Univeristy of Central Florida
"We've just seen tremendous growth," says UCF President John Hitt.
"We really have matured quite a bit as an institution," says Hitt. A key to the research fund raising, he says, has been a concerted effort to target research efforts in areas important to the regional economy, including computer science, engineering, optics, photonics and digital film production.
The university reached several other milestones last year:
- It got the go-ahead to build an on-campus stadium to open in 2007.
- It kicked off a campaign that aims to raise $250 million by June 30. As of mid-January, it had raised $224 million.
- It finalized plans for a 10,000-seat convocation center set to open in 2007.
- It opened Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy downtown for graduate-level courses designed to educate workers for the electronic gaming industry.
- It enrolled more students from a county other than its home base of Orange County -- Broward.
And this month, Hitt will find out if the Board of Governors will allow UCF to build a medical college. The university envisions the proposed med school as the cornerstone of a "medical city" between UCF and Orlando International Airport and has already raised $32 million for it.