The University of Central Florida is an anchor of Central Florida’s $5 billion modeling and simulation industry, so it’s no surprise that half of the inaugural inductees into a new industry hall of fame have black-and-gold connections.

UCF President John C. Hitt, former U.S. Rep. Lou Frey, UCF alumni Albert Henry Marshall and Priscilla Getchell, and scholarship donor Vince Amico were inducted today into the new National Center for Simulation’s Modeling and Simulation Hall of Fame.

Joining some of the Army, Air Force and Navy’s earliest pioneers of simulation, the five with UCF ties were honored during a ceremony at the Orange County Convention Center, the home of the new hall of fame.

Hitt, who has served 22 years as UCF’s president, was honored for leadership in advancing academic excellence in the field and for creating “an environment of partnerships, discovery and research.”

During his tenure, the university has constructed three partnership buildings in the Central Florida Research Park. UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training and U.S. military agencies share the partnership buildings, which have helped the university and military expand research in areas such as medical simulation, high-performance computing and mobile applications for training.

“Together, our efforts at the Central Florida Research Park highlight a model alliance that is not replicated anywhere else,” Hitt said. “We are a vital force for expanding the economic prosperity of Central Florida and of our great state, and we help prepare America’s warriors for their challenges in protecting the freedoms of us all.”

Frey, who founded UCF’s Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government, was recognized for his fight to keep the Naval Training Device Center in Orlando in 1971. His efforts as a second-term congressman helped to keep in Orlando the entity that has since thrived and become the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, or NAWCTSD.

Marshall, who earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UCF in 1973, was recognized posthumously for “his service to the nation as an engineer, physicist and inventor for the U.S. Navy.” He held more than 30 patents and was a pioneer for breakthroughs that led to substantial changes in live training and virtual-target systems.

Getchell, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1982, was recognized for her service as a member of the U.S. Navy Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). She was a ground school instructor during World War II, and she helped train hundreds of Navy pilots. She achieved the rank of chief petty officer after only three years of service.

Amico, a UCF honorary-degree recipient who has established a scholarship for UCF modeling and simulation students, was honored for “a lifetime of dedicated service to the nation in conducting research, engineering and systems acquisition of simulators for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Army.” He introduced new digital technology and sensor simulations, and he improved visual systems for training devices, making military training more effective.

The other five inductees were:

  • Rear Adm. Luis de Florez, who institutionalized synthetic training with the Navy during World War II.
  • Richard C. Dehmel, a scientist who developed and implemented the first mathematical flight models for simulations.
  • Retired Gen. Paul Francis Gorman, who revolutionized Army training and the effective use of simulators.
  • Retired Gen. John P. Jumper, the 17th chief of staff for the Air Force who set distributed mission training policies for the Air Force.
  • Edwin Albert Link, the “father” of simulation technology and the inventor of the Link Trainer flight simulator.