The University of Central Florida community is invited to join the celebration of John C. Hitt’s 25th anniversary as president on March 1.

President Hitt, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, UCF Board of Trustees Chairman Marcos Marchena and others will speak at the event in the Student Union’s Pegasus Ballroom. The event will be from 2-3:30 p.m. with refreshments and a reception to follow the program, which will be streamed live on UCF’s Facebook account for those who are unable to attend.

Hitt and his wife, Martha, joined the UCF family on March 1, 1992. In his inauguration speech, he said, “We see UCF as a vital cultural and intellectual resource and as an indispensable force for economic development for all of Central Florida.” To act on that vision, he established five key goals to guide the growth of UCF. They include:

  1. Offer the best undergraduate education available in Florida
  2. Achieve international prominence in key programs of graduate study and research
  3. Provide international focus to our curricula and research programs
  4. Become more inclusive and diverse
  5. Be America’s leading partnership university

Over the course of 25 years, tremendous progress has been made in all five of those strategic areas, including:

  • UCF’s enrollment grew from 21,267 in 1991-92 to 64,318 in 2016-17.
  • The average freshman SAT score rose from 1011 in 1991-92 to 1262 in 2016-17, and the average GPA of current incoming freshman is a 4.0.
  • Research dollars increased 413 percent, from $28.4 million to $145.75 million today.
  • Minority enrollment has grown to 44 percent of the student body.
  • Key partnerships include DirectConnect to UCF with state community colleges, the College of Medicine with Medical City at Lake Nona, and with the U.S. Department of Defense for the construction of buildings in the Central Florida Research Park to support growth of the modeling and simulation industry.
  • “I fervently believe that UCF will become America’s leading metropolitan university,” the president said in his inauguration speech. “With your help and support, we will move forward together – in partnership – to write the next chapter in the saga of a university destined for greatness.”

    See here for more on the anniversary celebration.