Board of Governors Chair Ned Lautenbach recognized Lockheed Martin as a State University System Business Champion on Wednesday, starting a new tradition designed to highlight companies with outstanding university partnerships.

The award, an expansion of the State University System’s Think Florida: A Higher Degree for Business initiative, was created by Chair Lautenbach to honor businesses that work with universities to promote student success, advance research, and create a better Florida for all citizens.

“Lockheed Martin exemplifies exactly how partnerships between our universities and businesses can lead to enhanced opportunities for our students and improved research capabilities that benefit our entire state,” Chair Lautenbach said. “We’re excited for this opportunity to show our appreciation.”

Lockheed Martin has partnerships throughout the State University System, including the following at UCF:

  • The College Work Experience, which each year provides more than 650 UCF students the opportunity to gain work experience in their field of study. Lockheed Martin hires about half of the students seeking employment following the program.
  • The Lockheed Martin UCF Academy, which has enabled more than 550 teachers in Central Florida to obtain their master’s degrees, impacting thousands of children by providing essential support for math, science and technology education throughout our region.
  • Funding the Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair position at UCF. Support from Lockheed has given UCF researchers the time and opportunity to develop a patented teacher simulation tool that benefits more than 50,000 teachers across the globe annually.
  • UCF Trustee Beverly Seay said, “I couldn’t be happier to have the inaugural award presented at UCF. Partnership is deeply embedded in our culture, and Lockheed Martin is one of our most outstanding and impactful partners. It’s no secret to those in our region that Lockheed Martin hires many UCF graduates as engineers and computer scientists, but the company’s impact on our campus and in our community goes much further.”

    “As a proud University of Central Florida alumnus, I’m honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of Lockheed Martin,” said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The company believes that advancing education and increasing opportunities for students requires strong collaboration among industry, educators, policy makers and families, and we look forward to continuing our support of these programs well into the future.”