DirectConnect to UCF assures access to four-year degrees
Graduates of nearby state colleges Eastern Florida, Lake Sumter, Seminole, and Valencia are guaranteed admission to UCF through DirectConnect, a national model alliance that involves shared facilities, personnel, and planning.
President Hitt made partnerships a core business practice of UCF, but a landmark partnership solidified the future of the university before the school had a campus – or a name.
On June 10, 1963, the state created a new university for Central Florida. In 1964, the yet-to-be named institution had a preferred future location. However, neither the Legislature nor the governor wanted to pay for the site, and Orange County government leaders had no legal way of purchasing the property. The land being offered for sale was in danger of slipping away, which would have been a devastating setback.
At that crucial time, 89 local leaders and their families took extraordinary action that would define the future. They pledged nearly $1 million with their own cash, securities, and promissory notes to secure the site for their new hometown university – the site of UCF’s main campus today.
Those who put money down had no guarantee of repayment, and they stood to lose their investment should the new university fail.
Ultimately, Orange County commissioners supported a tax to pay for the land, which was donated to the state. Yet, it would take nearly four years for those courageous supporters to be repaid.
They became known as the "Founding Subscribers" of UCF. If not for the partnership of the Founding Subscribers and the county leaders who did their part, today’s UCF might be a very different institution – at a different place.