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October 31, 2017 | Press Releases

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Tops $1 Million in Gifts to UCF

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Tops $1 Million in Gifts to UCF with the Establishment of the John and Martha Hitt Grand Rounds, Winter Park, FL– In concert with the retirement announcement of University of Central Florida President John Hitt, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation tops $1 million in giving to the university with a grant to establish the inaugural Grand Rounds for the UCF College of Medicine. The timing of these milestones seems fitting given that the Foundation was an early supporter of the College of Medicine, one the cornerstones of Dr. Hitt’s nearly 26-year legacy at the University. 

The recent $100,000 award establishes the Dr. John and Martha Hitt Grand Rounds Endowment and will fund UCF’s first Medical Grand Rounds, an important teaching tool and ritual of medical education. Initial Grand Rounds will take place in area hospitals until the 2020 opening of the UCF Hospital at Lake Nona.

Foundation President David Odahowski said, “The Med School would not have happened without John’s vision for the school and the very fine selection of Dean German to head it.” Foundation support for the medical school began with a $160,000 award in 2007 to provide four years of tuition and living expenses to a student in the first class of the college. This gift was made in memory of Dr. Russell W. Ramsey, who was the personal physician to Mrs. Edyth Bush. 

This millionth dollar gift celebrates the legacies of both John and Martha Hitt, who have been married for 56 years. While President Hitt’s accomplishments are more widely known, the “First Lady of UCF” has been an active partner since the couple arrived on campus in 1992. She has worked on a variety of committees and was recently honored with the establishment of the Martha Hitt STEM – Emerging Scholar Scholarship. Some of her favorite roles were serving as a member of the selection committee for the President’s Leadership Council and on the committee responsible for building The Burnett Honors House. She said her fondest memory on campus was being present at the approval of the UCF College of Medicine.

The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation was founded in 1973 and provided its first grant to the university the following year, awarding $60,000 for the construction and equipping of a child care center on campus. The most significant grants since then have been awarded to the medical school within the past decade.

Since its inception, the Foundation has issued more than 3,833 grants to 872 organizations, primarily in Central Florida, totaling more than $110 million. Board Members are Richard J. Walsh, Chairman; Matthew W. Certo, Vice Chairman & Corporate Secretary; David A. Odahowski, President & CEO; Herbert W. Holm, Founding Director; Elizabeth A. Dvorak;Anne B. Kerr, Ph.D.; Patricia J. Engfer; and John A. Riley. For more information on the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, please visit www.edythbush.org.