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Board of Regents Elects its First Woman Chair
Lucille M. Nickerson has been elected chair of the University of Hartford Board of Regents, becoming the first woman chair in the University’s history.
Nickerson will succeed outgoing chair Thomas J. Groark Jr., who has headed the Board of Regents for the past five years.
“I am honored to have been elected by my regent colleagues to serve as board chair, and I am privileged to follow in the footsteps of distinguished past chairs, especially Tom Groark, who has been an outstanding leader of the board for the past five years,” Nickerson said. “We can all be proud to be part of the University of Hartford, and I invite you all to join me as I rededicate myself to its ongoing success and vibrancy.”
Nickerson was elected by the board last Friday, May 10, and her term as chair will begin on May 20. The chair is elected to a one-year term, and can be re-elected to that position up to four times, for a maximum of five years of service.
The board also re-elected Roger Klene M ’90 as a vice chair, and elected Dominic Fulco III ’81 as a vice chair as well. Both Klene and Fulco are University of Hartford alumni; it is believed to be the first time that both vice chairs of the board have been alumni of the University. This is Fulco’s second stint as a regent; he also served as a student regent in 1980-81.
Nickerson has been a member of the Board of Regents since 2006, and has served as vice chair for the past three years. She has chaired the board’s Audit Committee and Governance Committee.
But her involvement with the University extends beyond her service on the Board of Regents. Nickerson served on the board of trustees of Hartford College for Women (HCW), and she chairs the board of the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) at the University.
“More than any other single individual, Lucille has shaped that organization (WELFund) and guided it into the position of strength it enjoys today,” said University President Walter Harrison. Harrison noted that Nickerson is the second consecutive chair to have come to the Board of Regents from the former Hartford College for Women board, as Groark also came from the HCW board.
Nickerson, a former vice president and corporate secretary of Aetna, Inc., is the co-founder and president of Nickerson-Zegarelli Consultants, which advises nonprofit organizations and small businesses. She also serves as executive director of the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation of Connecticut.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with three great board chairs during my time at the University—Arnold Greenberg, Peter Eio, and Tom Groark—and I am looking forward to working with Lucille,” President Harrison said. “Like the three previous board chairs, she’s creative, analytical, caring, and devoted to the University. We’ve worked together now for many years in various capacities, and I think we’ll be a great team as chair and president.
“I want to thank Tom Groark for his five wonderful years as board chair,” Harrison continued. “Whenever I think of the University’s values, I think of Tom. He personifies everything that is good about the University of Hartford.”