” universities, according to The Princeton Review’s annual analysis of 2,000 institutions around the nation.

The Princeton Review, one of America’s best-known education services and test-preparation companies, named 150 “best value” institutions—75 public universities and 75 private colleges—with UCF again returning to the annual list.

The list was based on surveys of undergraduate institutions concerning their academics, cost of attendance, faculty-to-student ratio, and financial aid. The company said it also analyzed student survey data collected during the past three academic years.

Only the top 10 schools on the list are ranked in order, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill coming in at No. 1.

UCF also was named last month by Kiplinger’s magazine as one of the nation’s 100 best values among public colleges and universities, the fourth consecutive year UCF has made the list.

UCF placed 42nd in the annual compilation, the same ranking as 2012. Kiplinger’s ranks institutions on criteria such as student-faculty ratios, admission rates, on-time graduation rate, sticker price and financial aid. The list was drawn from nearly 600 public four-year schools around the nation.


UCF aims to build retirement community near campus

School, foundation buy 59 acres for $6 million

By Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel    7:01 p.m. EST, January 23, 2014

UCF is planning a retirement community near campus that will allow residents to recapture a bit of their college years, with access to classes, athletic events and the arts.

The school and its foundation this month acquired 59 acres about a mile from campus in southeast Seminole County for $6 million, with plans for a development offering independent living, assisted living and memory-care housing for Alzheimer’s patients.

Robert Holmes, chief executive of the foundation, said the purchase of the property along Old Lockwood Road was a “significant step” toward realizing an idea discussed for more than eight years.

“The project is great in its concept,” Holmes said. “But a project isn’t a project until you’ve got the land. It took a while to locate a piece of land, and then it took time to work with the sellers to come to an agreement.”

As planned, construction would start within three years on a community that eventually would have about 500 residents in independent-living villas, assisted-living condominiums and memory-care units.

Modeled after Oak Hammock near the University of Florida in Gainesville, the development is aimed at UCF alumni and others seeking a college environment. Residents would have access to university classes, lectures, athletic events, the library and performing-arts events. About half of Oak Hammock residents are UF alumni, and the rest were drawn to living in a college town.

The foundation is studying examples across the country to determine the best options for partnerships with schools.

“Our concept here is to have the university at their fingertips,” Holmes said. “And with that, the university would treat them as VIPs so they could come onto campus and feel as though they are a part of things.”

In addition, UCF students studying everything from physical therapy to business management could do internships there, he added.

The “Continuing Care Retirement Community” concept has been popular near university campuses in recent decades and reflects the maturation of UCF, whose early graduates are reaching retirement age. Holmes estimated that residents in the proposed community would be an average of 70 years old. Since its founding in 1963, UCF has grown to have a student body of about 60,000 — one of the largest in the country.

Nationally, an estimated 745,000 residents live in continuing-care communities, which offer advancing levels of care as people age. Typically, residents sell their homes to cover an “entry fee” and pay additional monthly charges.

UCF has not set rates for its proposed development, but a 2010 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office surveyed eight communities and found the price of admission ranged from $160,000 to $600,000 per person and that monthly charges ranged from $2,500 for independent-living arrangements to as much as $5,400 for nursing care.

Read the complete story:,0,1618994.story


A Message From the President: Sara Segal

January 28, 2014

Welcome, 2014! Say so long to year-end reminiscing with a last look back at our fall schedule of programs on student success and The Center for Emerging Media, the annual Holiday Tea and an array of University events including Countdown to Kickoff, Dean’s Speaker Series, Global Perspectives, football and basketball, arts and culture, and additional UCF activities open to all and enjoyed by a number of our members and guests. Whew!

Were you able to participate? I hope so and hope you were inspired to share what you experienced. My goal and our board’s is to increase opportunities to connect university and community. My wish is that you will find the time you invest in Town & Gown worthwhile, fulfilling, and fun.

From hopes and aspirations, heartened by new year’s optimism and anticipation, resolutions take shape. Have you made your own? Will you join me in resolutions for Town & Gown? …to enrich your life by attending our programs and additional events …to visit UCF in order to explore and enjoy on your own …to discover how UCF is positively changing lives and communities and to spread this knowledge where it is unknown.

Our year’s ambitious second half will open doors to exceptional aspects of UCF through our annual Friendship and Spring programs, theater outings, speaker series, field trips, and cultural events at UCF. Websites like and, list news and events of interest each day that require just minutes to read and share. Join us in person and online! Let us know how we can help.

With best wishes for 2014 and appreciation always,

Sara Segal

Sara Segal

UCF has a great story.

Know it. Share it.

Experience it. Enjoy it.


UCF Developing ‘Smart Grid’ for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

The Energy Chronicle: Energy News from the Florida Solar Energy Center, a Research Institute of the University of Central Florida   By Sherri Shields

COCOA, October 24, 2013 – As interest in electric vehicles continues to keep the automotive industry charged, the nation is strategizing how to best integrate plug-in vehicles with its electrical grid and highways. Now, with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the creation of the first transportation center with a focus on electric vehicles, the University of Central Florida will help chart that course in Florida.

The Electric Vehicle Transportation Center operated by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center is a newly funded, four-year, $9 million research effort to help create the nation’s electric-vehicle transportation network. Research conducted by the center will help transportation planners prepare our nation’s highways for the influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), while developing “smart grid” applications that will strengthen the ability of our electric system to accommodate the power demands of electric vehicles. PEVs need a reliable, predictable network of charging stations to allow them to travel long distances without the fear of “running out of fuel.” Workplace charging, community charging, and highway fast-charging systems are in development. A new PEV transportation network designed in conjunction with the modernization of our electric grid system will result in a sustainable highway and energy network.

Photograph of electric vehicle only parking

“Today, electric vehicles—using Florida utility power—operate at an equivalent gasoline price of 99 cents a gallon,” said FSEC director James Fenton. “With fuel costs that low, it’s no surprise projections indicate that Florida will have as many as 500,000 electric vehicles on its roads within 10 years, placing an unprecedented demand on today’s utility grid.”

Plug-in electric vehicle sales in the U.S., led by the Volt, Leaf and plug-in Prius, were 50,000 in 2012. The upward trend in sales is expected to continue during the next several years as automakers introduce up to 40 different plug-in models.

Transformation of the U.S transportation system into one that uses electricity and its integration into a dynamic electrical grid will occur over many years and require extensive research and development.

The new Electric Vehicle Transportation Center will leverage the resources of the University of Central Florida and its partner universities – the University of Hawaii and Tuskegee University – to conduct the research and development, and to train and support the scientists, engineers and technicians of the future.

The University of Central Florida’s EVTC is among 33 universities funded to address critical transportation challenges facing the nation. To view a map of the selected universities, go to:

For more information, contact the EVTC program director David Block at or 321-638-1001.

About FSEC: The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the nation. Current divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation fuels, batteries, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating, and photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. For more information about the center, visit or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.

50 Years of Achievement: The University of Central Florida, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. UCF has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation, and today the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. Known as America’s leading partnership university, UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region’s success now and into the future. For more information, visit






Nicholas Nickleby at Orlando Shakes in collaboration with Theatre UCF

January 15, 2014

January 22 – March 9, 2014

A cast of 27 actors plays over 150 characters in this exhilarating two-part comic masterpiece that captures Dickens’ genius
for combining exuberant characters, theatrical spectacle, and captivating emotion. Winner of both the Tony Award ® for Best Play and The Olivier Award for Play of the Year, this epic event has never been produced in Central Florida.

Left penniless by the death of his father, young Nicholas Nickleby assumes responsibility for his mother and sister and seeks help from his Scrooge-like Uncle Ralph. Instantly disliking Nicholas, Ralph sends him to teach in a school run by cruel headmaster Wackford Squeers. Nicholas decides to escape, taking with him the orphan Smike, one of Squeers’s most abused young charges, and the two embark on a series of adventurous encounters with an array of humanity’s worst and best—greedy fools, corrupt lechers, cheery innocents, and selfless benefactors.

Will Nicholas truly escape from the evil clutches of Squeers? Can he save his sister from the exploitations of his uncle? Stay tuned!

EMAIL OR CALL 407-447-1700 ext. 265 to reserve your seats today.

For dates of Parts I and II:
This post has additional files. Download the PDF(s) below:
Nickleby Packet