Hugh Hathcock pledged to make a $12.6 million donation to the Gator Booster organization. It will be the largest gift in history.
Hathcock’s History with UF
Although he is the owner of Velocity Automotive Solutions based in Valdosta, Georgia, his heart remained with the Florida Gators here in Gainesville. Spending his elementary years here, Hathcock has always had a connection with the Swamp.
However, his dedication to the University of Florida came from his father Douglas Hathcock.
“My earliest Gator memories are my dad taking me to watch Spurrier play when I’m like 5 years old,” Hathcock said. “Without him, I would never have been a Gator fan.”
Although he moved to Georgia for his high school years, he made his way back to the Orange and Blue. But he did not last long as a student, deciding to drop out after only attending one semester. According to the Florida Gators, Hathcock believed no university could teach him how to become an entrepreneur. Having a middle-class upbringing motivated him to create a successful career for himself.
Continuing his father’s legacy, Hathcock has passed on his love of the Gators to his children. Resulting in two of his daughters attending UF, one of who is set to graduate in April. Keeping the Gators involved in his family meant that he would contribute whenever he possibly could.
“Even when I was in my 20s, just starting to make money, I was still a season-ticket holder,” Hathcock said. “When they did the Touchdown Terrace, I was one of the first ones to [contribute]. You are not able to really do the things you want to do until you hit it big. They knew me back when my companies were just small companies.”
To recognize the donation Hathcock has pledged to the Gator Boosters, the UF Board of Trustees recognized his game-changing gift. Last year, on December 3rd, the board decided to name the suite tower at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium the Hugh Hathcock Suite Tower and name a basketball practice facility the Hugh Hathcock Basketball Complex.
UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin and Gator Boosters Executive Director Phil Pharr expressed how business success is only matched by his commitment to the Gators. The gestures made in December were just some of the ways for the university to show recognition for his record-setting donation.
Parts of the donation will be used for basketball facility renovations and the balance will support the UAA Facilities Master Plan. The Gator Boosters received commitments of $148.8 million. Although Hugh Hathcock may not have been in Gainesville long, his commitment never faltered.