ORLANDO, Fla (WOFL FOX 35) - On Tuesday the University of Central Florida accepted the largest private donation so far to support the downtown campus. Doctor Phillips Charities pledged 3-million dollars to the new campus.
Students we spoke with at the main campus are thrilled. "I think it's awesome, I think it's such a great opportunity for UCF,” said UCF Senior Raquel Toro.
UCF students say this is another step closer to making the downtown campus a reality and that some would transfer to the new campus. "It's a closer campus (to me) and I feel like the energy down there, every student, is going to be real excited for it,” said another student Samantha Rancharan.
Dr. Phillips Charities presented the check during a press conference Tuesday morning. "Today's investment to downtown, demonstrates our shared commitment in making education accessible to all students across central Florida,” said Dr. Phillips Charities CEO Kenneth Robinson.
Mayor Buddy Dyer said the new campus will help create 2,000 jobs. "It's a campus that will serve as an anchor for our creative village and our continued efforts to revitalize Parramore. It's a campus that will help us attract new, creative, knowledge-base companies, and a talented workforce too,” stated the Orlando Mayor.
UCF has raised 16-million dollars in community support. The goal is to raise $20-million to match the University and the city's contribution to the downtown campus. That investment plan is called their 20/20/20 vision. University leaders will present plans for the campus on Wednesday to the Florida Board of Governors for approval. However Governor Rick Scott has vetoed the plan last summer.
UCF's president said this time things are going to be different. "I'm reasonably confident (it’ll pass), I don’t want to speak for the governor and I’m sure he'll take a look at everything when it's all ready for his consideration,” said UCF President John Hitt.
Pending approval from the board of governors, the brand new downtown campus will open in the fall of 2018.