UCF honors President John Hitt for 26 years of black and gold

Hitt will retire this summer

ORLANDO, Fla. – University of Central Florida President John Hitt took the stage on Thursday and looked back at all the years he's dedicated to the Knights.

He explained to the crowd his highway to success.

"The depth of talent has grown and that doesn't just have linear impact, it's exponential," Hitt said. 
Hitt took over as president in 1992. Since then, the university's enrollment has tripled to 66,000 students. 
He also helped UCF expand its academic profile, giving Knights more avenues to achieve their dreams. 
"You make strong programs better and sometimes you enable the formation of new programs." Hitt said.
The 77-year-old has awarded more than 250,000 degrees in the last two decades. He said his biggest achievement was opening UCF's medical school.
"Seeing that first class graduate, the first class of physicians, what a proud moment," Hitt said.

Hitt is currently the longest-serving president in the State University System of Florida, according to UCF. He will retire this summer and plans on spending his retirement in Wisconsin with his family.

Last month, UCF officials announced Dr. Dale Whittaker will become the fifth president of the University of Central Florida.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!