ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - More than 60 UCF student-athletes are set to graduate in either May or August. A Knights' Celebration was held Tuesday at the Bright House Networks Stadium Club room to honor that group.
UCF Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury addressed the soon-to-be graduates, telling them that this is not the end of their journey with UCF, rather it is just beginning.
"We're extremely proud of you. You've done some incredible things," Stansbury said. "But this is not the apex of your career. This is the launching pad of your career. We don't want all that you've accomplished to be the end. It's really just the start. You've done a great job and we know you're going to be incredibly successful and we want to be part of that. Make sure you stay close to us. Ultimately, what makes this program great and what we want to be defined by are not these accomplishments here - that sets the tone - but what are you doing five years from now? What are you doing 10 years from now?"
Stansbury asked the soon-to-be graduates to remember back to their first days on campus and think about how quickly their college careers passed by. He also reminded them that they will remain part of the UCF family beyond graduation.
"Some of you probably thought this day would never come," Stansbury said. "I'm sure there were times when you weren't sure. Now, those three letters will be associated with you for the rest of your lives. The teammates and the student-athletes that you've gone through this with will be your family for the rest of your lives. As student-athletes, we're so incredibly fortunate because we build those relationships that are hard to get any other way. What you're going to find is 20 years from now, you're going to be able to pick up that phone and you're going to know who you can count on when you need them."
In addition to Stansbury's remarks, men's soccer student-athlete Kyle Cox and women's rowing student-athlete Camille Everett both addressed their classmates.
"We're about to embark on the journey that is the rest of our lives," Cox said. "It really is amazing to think that after all the hard work, sacrifice and struggle we've endured over the last four or five years, all of our lives are just now beginning. Now, it's time for each of us to write our own stories. I can't think of another group that is more equipped to succeed in life."
"I decided to come to UCF because of the atmosphere," Everett said, recalling that she was in high school less than four short years ago. "The friendly and supportive environment made me feel comfortable accepting my scholarship to row here. I'm so glad that four years ago, I decided to become a member of the Black and Gold family."
The following is a list of each student-athlete honored Tuesday (listed by sport):