ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Kenneth G. Dixon has made a gift commitment of more than $5 million to UCF Athletics. It is the largest cash pledge ever by an individual UCF alumnus. In recognition of this gift, a 95-acre section of campus will be named the Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village.
The Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village will be the section of UCF that is dedicated to athletic competition, as well as the health and well-being, academic services and professional development of Knight student-athletes.
Dixon is a 1975 graduate of UCF and holds a degree in accounting from the school. Dixon first established his legacy at UCF 13 years ago by making a significant commitment to name the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting. The athletics village commitment, when completed, will raise his total giving to UCF to more than $7.5 million.
Dixon is the founder and CEO of Leland Enterprises, Inc. Leland is a diversified real estate company, located in Central Florida. In addition, Dixon is involved in various other businesses including homebuilding, lending, investment banking and land development. Prior to entering the real estate business, he was a Certified Public Accountant in Orlando and Washington, D.C., with the international accounting firm Price Waterhouse (currently known as PricewaterhouseCoopers). He is also a 2005 inductee to the UCF College of Business Hall of Fame.
"Under Dr. Hitt's leadership over the last 25 years, UCF has grown significantly in scope and quality," Dixon said. "The College of Business Administration and the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting are doing very well and it is an exciting time for UCF Athletics. Danny White's vision of a Top 25 athletics program and his recruitment and retention of excellent coaches will yield exceptional results. My challenge to anyone who loves UCF is to pick your passion - whether it's business, engineering, athletics, performing arts or another area of the university - and invest all you can in one or two areas, so you can make an impact. UCF is worthy of your support."
Dixon said motivation for the timing of his commitment was to help celebrate UCF President John C. Hitt's 25 years of service to the university.
"UCF's business students have benefitted from Ken Dixon's generosity for more than a decade," President Hitt said. "His new commitment will help enhance our athletics programs and provide the best experiences for our student-athletes for years to come."
UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White described Dixon's gift as transformational.
"We can't thank Ken Dixon enough for his generosity and support of UCF Athletics," White said. "Ken's commitment will be used to help transform our athletic facilities in pursuit of our goal to be a Top 25 athletics program. It will help us recruit and retain championship-caliber student-athletes and coaches. The Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village will have a major impact on the lives and experience of our student-athletes and the university community."
Dixon's commitment brings total gifts and commitments to the IGNITE Campaign to nearly $300 million. The IGNITE Campaign, with a goal of $500 million, runs through June of 2019.
"As the single largest cash commitment from an alumnus to IGNITE - the Campaign for UCF, this gift stands as a milestone and a momentum-builder," UCF Foundation CEO and Vice President for Advancement Mike Morsberger said. "It's also a poignant reminder that private philanthropy is one of the keys to sustaining and building UCF's national reputation. We are humbled and enormously grateful to Mr. Dixon for his gift of historic significance."
In addition to today's announcement, UCF will hold a special recognition and presentation to honor Dixon at CFE Arena during Sunday's men's basketball game vs. Cincinnati. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m.