Built By UCF: Morgan Ferrara

UCF Athletics 2018 Graduation Celebration

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – In advance of this weekend's commencement at UCF, women's soccer senior Morgan Ferrara attended the 2018 UCF Athletics Graduation Celebration and was chosen as one of two student-athletes to address her classmates. Her uplifting words from the event on April 24 are below. Click here to see the full slate of UCF Athletics' 2018 graduates, listed below.

It seems like just yesterday we were all bright-eyed and innocent walking into our first UCF orientation. We looked around and saw the people we would be spending the next few years with; really unaware of the world we were about to enter. When I first got to UCF, a later transfer, I was welcomed right away in to Tower 4...ah good ole' Tower 4, what a time it was…

They told us when we first got here how fast it's going to go by, but can you believe the time has really come? 

They didn't tell us in the next four years we would accomplish:
 - 14 American conference championships,
- 4 years straight of the highest Graduation Success Rate among all public universities
- 18 consecutive semesters of a 3.0 GPA or higher
- Thousands and thousands of hours of community service hours amongst all of us.

They tell us when we get here to believe in being built by UCF. But back then we didn't really know what that meant. Four years later, this is my best bet at it. Being built by UCF means being strong. It means caring for the person next to you and pushing them to be the best they can be. It means winning championships - national championships - achieving highly in the classroom, but most importantly, it means family.

UCF provided us with a family away from home. For some of my teammates and fellow student-athletes, it provided a home for those who have ventured across the world. Our teammates, they became our worlds.  For me, I knew at all times I could look left and right and know they had my back. I knew that at UCF, we aren't given teammates, but brothers and sisters.

Being built by UCF means building something so special that we'll get to tell our grandkids, "We played there, and we built that."

In the past four years we've heard about leaving our legacy. "What is your legacy going to be?" Well, back then I wasn't quite sure what they meant when they said that.

I hope that our legacy is this; we instilled a culture of competitive love. We made it known around here that we're going to look out for each other, show up on buses to a women's soccer conference championship. We're going to compete like crazy, cheer each other on, and, above all, we are going to love. We will love each other, love our school, love our coaches, and love this university with all that we have; because at the end of the day, that is what is going to propel this athletic department to a top 10 program.

It's easy to reflect on how much we've accomplished as a graduating class since we've been here, but what I am most excited to see is how far we go after this chapter ends. The people in this room are kind; they're caring and they're smart and I can say with upmost confidence that we will all succeed in our own ways. Whether it be playing professionally, entering the corporate world, or graduate school, no matter where life takes us, we will always have one thing in common: We were built strong by UCF. 

The University of Central Florida has prepared us to grab the bull by the horns - literally - and take on life head on.

So here's to us, those who have survived an 0-12 season and came out 13-0; those who have won a conference championship every year, those who have survived every 6 a.m. lift and devastating overtime loss; those who relived the Tower 4 glory days for five days and survived a hurricane together; those who celebrated with their teammates until the sun came up. I am proud to have known you all.

Thank you UCF, for everything.

Congratulations class of 2018, we did it!

2018 UCF Athletics Graduates
Baseball - Dallas Beaver, Austin Griffin, Logan Heiser, Eric Hepple, David Phrathep
Men's Basketball - Aubrey Dawkins, Nathan Laing, Djordjije Mumin, B.J. Taylor
Women's Basketball - Aliyah Gregory, Zakiya Saunders
Football - Chavis Dickey, Kyle Gibson, Case Harrison, Cedric Jordan-Williams, Christian Lezzer, Mac Loudermilk, Mark Messegeur, Wyatt Miller, Tre Neal, Josh Odigie, Caleb Perez, A.J. Wooten
Men's Golf - Manuel Elvira, Juuso Kahlos
Women's Golf - Kaeli Jones
Rowing - Darby Brooks, Zana Krakic, Ivana Krkljus, Viktorija Senkute, Nicole Snyder
Men's Soccer - Neico Regent, Joel Vartiainen
Women's Soccer - Bridget Callahan, Christine Creighton, Hannah Debose, Morgan Ferrara, Carol Rodrigues, Jen Vera
Softball - Megan Greenwell, Courtney Rotton
Men's Tennis - Danny Kerznerman, Korey Lovett, Tyler Pate, Harrison Richmond
Women's Tennis - Emilia Granstrom, Monica Matias
Track and Field/Cross Country - Jhane' Carter, Rosie Chamberlain, Anna Chamness, Marissa Codispodi, Gabby Durant, Kalleigh Forrester, Laura Korsmit, Bailey Ranson
Volleyball - Kia Bright, Taylor Wickey
Dance - Ariel Birchfield, Christina Clark, Hayley Lukin, Brittany Oldfield, Maria Renzoni
Cheer - Cooper Cassidy, Anthony Dicicco, Lauren Goldman, Samantha Gray, Jared Hayduke, Stephanie Hierholzer, Dallas Keeney, Madison Mitchell