Sports

UCF Introduces John & Martha Hitt Athletics Scholarship Fund

A new scholarship fund pays tribute to President John C. Hitt, who played football as a student at Austin College and has been active and engaged in collegiate athletics throughout his tenure at UCF.

By Andy Seeley |
June 28, 2018

(Photo by Nick Leyva ’15)

For 26 years and counting, UCF student-athletes’ biggest fans have been John and Martha Hitt. On the eve of President Hitt’s retirement, UCF Athletics is proud to announce the establishment of the John & Martha Hitt Athletics Scholarship Fund.

“As a former student-athlete himself and such a huge champion of the student-athlete experience, it is only fitting our scholarship program for student-athletes be named after President Hitt and Martha,” Danny White said.

“John and Martha have been advocates and great supporters of the Knights since they arrived at UCF,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White said. “That’s why it’s such an honor for UCF Athletics to lead the charge in establishing this scholarship fund to benefit our student-athletes with John and Martha Hitt’s name on it.”

White and his wife, Shawn, are also the first to make a 5-year gift commitment of a full scholarship to the John & Martha Hitt Athletic Scholarship Fund.

“A little less than three years ago, President Hitt entrusted me with the leadership of our athletic department,” White said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better man to work for. As a former student-athlete himself and such a huge champion of the student-athlete experience, it is only fitting our scholarship program for student-athletes be named after President Hitt and Martha.”

In addition to his duties as UCF President, Hitt has been active and engaged in collegiate athletics throughout his tenure. He has served on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and Board of Governors, and was a member of the NCAA Presidents Commission as well. Hitt has also been heavily involved in governance and guidance in both Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference.

As an undergrad at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, Hitt was a member of the Kangaroos’ football team as a lineman. He often refers to his experience when talking to or about UCF student-athletes. While athletics has been important to him for most of his life, sports never took a backseat to academics. Hitt even missed the final football game of his collegiate career to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), needed for him to attend graduate school.

Image of gold pin that says Hitt Squad in white with a monochrome image of John Hitt.In addition to the John & Martha Hitt Athletic Scholarship Fund, UCF is also encouraging donations to the First Generation Scholarships. Any donation made to either the John & Martha Hitt Athletic Scholarship Fund or First Generation Scholarships in an amount of $26 or more – to commemorate President Hitt’s 26-year tenure as UCF President – will receive a limited-edition Hitt Squad pin (pictured to left). All gifts to both funds are part of IGNITE, the $500 million Campaign for UCF.

For more information on multi-year commitments to the John and Martha Hitt Athletic Scholarship Fund, please contact UCF Athletics at 407-823-2086 or ChampionshipResources@athletics.ucf.edu.