On March 9, 2018, the University of Central Florida’s next-in-line president was announced to be Provost Dale Whittaker.
At the announcement meeting, current UCF president of 26 years John C. Hitt wrote a heartfelt letter to Whittaker, who will be presiding over the university for the future ahead should the Florida Board of Governors confirm the vote.
Knight News obtained a copy of this letter which has been reproduced below.
Congratulations on being selected as UCF’s next president!
Since your arrival in 2014, I have relied upon your intellect, counsel, and friendship. You are a trusted and tested leader, and placing UCF in your hands inspires confidence in our future.
As you will soon know, the UCF presidency is a challenging job. But it’s also the most rewarding you’ll ever have.
Our students, faculty, alumni and supporters are some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever meet. From teaching to research to community service, Knights are changing lives here at home … and around the world.
You will better seize opportunities because of the ingenuity, creativity, and vision of the people around you. In times of struggle, their spirit and dedication will lift you.
Listen to those around you. Lead with a servant’s heart. And never stop learning, never stop being curious and never stop believing in the people of UCF.
You know well the university you inherit. UCF is a place where big dreams – when combined with hard work – become reality. I am convinced that your experience has prepared you well for the task ahead.
Martha and I frequently say that being at UCF has been one of the greatest joys of our lives. I hope you and Mary will feel similarly.
We look forward to working with you and Mary to ensure a smooth transition. You have our most sincere wishes for a prosperous and satisfying president.
John C. Hitt”