Alumnus Gets Elected to Public Office

mikeclellandUniversity of Central Florida alumnus Michael Clelland graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Unlike most students, who spend their free time between classes at the Student Union or at the mall, Clelland spent his days saving lives at the Longwood Fire Department. He began his service right out of high school and was promoted to lieutenant in 1987, again in 2002 as battalion chief, and ultimately served for 26 years.

After graduating from UCF, Clelland continued his academic career at Florida A&M University, where he earned a juris doctorate degree from its College of Law.

Clelland opened his own practice and focused on issues that affected firefighters and their families. In 2012, Clelland ran and was elected into the Florida House of Representatives for District 29.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Rep. Clelland and asked him about all things UCF.

What is your best UCF memory?

“I have many fond memories at UCF, most of which were typical classroom-setting discussions. Keep in mind, I was in my 30’s when I attended classes.”

How has UCF helped you get to the position where you can be an advocate for others?

“Through the general coursework in the political science department, I advanced my interest in politics and ultimately my run for office.”

As you know, the UCF Creed is Integrity, Scholarship, Community, Creativity and Excellence. How has the creed inspired the work that you do?

“My whole adult life has been spent serving the public. Out of high school, I became a firefighter and after retiring, I ran for and was elected to public office. I’ve always prided myself on integrity and excellence. My UCF experience solidified that.”

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

“To never let go of your dream, to accomplish whatever it is in life you seek to accomplish.”

Clelland embodies what it means to be a Knight, from his dedication to the public, to his academic achievements. UCF is proud to see one of its alumni serve the public so graciously and is excited to see all the great things that will come from the office of Florida House Representative Michael Clelland.

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