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The Big Presentation – 9.8.


Slide: Stacked UCF logo

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to be

here today. I’d like to start with a personal point of pride, if
I may.

I’m a native Texan – I grew up in Houston and played

football at Austin College, just 60 miles from here – so I
know what the Big 12 and its institutions mean to this
region and to fans around the country.

It’s an honor for UCF to be considered for membership

and for us to talk with you today.

We want to share the UCF story with you. Our story is one
of partnership between a university and its community. It’s
a story about the enduring determination, persistence, and
“can do” spirit of UCF and Orlando.

Slide: Our Future is Big

Part of our story is telling you what we’ve accomplished so

far and who we are today.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
But the most exciting part of the story is what’s yet to
come … our future.

Now make no mistake -- we’re proud of our successes. In

less than 50 years of classes, we’ve come to compete
academically and athletically with peers who have more
than a 100-year head start on us.

We believe our youth is one of our strengths. UCF is

nimble. Agile.

I’ve been at UCF for almost 25 years and we’ve never

been satisfied with what we have done. We look to the
future for what we will do. What’s next.

What’s next this morning is sharing how UCF fits with the
Big 12 today … and how, together, we can help shape the

Slide: BIG 12 mission

We were pleased to learn that one of the Big 12’s goals is

to encourage collaboration among member institutions. It’s
a commendable goal not seen in all athletics conferences.

When I first read this, the charge to collaborate with others

sounded familiar to me.
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

Slide: UCF Mission

That’s because one of the five goals I established for UCF

is to be “America’s leading partnership university.”

The pursuit of partnerships – be they academic, athletic,

cultural, or economic – is our university’s foundational

Partnerships have powered our most meaningful

achievements: a modern “Medical City” in Orlando, our on-
campus football stadium and arena, a new downtown
Orlando campus, and more.

And our partnership philosophy extends beyond Orlando

to across the country.

Slide: UIA logos

UCF is a founding member of the University Innovation

Alliance, a consortium of 11 large public research
universities. As a group, we are committed to increasing
the success of low-income and first-generation students.

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The University Innovation Alliance receives funding from
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation,
Lumina Foundation, and many more.

The Big 12 is well represented in the Alliance by Texas,

Kansas, and Iowa State. Through the University
Innovation Alliance, UCF has joined with the Big 12’s only
AAU institutions in doing what you ask members to do –
work together for the greater good.

Slide: UCF 50 years ago photo

Partnerships have been with UCF from the beginning. This

is our campus 50 years ago.

At that time, 89 local leaders pledged about $1 million of

their own money to buy the land for the new university that
would be UCF.

Thus began our strong relationship with the city of


This is where UCF began …

Slide: Phenomenal photo of current campus

… and this is where we are today.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

UCF is home to more than 64,000 students and we’re the

second-largest university in the country. The U.S. Census
Bureau reports that Orlando is the fastest-growing major
metropolitan region in the country.

Slide: Growth chart

As you see, UCF and Orlando are growing together. In the

next 10 years, as the Orlando region adds more than half
a million residents, UCF will add students and alumni.

You’re considering adding one of the fastest-growing

universities in the fastest-growing major metropolitan
region in our country.

You’re also looking at adding the nation’s most-visited

tourist destination, with more than 66 million visitors

That’s why we say the future for UCF and Orlando is big.

But what we know is that big is more than size … it’s how
we look at the world. We think big. We dream big.

And that habit of mind has led to some big recognitions.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Brag points from brand presentation

U.S. News ranks us with MIT, Stanford, and Harvard as

one of the most innovative universities in the country.

The Princeton Review and Kiplinger list us as one of the

most affordable and best-value educations in the country.

In the past year, PBS News Hour and Politico have

praised our work with low-income, first-generation, and
underrepresented students.

And last September, The Washington Post wrote a front-

page story about UCF and our mission to offer high-quality
degrees to our growing student population.

Slide: UCF Personality

But data points, rankings and quotations tell only part of

the story. We recently researched what those closest to
UCF think about us. One of the questions we asked was
“What is UCF’s personality?”

As you see, we’re described as bold, modern,

entrepreneurial, having a can-do spirit, energetic, and
young. Those are not our words – this is what was said
about us.
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

These aren’t traits you usually associate with a large

public research university.

But when I see them, I couldn’t be happier. For this is

exactly who we want to be.

Now, let me show you what our energetic, bold, and

modern campus looks like.

Cut to Video

Slide: High-Energy Video, 90 to 120 seconds

Slide: This is UCF

As you see, our vibrant campus attracts students from all

50 states and more than 150 countries from around the

Here is some additional information about who we are. Let

me highlight a few areas.

In addition to ranking UCF as a “Highest Research

Activity” institution, Carnegie Foundation also lists us as a
top university for “community engagement.”

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Research is on our minds right now, as in just a few hours,
an Atlas 5 rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral -- just
45 minutes from our campus – on a journey to intercept an

Two faculty members are mapping the surface of the

asteroid to determine the best place for NASA to look for
samples to bring back to earth. Our fingers are crossed for
a successful launch tonight.

Slide: This is UCF

While we offer a breadth of programs, we remain true to

our founding as an engineering institution designed to
support the space program during the 1960s. Today, our
College of Engineering and Computer Science is home to
approximately 10,000 students and produces outstanding
graduates – a few of whom I’ll talk about later.

In terms of post-graduation employment, Aviation Week

Magazine reported in 2015 and again in 2016 that more
UCF graduates receive jobs in aerospace and defense
companies than any other university in the nation.

Slide: This is UCF

Our fall freshman class has set records for average GPA,
SAT and ACT scores. Our 1263 average SAT two-score

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
compares to the 2015 national average of 1006 and state
average of 966.

As you will hear later, our diversity reflects that of our

growing and diverse Orlando community.

These are “just the facts” about UCF. As you can see,
we’re young, growing, and accomplished.

I’ve often told my colleagues at the University of Florida

and Florida State that comparisons between our
institutions should be based upon what they were like
when they were 50 years old. For some reason, they’re
not as interested in that comparison as we are.

But that’s OK, because even with the University of

Florida’s and Florida State’s 100-year head start, UCF
compares favorably to them today.

Slide: Florida’s No.1 Performing University

For instance, Florida is a performance-funding state. Most

new funds for higher education are allocated based on
performance in areas including graduation and retention
rates, post-graduation employment, continuing education,
and others.

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This year, UCF is No. 1 of the state’s 12 public universities
in those measures. In the four years the state has used
performance-based funding, we’ve been awarded first
place two times.

UCF is the only institution to be in the top three every year

the rankings have been in place.

Slide: Emerging Preeminence

UCF’s strong academic performance also led to the state

designating us as an “Emerging Preeminent” university.
Currently, the University of Florida and Florida State
University are the state’s preeminent institutions. State
leaders have identified UCF, along with USF, to join them.

This designation is based on student outcomes, research

funding, and faculty success measures. It also comes with
increasing funding, this year an additional $5 million.

Slide: Why are you big?

However, even with performance funding, emerging

preeminence and other quality measures, many people
come back to this question: why are you so big?

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
We’re big because we believe in access and opportunity.
We’re big because we believe lifting the lives and
livelihoods of more people, rather than fewer, results in a
stronger community and a stronger society.

Slide: Scale x Excellence = Impact

Our new strategic plan distills our approach to this


Folks, we’re in the impact business. And we use the power

of scale and the pursuit of excellence to make a better
future for our students and society.

But scale alone isn’t enough. We all know plenty of large

organizations that aren’t really very good. And, on its own,
excellence is not enough either – to make an impact, you
need to touch the many, not the few.

Let me show you what I mean.

Slide: Enrollment Growth

This slide shows the past 20 years of total enrollment

growth at UCF, from about 25,000 students in 1995 to
more than 64,000 today.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Now let’s isolate that red trend line.

Slide: Isolated Red Line

The prevailing thought is that if you compare this

enrollment growth line to quality measures, the quality
measures would trend in the opposite direction. That
quality must suffer the bigger you get.

Maybe elsewhere, but not at UCF.

Slide: Measures

When you look at incoming freshman statistics like:

• Average high school GPAs {{{PAUSE}}}

• ACT scores {{{PAUSE}}}
• and SAT scores {{{PAUSE}}}

They trend in the same direction as our growth. As I said

earlier, the 2015 national SAT average is 1006 and the
state average is 966. Both of those are trending lower
nationally as our average SAT scores are trending higher.

Slide: B Student

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I sometimes don’t have the heart to tell alumni that they’re
lucky to have gotten into UCF when they did. Today, they
wouldn’t make the cut.

Slide: Shorter headcount

Now let’s look at our growth over a shorter period of time.

And as we do, let me point out two things:

The first is that I’m not suggesting causation between

growth and increasing quality measures. These charts
simply represent what is happening at UCF: We’re
growing in size and excellence.

The second is that you might notice all of these charts

have a dip around 2005. That dip represents the year after
four hurricanes hit Florida in 45 days. These dips occurred
across the state system as Florida students and families
struggled with recovery efforts.

Slide: Isolated Red Line

Now, let’s isolate that red growth line again, and look at
outcome measures.

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Slide: Measures

• {{{PAUSE}}} Our first-year retention rate, which today

is about 90 percent, trends in the same direction.
• {{{PAUSE}}} So does our six-year graduation rate.

Many people think this type of growth in enrollment and

excellence can’t happen.

Slide: Statement

To that, we say, Look at the data: More students are

applying, staying, and finishing their degree than at any
time in the history of UCF.

Slide: Med School

This success is also seen in our College of Medicine. Our

med school graduated its first class in 2013, yet our young
program is already exceeding national averages in its
students’ performance on medical exams.

Slide: Medical City photo

Our medical school is the centerpiece of a high-tech, 21st

century healthcare cluster that’s become known as
Orlando’s Medical City. Along with the UCF College of
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Medicine, the Medical City is home to Nemours Children’s
Hospital, a $600 million VA Hospital, the Sanford Burnham
Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, a University of Florida
research facility, and more.

Medical City will also be the location of UCF’s new

teaching hospital, a project currently under way.

Now that you have a clearer picture of who we are, let me

show you how we would look in the Big 12.

Slide: Enrollment


As you can see, UCF would be the largest university in the
Big 12.

Slide: Freshman retention


We’d be third in freshman retention rate, a few tenths of a
percentage point from 90 percent retention.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Six-year graduation


Our six-year graduation rate places us fourth.

Slide: Acceptance rate


This slide shows that in addition to being large, we are
also selective when compared to the conference.

Slide: Freshman top 10 percent


UCF is in the top five of the conference for attracting
freshmen from the top 10 percent of their high school

Slide: National Merits


We’re third in the number of national merit scholars we’ve
attracted for the fall.

Slide: Master’s degrees


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UCF trails only Texas in the number of master’s degrees

Slide: Research expenses


As you look at this slide, also consider that UCF ranks
19th in the nation among public universities for the number
of U.S. patents it secured in 2015. In the Big 12, only
Texas ranks higher than we do for patents.

Slide: Football APR


No one tops our academic progress rate for football

Slide: Housing


As you have seen, we have a beautiful residential
campus. In the Big 12, only Iowa State has more campus
housing than does UCF.

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Slide: UCF Housing

This is one of our 10 residential communities, and 70

percent of our freshmen live on campus. UCF has more
campus housing than any other university in Florida.

In addition to the 11,600 students who live in our campus

housing, another 17,000 students live in apartments within
five miles of campus.

Slide: Hack UCF Photo

The data I’ve shown you are a collection of individual

experiences that, collectively, show the impact UCF
makes. But that impact is often best felt on an individual

For instance, our students are remarkable in their capacity

to self-organize to solve problems and further their
educations. Perhaps our youth as an institution attracts
students like us – scrappy, hungry, and hard working.

That describes Hack UCF – our student-led cyber defense

team that has won three consecutive national titles in the
National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. These
students self-organized a team and – with faculty support -
- beat the best teams in the country three years in a row.
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

In 2016, UCF topped more than 180 competitors to earn

another trip to the White House.

Slide: Limbitless Photo

Limbitless Solutions is another team of students self-

organized to solve problems. Let me show you clips from
a video Microsoft produced and shared around the world
to highlight the work of Ph.D. student Albert Manero and
his team of students.

Cut to Video

Slide: Limbitless video

Slide: Limbitless Iron Man photo

I’ve seen that video many times, and I still have a hard
time keeping a dry eye when it’s over.

Albert is a remarkable young man. He and his team have

delivered arms to children around the country and around
the world. Even more remarkable, Albert does this free
and has posted all of his designs online so anyone can
replicate his designs.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
His work has attracted international attention, including
from actor Robert Downey Jr. He invited Albert and Alex to
visit him, and compared Iron Man arms with Alex in a
video that has generated more than 10 million views.

Slide: Spirit Splash photo

I hope I have given you a good sense of who UCF is as an


This photo shows our homecoming tradition of Spirit

Splash, where thousands of students gather and then
storm the Reflecting Pond on campus. It perfectly captures
the youth, vitality, and energy of UCF.

We are a good academic fit with the Big 12. Our campus
is modern and vibrant. We’re driven by a desire to make a
positive impact on the world.

I’m pleased to now introduce Danny White, our new Vice

President and Director of Athletics. We hired Danny in
November, and he will share with you where UCF stands
athletically. Danny …


Slide: BHNS
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

Thank you, Dr. Hitt.

Let me start by telling you why I chose UCF.

First, I was impressed by Dr. Hitt’s passion, energy and

commitment to students and our community. After just a
few minutes of our interview, I knew I wanted to be a part
of his team.

Second, our awesome campus and unbelievable facilities.

They have a “wow” factor for our student-athletes and
recruits, and they did for me, too.

Third, UCF student-athletes’ success in the classroom and

on the field. I would only say “yes” to work at a university
committed to helping students earn high-quality degrees in
addition to winning championships. We do it the right way

Still, I didn’t know the full story. It’s much better than I had
ever thought from the outside looking in.

Slide: Graphic top public universities for GSR

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Let’s start with our primary goal for our student-athletes –
earning college degrees that will impact their lives long
after they stop competing athletically.

For the past two years, UCF has been No. 1 in the nation
among all public universities for our student-athletes’
overall Graduation Success Rate. The only Football Bowl
Subdivision institutions who beat us are some of our
nation’s finest private universities: Duke, Notre Dame,
Stanford, Northwestern and Boston College.

UCF has a culture of demanding academic success.

Slide: Football team celebrating a title

UCF also has a strong tradition of winning championships.

Our teams have won 13 conference championships in the
past four years.

Let’s start with football. We have won two of the past three
American Athletic Conference football championships.

Slide: UCF celebration vs Baylor

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We are the youngest university to win a BCS bowl game,
a 52-42 victory over then No. 6 Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta

Slide: Baylor Bortles shot

UCF won thanks to four touchdowns from Blake Bortles –

whom the Jacksonville Jaguars soon selected as the No. 3
pick in the NFL draft. He often returns to campus, and he
is an outstanding ambassador for UCF.

Slide: Fiesta Bowl pic 3

The Fiesta Bowl win made UCF one of only four teams
from the Big East or American Athletic Conference to win
a BCS bowl – the others are Louisville, Miami and West

Slide: Chart about last three years of final rankings

The Knights football team finished ranked No. 10. We join

just three of the current Big 12 members – Baylor, TCU
and Oklahoma – among teams ending with a top 10
national football ranking in the past three years.

Slide: Graphic of recruiting rankings

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I probably don’t need to remind you about the State of
Florida’s importance for recruiting – but just in case … Our
state ranks No. 1 in the nation for football blue-chip
student-athletes recruited in the past five years. Only
Texas and California are even close.

Slide: Soccer NCAA shot

UCF’s success in competition stretches far beyond

football. Our women’s soccer team won three conference
championships during the past four seasons and has
competed in nine consecutive NCAA championships.

Slide: Softball shot

Our softball, track and field and rowing teams have each
won two championships during the past four years. We
have a well-rounded, inclusive program overall!

Slide: Cow pasture/first game

Before I introduce you to our many new sports facilities, let

me take you back to 1979 – not that long ago -- when we
played our first football game in this cow pasture. Even a
torrential downpour couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm
surrounding our first victory!

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: BHNS aerial

In 2007, Bright House Networks Stadium opened with a

sold-out crowd of more than 45,000 watching UCF take on
#6 Texas. Not bad for a school that played its opener in a
cow pasture just 28 years earlier.

Our football stadium, which seats 45,000, can expand to

65,000 seats, and that expansion can be completed in
between seasons.

At 65,000 seats, our stadium would be the third largest in

the Big 12, behind only Texas and Oklahoma.

Slide: exterior shot of CFE Arena

CFE Arena, named after sponsor CFE Federal Credit

Union, opened in 2007. The Arena is home to our men’s
and women’s basketball programs.

Slide: Athletic Village Overhead

CFE Arena is at the heart of an “athletics village” on our

campus’ north end, with most of our athletics facilities, four
residence halls, a dining hall, restaurants and retail stores
all within walking distance.

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We renovated our old arena, and it’s now the new, 2,000-
seat home for our volleyball team and the practice facility
for our two basketball teams. It’s an absolutely perfect set

Slide: Softball stadium

We opened our 600-seat softball stadium, which includes

a covered batting pavilion, in 2006. Surrounded by palm
trees alongside a lake on campus, the setting is just

Slide: Rowing shot

In 2009, our rowing program moved into the new

Intercollegiate Rowing Center, which features a boathouse
and a clubhouse with a training center and locker rooms.
It’s truly one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Slide: Soccer / T&F

During a 2011 expansion, we tripled the capacity of our

soccer and track-and-field stadium to 2,000 seats. The
location couldn’t be better – located between our arena
and football stadium and in the heart of our athletics

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Densch Leadership Center

Our construction projects go beyond athletic competition.

This year, we opened the Wayne Densch Center for
Student-Athlete Leadership, which strengthens our
commitment to students’ personal, professional and
academic development – and, most importantly,
leadership development.

The Densch Center features computer labs, tutoring and

mentoring rooms and much more.

We recently hired retired brigadier general Steve Seay as

our director of leadership and career development
strategies. Steve oversees our First Round Draft Choice
program. Our goal is for student-athletes to interact with
employers and become their first choice for internships
and job opportunities.

This approach is best seen in our 7-foot-six basketball

center, Tacko Fall. He frequently says that he came to
UCF to be the next Steve Jobs, not the next LeBron

Slide: Baseball

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We also have many exciting projects coming soon. Just
last month, we announced a $1.5 million donation that will
fund a new tower at our baseball stadium. We will add 300
premium club seats and an air-conditioned lounge.

This will be our second major baseball construction project

in five years. In 2012, we added a second level of
bleacher seating that increased our capacity to 3,600.

Slide: Tennis center design shot

A new tennis facility coming to Orlando is an outstanding

example of the partnerships President Hitt discussed. The
United States Tennis Association is building its new home
for American tennis at Lake Nona, a short drive from our

The 100-court complex will include a collegiate stadium

with 12 hard courts and seating for 1,200 fans. It will be
the best tennis venue in the country and the home of the

We will play all of our home matches there, and our tennis
players will train alongside all levels of players, from
youths to professionals.

Slide: $170 million in facilities

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All told, we have invested $170 million during the past 10

years on new and enhanced facilities. Through these
investments, we are giving our student-athletes the best
opportunities to succeed in competition, in the classroom
and after they graduate.

Slide: Young fans

When our student-athletes compete, the fans cheering

them on are much younger than at most universities. 75
percent of our alumni are 45 or younger. More than half of
our alumni live and work in Central Florida.

We currently graduate 16,000 students each year, and our

staff is working hard to engage our young alumni, students
and other fans even more through innovative and
aggressive marketing strategies.

Slide: BHNS Attendance

Our football team was winless last year, and we consider

that won-loss record and attendance to be aberrations. If

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you look at the two seasons before that, we attracted an
average of 40,000 fans per game.

Since we moved into Bright House Networks Stadium in

2007, our average attendance in games against Power 5
teams is more than 44,000 -- 99 percent of our stadium

Slide: SC State image

This year, we set a spring game record with more than

23,000 fans in attendance, which ranked 22nd in the

A crowd of more than 36,000 watched our first game on

Saturday – a 38-0 victory over South Carolina State, a
game played only 24 hours after Hurricane Hermine blew
through our region.

Slide: TV Market rankings

UCF football games also are top attractions in the Orlando

television market, which ranks as the 18th largest in the
country. Just last week, Nielsen moved Orlando up in TV
market size.

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Our TV market would be the second largest in the Big 12,
behind only Dallas-Fort Worth.

And as a reminder, Orlando is the largest TV market in the

country without a NFL team. This gives us an opportunity
to build a football program that captures its hometown
market like what you see in Austin or Norman.

When we play Power 5 teams, we deliver the Orlando


For example, when UCF hosted South Carolina in a sold-

out home game on ABC in 2013, it was by far the most-
watched college football game in the Orlando market. UCF
drew 50 percent more viewers than the Florida State
game that followed on ABC, and nearly twice as many
viewers as the University of Florida game that night.

Orlando supports its hometown team.

Slide: Frost

Before I introduce you to the coaches whom we’ve hired to

help take UCF athletics to its big future, I’d like to say that
the prerequisite for all of our candidates is that they must
have strong character and integrity and that they are

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committed to developing our student-athletes the right

It’s not a coincidence that all of these new hires were

student-athletes themselves. They have “walked the walk”
and are great role models for our student-athletes.

My first hire came just two weeks after I accepted the

position here at UCF … football coach Scott Frost has
since excited our student-athletes and fans by bringing his
high-powered Oregon offense to UCF.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy calls Scott a “tremendous

coach” and a “great hire … who will make sure his players
grow as young men.”

With his talent, energy and drive, Scott could have chosen
just about any other school. He picked UCF – and I’ll let
him tell you why.

Cut to Video

Video: Scott Frost

As you can tell, Scott is passionate about UCF and the


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Slide: Coach Abe

Katie Abrahamson-Henderson will lead our women’s

basketball program. She came from the University at
Albany, where she posted five consecutive 20-win
seasons en route to five straight NCAA tournament
appearances. The 12th-seeded Great Danes upset fifth-
seeded Florida in the first round last season.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo describes Coach Abe as

“a great coach and an excellent hire.”

Slide: Roddick

Our new director of tennis, John Roddick, has led

Oklahoma to three consecutive Division 1 national runner-
up finishes. Six Sooners earned a combined 12 All-
America selections during his tenure.

Slide: Lovelady

Greg Lovelady will lead our baseball team. He comes from

Wright State, where his teams reached the NCAA regional
finals each of the last two years. As a player, he won two
national championships as the University of Miami’s
starting catcher.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Dawkins

Finally, a gentleman whom I’ve admired for a long time,

men’s basketball Coach Johnny Dawkins.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski says he is an “elite basketball

coach … with the highest character. Johnny will bring
incredible class, passion and energy to this position.”

I’d like you to see that class, passion, and energy in

person … Johnny,

Slide: UCF MBB Image


Johnny works his magic for five minutes.

Slide: BHNS

One of the many reasons I love UCF is that the best

coaches want to work here. It wasn’t the same way when I
was at Buffalo. I had to work hard to persuade coaches to
go there. During my UCF searches, my phone is ringing
off the hook. The word “gold mine” comes up in every
search over and over again.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Louisville / UCF graphic no school names

Let’s take a step back and look at the qualities of two

schools recently considered for major conference
expansion. One, not surprisingly, is us, UCF.

Slide: UCF logo shows up

Here you see our top 100 public university ranking, market
size, enrollment and football record for the past five years.
What may surprise you is the other school is Louisville,
which the Big 12 considered and the ACC ultimately

Slide: Louisville 2012 shows up

These numbers represent where Louisville was in 2012

when they were being evaluated by both conferences.

Earlier this summer, Oklahoma president David Boren

said he was a fan of Louisville in 2012 when the Cardinals
were an expansion target.

As you can see, UCF compares extremely well to

Louisville in 2012 in categories such the school’s U.S.
News rankings, enrollment and alumni base.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
We’re even ahead in football victories during the prior five
seasons, despite including our 0-12 record last season,
which again we strongly feel will prove to be an anomaly.

Slide: BHNS

Not long ago, I was in the same place you are today –
looking at UCF from the outside in. Dr. Hitt and I have
shared our story with you and talked from the heart about
why we think we fit so well with the Big 12’s future.

As much as UCF would benefit from our association with

the Big 12, we think the conference gains much with UCF
and Orlando. You add a young and highly regarded
university that’s going places. And you plant the Big 12’s
flag in a growing, diverse community that supports its
hometown team.

We wouldn’t be just trying to hang around competitively

with your members. Rather, our expectation would be to
compete for and win Big 12 championships. We are very
confident that we would make you proud.

I’m pleased to turn this over to Alex Martins, a UCF

alumnus and university trustee who also is chief executive
officer of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Thank you for being

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
here, Alex, and thank you for letting us hitch a ride with
you on the Magic plane.


Slide: Downtown Orlando photo

Thank you, Danny. My name is Alex Martins, and I want to

tell you about Orlando, and why this 21st-century city is a
sports destination.

I know a little bit about sports. My first job was scooping

Italian ice at Giants stadium. My current job is Chief
Executive Officer of the Orlando Magic. I have a better
parking space now.

I’m also a proud UCF graduate and a member of the

university’s board of trustees. In that role, I’ve gotten to
know John Hitt. He’s too modest to talk about himself, so I

You’ve heard how Dr. Hitt has invested in the Knights’

athletics programs and facilities. Not surprising for a man
who serves on both the NCAA’s Board of Governors and
its Division I Board of Directors. But his influence goes
beyond athletics.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: Jeb Bush Quote

Here’s what former Florida governor Jeb Bush had to say

about him: “Walt Disney and John Hitt have done more to
transform Central Florida into a vibrant, dynamic place
than any two people.”

Last year, Washington Monthly named John one of

America’s most innovative college presidents. Three
months ago, the Washington Post called him “Orlando’s
most powerful man.”

Simply put: John has made sure UCF is not just in

Orlando, but of Orlando. And I think it is noteworthy that
John – like Danny – is a former student-athlete. He cares
deeply about the young men and women in our athletics

Slide: EA Sports and UCF logos

Not too many years ago, the head of the videogame

powerhouse EA Sports, based in Orlando, came to John
with a problem: The company wanted to recruit game
designers already living here, but there weren’t enough.

Slide: FIEA

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
So, Dr. Hitt opened the Florida Interactive Entertainment
Academy. Today it houses the No. 1 Graduate Game
Design program in North America, as ranked by the
Princeton Review.

That is one example of the many ways he has worked to

meet the needs of Orlando while also helping his students.

Slide: Montage of images of UCF partner logos

We are a partnership university, and our partners are

legion: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ESPN
Wide World of Sports, NASA, Disney, Universal and many

We’ve told you about UCF. Well, UCF’s story – its youth,
its remarkable growth, its record of smashing expectations
– mirrors the story of Orlando.

Let’s talk about who we are. When people think of Florida,

they may picture retirees.

Slide: Median ages

That’s not Orlando. We are young – younger than America

and we are the youngest big city in Florida.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
We are diverse. We have the 14th largest Hispanic TV
market, and Forbes ranked Orlando as one of the Best
Cities for Hispanic Economic Success and one of the Best
Cities for African American Economic Success.

Slide: Orlando growth

We’re big and we’re getting bigger. 1.2 million people lived
in Metro Orlando in 1990. Today we are approaching 2.4
million strong and counting.

Orlando is the top city for job growth in America and

consistently one of the best big cities for jobs, according to
Forbes magazine. Last year, our job growth matched that
of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Slide: Population growth, top job growth

In fact, over the next 10 years, Orlando will add more

residents than Cincinnati, Memphis, Fort Collins, Provo
and Hartford – combined. Think about that.

Slide: NCAA Championship photo

Orlando is, by any measure, a college sports destination.

We’ve hosted at least one NCAA championship every year

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
since 1997. We’re the only city in Florida awarded Division
I men’s basketball during the 2016-18 bid cycle.

We are one of a few select cities that will host five NCAA
championships in 2017.

Slide: Downtown Orlando

Like UCF, Orlando’s growth has been strategic. We are

diversifying our economy by focusing on quality of life.
We’ve added the things that make Orlando a desirable
place to live and work. We’ve made Orlando a place
people want to be.

In the heart of downtown, the city and its private partners

recently spent $1 billion on community venues.

Slide: Orlando Magic photo

We now have the Amway Center, named one of the

nation’s premier sports venues and recipient of the 2012
Sports Venue of the Year award from the Sports Business
Journal and the 2013 International Sports Venue
Customer Experience award from The Stadium Business

The Amway Center is the home of our Orlando Magic,

along with Orlando Solar Bears hockey and the Arena
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Football League’s Orlando Predators. From my
perspective with the Magic, I can tell you this: Orlando
supports its hometown team.

Slides: NCAA Tournament photo, UCF vs UF photo

The arena also draws rabid fans from all over for college
basketball. March Madness came to the Amway Center
with the 2nd and 3rd rounds in 2014, and the Tournament
will be back in 2017. Six months ago, the American
Athletic Conference’s men’s basketball teams competed
over four days to claim the conference championship.

By the way, the very first college basketball game played

in the arena was when the Knights beat the Gators, who
advanced to the Elite Eight that season.

Slides: Dr. Phillips Center

We have the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, a

design showpiece that’s quickly become the heart of the
community. It plays host to touring Broadway productions
like “An American in Paris,” performances by Dionne
Warwick and Bob Dylan, and talks with luminaries like Neil
deGrasse Tyson.

Slides: Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic, murals

by street artists, painted electric boxes, etc. photos
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

In fact, Orlando has an arts scene and a cool factor of a

city 10 times its size. That’s partly thanks to the culture
created by the thousands of dancers, musicians, artists
and Imagineers – as Disney calls them – who live here
and work in our theme parks.

Slide: Camping World Stadium photos

Camping World Stadium reopened in 2014 after a $200

million rebuilding effort that transformed it into a top-tier
venue. It hosts NFL preseason games, and starting in
January – it is the new home of the NFL Pro Bowl.

Slides: Bowl games in Orlando

Orlando is the largest TV market without an NFL team. At

this stadium, it really becomes clear that Orlando is truly a
college town.

You’ll see the biggest crowds at neutral site NCAA football

games, our three NCAA bowl games and the annual
Florida Classic rivalry between Florida A&M and Bethune

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
By the way, it would be a great place to watch a Big 12
Championship. Because Orlando supports big-time
college football.

Slide: Orlando City Lions Stadium

That $1 billion building spree was just the start. Right now,
Major League Soccer’s Orlando City Lions and Orlando
Pride play in Camping World Stadium. Next year, they will
move into their own 25,000-seat downtown stadium, now
under construction.

Consider this: Orlando is the 19th biggest market for Major

League Soccer.

But Orlando is second in the league in merchandise sales,

total attendance and average attendance.

As you see, Orlando supports its hometown team.

Slide: Creative Village, Downtown Campus

A few blocks away, the Creative Village is another $1

billion public-private redevelopment project that’s opening
up a prime section of downtown Orlando for high-tech
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
companies, startups, higher education and housing. It will
be anchored by UCF’s new downtown campus.

Slide: Magic Sports and Entertainment District

Now, I may be a little biased, but I think the most exciting

project of all is the Orlando Magic Sports and
Entertainment District, which is already under construction
outside my office window.

We wouldn’t invest $200 million in this project if we didn’t

know that Orlando has hit its stride and is only getting

Slide: Disney

Now this is the Orlando you know. Orlando is the most

popular tourist destination in the country, with 66 million
visitors a year. We have more than 135,000 hotel rooms in
greater Orlando, and the second-largest convention center
in the U.S.

Slide: Beach photo

We are just a 45-minute drive from the beach and

Kennedy Space Center.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
How do we move all those people around? There are five
airports in the metro area with nonstop flights to more than
175 destinations around the world.

Slide: OIA

Twenty minutes south of UCF is Orlando International

Airport, the second-largest in Florida and one of the
busiest in the country with about 900 arrivals and
departures a day. OIA accommodated nearly 40 million
visitors in 2015.

And it’s affordable: Airfare prices from Orlando

International are the 8th cheapest out of the 100 busiest
airports in the U.S.

Drive twenty minutes north of UCF and you’ll find Orlando-

Sanford International Airport. It carries 2.5 million
passengers a year and is the fastest-growing small airport
in the U.S.

Slides: High Tech photo

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
By doing all this, who have we attracted to Orlando?
Young entrepreneurs and tech-startups, big healthcare
and life-science companies, advanced manufacturing and
defense contractors. And, of course, sports fans.

We’ve also built something less tangible but just as strong:

A tight-knit sense of community.

Slide: Blood donation lines photo

When tragedy struck Orlando on June 12, the rest of the

world learned that we are Orlando United. In the wake of a
massacre that took the lives of 49 people and injured 53
more, Orlando came together as never before. I am so
proud of how my city and my university stepped up to

Within hours, thousands of people queued up to donate

blood in lines that stretched blocks. By the end of the
week, 28,000 pints of blood were collected.

Slide: UCF Blood Drive

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
UCF hosted multiple blood drives on campus, including
one at Bright House Networks Stadium that was one of the
largest single-site blood drives ever in Central Florida.

Slide: Lake Eola vigil

Not far from my office, an estimated 50,000 people packed

Lake Eola in downtown Orlando for a community vigil.

Slide: UCF vigil

At UCF, students, faculty and staff filled our Student Union

to honor those who were killed and injured.

That’s the Orlando I know. That’s the UCF I know.

Slide: UCF Athletic Village

I’ve shared with you how Orlando supports its hometown

teams. With more than half of UCF’s 260,000 alumni living
locally, the Knights have a strong and loyal fan base.

I’ve shared with you the investments our city has made in
athletics, cultural and industry venues. As Danny said,
since 2006 UCF has invested more than $170 million in
new and renovated athletics facilities.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
If you include academic facilities during that same time,
the combined investment by UCF exceeds $1.2 billion.

Slide: Downtown Orlando

The bottom line is this: We are the fastest-growing major

metro in the United States – the largest TV market without
an NFL team. Orlando is a vibrant community with a
young, diverse population that is hungry for sports.

Orlando has much to offer. And it should be a Big 12 city.


Thank you, Alex, for all you do for UCF and for Orlando. I
especially appreciate your agreeing to chair the new
OneOrlando Board. The board will guide and oversee the
distribution of millions of dollars donated to assist the
victims of June’s shooting and their families.

As Alex shared, Orlando is a special place. Please allow

me to show you a little more from our community and its

Cut to Video

Slide: Interview Video

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

Slide: Our Future is Big

Let me conclude by thanking you again for the opportunity

to meet with you this morning.

And I hope we have shown you something about our

philosophy, which is that being big is about more than
size. It’s about how we see the world. How we think. The
impact we make.

Danny White, Scott Frost and Johnny Dawkins have big

plans for UCF Athletics.

Alex Martins and our community leaders know big things

are happening in Orlando.

Now, you have a big decision to make about UCF.

Slide: Bowlsby Quote

Commissioner, if ESPN is to be believed, this is what you

said earlier this summer about what you’re looking for in
possible partners.

“We are looking for members that will grow over time,
bring stability to the conference and have a high top end.”
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

To us, this perfectly represents UCF and Orlando.

Slide: First Football Photo

As you saw earlier, the Knights didn’t play our first football
game until 1979. We entered Division I only in 1996.

Slide: Texas Game Photo

Today, we have a BCS bowl victory over a Big 12

champion, a top-10 finish, and crowds regularly in excess
of 40,000. It’s remarkable growth in a short time, and that
growth will continue.

Slide: Growth 2016-2016

UCF and Orlando are the future. We are the new America,
a decade earlier than the rest of the U.S. will experience it.

As you heard, Orlando will add more residents in 10 years

than Cincinnati, Memphis, Fort Collins, Provo, and
Hartford combined.

The Big 12 can own the second-largest university in the

country in the fastest-growing major metropolitan region in
the United States.
The Big Presentation – 9.8.16

In investment terms, UCF is a “buy” stock.

Slide: Partnership slide

But this is about more than an investment. It’s about

finding the right partner. It’s about fit.

Bob, I’ve gotten to know you better through this process,

and from listening to Johnny talk about the kind of leader
you are.

From what I know, it’s clear you care about the right
things. And that you care about the same things we do:

• The all-around success of student-athletes.

• A program that invests in all of its sports.
• Ensuring a talented and diverse student population
receives a high-quality education.

I hope you see the value of investing in our growing

university and community. I also hope you see our values.

And that UCF and the Big 12 would make great partners.

Thank you.

The Big Presentation – 9.8.16
Slide: UCF Stacked Logo


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