A new campus treasure along Memory Mall

Address at the dedication of the Classroom II building dedication, UCF Memory Mall
November 8, 2013

Thank you for that very kind introduction, and welcome to this special dedication ceremony of the UCF Classroom II and ROTC Building. What a great day for our faculty and students, our ROTC program, our military and veterans partners, and our campus community.

This new building is a jewel among our facilities, and Memory Mall, which includes the Veterans Memorial behind you, is an ideal place for this terrific new structure.

A number of dignitaries are here for this memorable occasion. They include

  • UCF Board of Trustee members, the honorable Robert Garvey and Dr. Reid Oetjen, who is also chair of the Faculty Senate, and trustee emerita Phyllis Klock,
  • several state and local elected officials,
  • representatives of our active duty military and representing all of our veterans, Lt. Col. Ret. Earle Denton, a true hero and American patriot,
  • and we are very pleased to see with us this afternoon U.S. Representative John Mica, whom you will hear from in just a moment.

UCF prides itself on being America’s leading partnership university, and this new building showcases the power of partnerships to advance objectives vital to our country and to our community.

As we reflect on the progress of UCF in its 50th anniversary year, we underscore a campus tradition of exceptional training for young people who have chosen to serve our country. Today, it pleases me to stand in front of a new facility that is worthy of our outstanding Air Force and Army ROTC programs.

Our ROTC students and their leaders will enjoy features that include

  • a heritage hall study space,
  • day rooms for cadets with study offices, kitchenettes, and break rooms,
  • a virtual training lab,
  • a multipurpose room that can be used for presentations and drill practice,
  • and offices for administrative work and recruiting.

Aside from its space for ROTC, this new $23.4 million, 80,000-square-foot building provides more of the leading-edge learning spaces that all our dedicated faculty members and all our students deserve and need.

Each week starting in January, this building and its seven new classrooms will host thousands of students.

They will pursue studies ranging from flight mechanics and nutrition to engineering and music. State-of-the-art features in the classrooms include:

  • electric outlets under all the seats,
  • high definition projection screens,
  • touch-screen monitors and high-definition document cameras for professors,
  • and consoles for faculty members that adjust to fit their individual heights and preferences. How liberating is that?

The outdoor courtyard includes wi-fi, shaded benches, and an appropriate display for our American flag. Behind me is one of the building’s most distinguishing features: this spectacular sculpture by renowned artist Malcolm Robertson, who, unfortunately, could not be with us.

The title of this artwork, “We See the Same Stars,” fits well with the UCF motto of “Reach for the Stars,” and its placement at the ROTC entrance is a vivid reminder of the stars and stripes that unite us as Americans.

This new building is a jewel among our facilities, and Memory Mall, which includes the Veterans Memorial behind you, is an ideal place for this terrific new structure.

UCF strives to provide the best undergraduate education in Florida, and this facility is a valuable new ally in our pursuit of that key goal.

Now, it is my pleasure to introduce a great friend of the University of Central Florida, the ROTC, and our armed forces, our own Congressman John Mica.