Dealers and vendors within the retail automotive industry have always been known for giving back to their communities and charities in an effort to help others. Every so often, a dealer or vendor goes above and beyond in their charitable giving.
Recently, the University of Florida Athletic Department announced that one of our very own in the auto industry donated a whopping $12.6 million. We’re joined now by the man that made the outstanding donation, Hugh Hathcock, Owner and Founder of Velocity Automotive, and we’re also joined by his wife, Kalah Hathcock, who serves as Executive Vice President of Velocity Automotive. Also joining the show via Zoom is Scott Stricklin, the Athletic Director at the University of Florida, to talk about this incredible donation.
Hugh’s pledge to Gator Boosters is the organization’s most significant single financial commitment in its history. The University of Florida has 500 student-athletes across 21 sports, says Scott, and to create championship experiences with integrity for these teams, the university needs to have top-notch facilities. A gift like Hugh’s allows the University of Florida to take care of the vitally important elements of its facilities master plan.
The UF Board of Trustees approved the name of the Hugh Hathcock Suite Tower at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the Hugh Hathcock Basketball Complex at the UF Basketball Practice Facility in early December 2021 to acknowledge and celebrate this game-changing contribution. Hugh’s gift will also go toward basketball practice facility repairs, and the rest will be earmarked for future plans.
In order to make a contribution of this magnitude, Sticklin says you have to have two things. One is the means, and two is the passion for the Florida Gators. Hugh has both. He started going to games with his father at around five years old, and the Florida Gators have been a massive part of his family’s life ever since. Hugh attends as many games as he can and has been to countless national championship and bowl games.
Hugh started donating to the University of Florida back in the 1990s and early 2000s. He didn’t have the means then that he has today, but Hugh’s commitment to the athletic program has deep roots. When Hugh was a small donor, he says that the University of Florida always treated him like a million-dollar donor. Now, Hugh IS a million-dollar donor, and all parties involved couldn’t be happier.
“As I finally started to make a little money, you remember the people that treated you right in those formative years,” Hugh explains.
“It’s a great cause,” says Kalah. “I played sports growing up my whole life, and it changed me, it molded me, some of the coaches in my life were as impactful as my parents in certain ways…We want to build championships and have the best student-athletes come to Florida.”
Hugh adds, “Remember, I have two daughters; Hope is graduating next week, and Hailee graduated two years ago, so those girls going to Florida—that’s been a big deal for me.”
Click here to learn more about Velocity Automotive’s commitment to giving back.
Are you interested in learning more about the Gators Boosters? Check it out.
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