In late October, donors who had made gifts or completed pledges of more than $25,000 in the past year were welcomed by President Hitt and his wife, Martha, to the couple’s residence for the annual President’s Appreciation Reception.

“Tonight, we are here to thank you, our most loyal and generous friends, for all you have done to enhance UCF,” Hitt told the group. “You are truly our partners for success.”

The reception culminated with the presentation of the President’s Award — given each year to honor a group or individual whose philanthropy has created an extraordinary impact at UCF — to the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, represented by Thomas P. “Picton” Warlow IV.

Martin Andersen, who established the foundation in the late 1960s with his wife, Gracia, was the influential owner-editor of the Orlando Sentinel for more than 30 years. He played a key role in Orlando’s development and, as a Founding Subscriber of UCF, put his own money on the line to help secure land for the campus.

Today, the Andersens’ foundation remains a valued partner to UCF, supporting some of the university’s most important initiatives, including the UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona.