Skip to main content

A Big Announcement

After 26 years, John C. Hitt announced he is retiring from the UCF presidency in 2018.

Fall 2017
On October 24, John C. Hitt announced he was stepping down as president of UCF, effective June 30, 2018. Hitt and his wife, Martha, arrived on campus in 1992 and have since dedicated their lives to making UCF one of the largest and best universities in the nation. For 26 years, Hitt fostered partnerships to expand UCF’s offerings and inclusion to increase students’ opportunities to earn college degrees. In turn, his vision not only transformed the UCF community, but the entire Central Florida region. Hitt will continue to be a part of the Knight family even during retirement, helping to advance philanthropic, community and partnership goals as president emeritus.

$2.23 Billion 
Earned in research funding since 1992 

Minority students enrolled at UCF in Fall 2017. This is more than the total enrollment in 1991–92, which was 21,267 students. 

National Merit Scholars enrolled since 2002 

New degree programs

Average GPA for this year’s freshmen. The average GPA for freshmen in 1995 was 3.34. 

Consecutive years UCF has had the highest student-athlete graduation success rate in the nation
President Hitt meets with leadership in his conference room to discuss the transition.
Marcos Marchena ’82, chairman of the UCF Board of Trustees, addresses President Hitt.
President Hitt takes a moment to reflect before taking the stage at the press conference.

The crowd gives President Hitt a standing ovation as he takes the stage.
President Hitt announces his retirement from the UCF presidency with his wife, Martha, at his side.

“When we first visited campus, [Martha and I] had a powerful feeling that UCF was a special place. We never could have imagined then how very special it would become.”
President John C. Hitt

Vice President and Executive Chief of Staff Rick Schell, UCF Foundation CEO Mike Morsberger and Vice President of Student Develop and Enrollment Services Maribeth Ehasz were in the front row to show their support for Hitt.
“I’ve never felt better about the future of UCF. I make this decision in good health and of my choosing. The time is right for this decision because I’ve never felt better about UCF.”
— President Hitt
President Hitt wears a gold Pegasus ring on his finger as a sign of his commitment to, and love for, UCF. 
Martha joins President Hitt on stage at the conclusion of his announcement. 
Those gathered give President Hitt a standing ovation as he takes a seat.
“For me as a coach, he hired me, and I’m eternally gratefully for the opportunity he’s given me. I love UCF and love the opportunity here, so I’m going to miss him.
— Men’s Basketball Head Coach Johnny Dawkins

UCF Provost Dale Whittaker smiles as he applauds President Hitt.
UCF Board of Trustees Chairman Marcos Marchena, who will lead a committee in a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive search for the next president of UCF, discusses the transition. The search committee convened by Marchena include trustees and representatives from the faculty, staff, student body, alumni, the Florida Board of Governors and the Central Florida community. 
President Hitt speaks to a group of reporters after his speech.
SGA President Nick Larkins and Vice President Cristina Barreto represented the student body at the press conference.
“Making this decision now provides the best opportunity for our momentum to continue. I know that our leadership team, including our trustees, vice presidents, and deans, will continue turning big dreams into reality.
— President Hitt