By Wendy Sarubbi | December 22, 2014 1:39 pm

Commencement ceremonies December 12-13 for more than 5,000 UCF graduates included honorary doctorate degrees bestowed on two community leaders who made significant contributions to the College of Medicine.

Real estate developer Alan Ginsburg, who helped lead the UCF College of Medicine Capital Campaign and whose donation established the college’s Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library in honor of his late wife, received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service. Rick Walsh, a founding member of the UCF Board of Trustees, the 1985 UCF Distinguished Alumnus Award winner, and a former senior vice president of Darden Restaurants, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science.

Ginsburg received his honorary doctorate at the 9 a.m. December 12 commencement for graduates of the UCF colleges of Education and Human Performance, Health & Public Affairs and Rosen College of Hospitality Management. In presenting the honorary degree, UCF President John C. Hitt thanked Ginsburg for his selfless and generous contributions to “public service,” including construction of Florida Hospital’s Ginsburg Tower and scholarships to Rollins College and the UCF College of Medicine. Ginsburg founded The CED Companies, which has built more than 85,000 affordable apartment residences.

In his remarks, the effervescent Ginsburg asked graduates to imagine what they would do if they received $86,400 in their bank account each day as a commencement gift – but had to spend it all in one day. They couldn’t save any dollars for the future and the automatic deposit could end at any time without warning. How would they spend the money? Then he explained that they had already received the gift. Each day of life is 86,400 seconds and there are no roll-over minutes for time unspent, he explained. “Enjoy every second of your life,” Ginsburg told the graduates. “It will race by faster than you can possibly imagine. Take time to help others. Take care of yourself. Be happy, Love deeply. Enjoy a very, very full life. Graduates, start spending.”

Walsh is president of the Knob Hill Group, a strategic counseling and development company, and has served on the UCF Foundation board for more than 10 years. He received his honorary doctorate at the 2:30 p.m. commencement on December 12 for the colleges of Arts & Humanities, Graduate Studies, Nursing, Sciences and the Office of Undergraduate Studies. President Hitt noted how Walsh had given back to the community – serving on more than a dozen corporate and volunteer boards, in addition to establishing One Blood and being a founding member of UCF’s Board of Trustees.

In his remarks, Walsh, who received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from UCF, talked about the growth of the university and the community around it. “We’ve grown up together,” he said of moving to Orlando 45 years ago and being stationed at the Orlando Naval Training Center, now the Baldwin Park neighborhood. His advice to graduates: Listen more, talk less and do more. “Be a part of many things that are bigger than yourself,” he said. “Leave it better than you found it.”


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