Named one of Florida's "great modern history makers," UCF President John C. Hitt will be inducted into the Dick Pope Hall of Fame this November.

On Nov. 4, Central Florida leaders will gather for the Grand Tour Foundation's annual Dick Pope Awards, which acknowledge individuals who have fostered growth and development in the Sunshine State.

“It’s an honor, as a UCF alum, to produce the event immortalizing the tremendous works that President Hitt has accomplished for Central Florida and the university,” said the Foundation's Executive Director Mary Jo Ross in a press release.

The longest-serving president among state universities in Florida, Hitt has played a key role in transforming UCF into “a major metropolitan research university of global impact.”

Since Hitt started in 1992, enrollment at UCF has almost tripled, making it the second-largest university in the nation with more than 63,000 students. During his time at UCF, Hitt has brought to fruition a medical school in Lake Nona, several on-campus programs and buildings and a soon-to-be-constructed downtown campus, which will open in 2018.

Hitt will join inductees Chef Steve Jayson of Universal Orlando, philanthropist Arnold Palmer and the late Gary Sain, former president of Visit Orlando. All three men will be recognized on the new wall of the Dick Pope Hall of Fame, located in the Orange County Convention Center.


Shana Medel is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email her at

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