Who Is a Millionaire?

Millionaires club - pic

Richard Eastes was the top earner this year bringing in $12.68 million to UCF.

Under a sunset stroked sky in front of the University of Central Florida’s main administration building, university leaders celebrated the common traits of tenacity, collaborative spirit, and commitment to excellence that UCF’s top grant earning researchers share.

Twenty-nine researchers earned $1 million or more earning a bid into UCF’s Millionaires Club, which hosted the celebration earlier this month.

Recipients received kudos and tongue and cheek awards such as a plush Underdog toy that went to a political science team that beat the odds by winning a $1.85 million grant. Another team earned the “United Nations” award for the project with the most non-U.S. collaborators.

“Although we have already trademarked the phrase ‘America’s Leading Partnership University,’ our research and commercialization enterprise uniquely personifies that commitment,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research & commercialization and the emcee for the evening.

Soileau, who started the event in FY00 by presenting six millionaires with a special blend of his home-made hot sauce with a label emblazoned with his picture, unexpectedly had the tables turned this year when Provost Dale Whittaker presented him with a one-gallon personalized bottle of Tabasco.

Millionaires received smaller bottles of hot sauce and a special blend of perfume or cologne called “Millionaire” and several gag gifts were also presented.  The awards largely aligned with President John C. Hitt’s five goals for the university which include international prominence and focus in key areas of research, as well as emphasis on collaboration and partnership.

The 38 researchers who received any size grant for the first time in FY15 were asked to stand as were the 35 patent recipients.

The College of Sciences was well represented at the event, receiving 2 awards and 1 recognition:

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