Celebrating Ida Cook, a special UCF Knight

Retirement reception for Ida Cook, UCF professor and former UCF Board of Trustees member
Morgridge International Reading Center
, UCF campus
May 6, 2015

Today, we celebrate a special UCF Knight who has been a valuable member of our university family for nearly four decades.

Ida, it has been my great pleasure to work with you over these many years. During your remarkable career, you have served UCF with distinction, dedication, and passion in an array of important roles.

And you have helped UCF become one of the great success stories in American higher education.

Ida, you bleed black and gold. You have dedicated your life to this university, and we are all your beneficiaries.

In 1976, Ida began teaching at what was then Florida Technological University, which had 9,500 students. Now, before you do some math regarding Ida, consider that she was a child prodigy when she arrived … or so the legend goes!

And, over the years, Ida’s reputation as a champion for faculty and for the university she loves has continued to grow.

For 35 of her 39 years at UCF, Ida has been engaged with the work of the Faculty Senate. That’s by far the longest length of service on the Faculty Senate, folks! Ida also served for nine years as the chair of the Senate. That is five years longer than any other chair since the Senate was established in 1971. The breadth of her outstanding work with the Senate on behalf of faculty puts Ida in a class by herself.

But more significant is Ida’s defense of intellectual freedom and her advocacy of shared governance at UCF.

As a highly-regarded faculty representative on the UCF governing Board oPf Trustees, Ida ensured that the views of her fellow faculty members would be heard. And, during her four years as trustee, Ida contributed to the most important decisions regarding the operations and future of UCF.

For many years, she has graciously consented to serve on key university committees, most recently on the UCF Downtown Steering Committee.

And let us not overlook that Ida juggled all of her many activities over the years while teaching, aiding and mentoring students, and conducting research. And, in her “spare time,” she also helped to guide the city of Oviedo as an elected member of its city council.

Ida also has been one of our most enthusiastic fans of Knights athletic teams, especially football and men’s and women’s basketball. And everyone has to come recognize her voice when she shouts “Go Knights!”

Ida, you bleed black and gold. You have dedicated your life to this university, and we are all your beneficiaries.

I should also note that Ida holds the rare distinction of having worked with all four presidents of UCF … and she still smiles!

Thank you, Ida, for all making all of us smile so often these many years. And thanks for being such a tremendous asset to UCF, its students, its faculty, its staff, and its administration, along with being a wonderful ambassador to the community.

No matter where you may travel or what you may do from here, we know your heart will be with UCF and that you will charge on as a Knight.


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