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Presidents’ College “Showcase 2012” Program Offers Insights into a Variety of Intriguing Topics

Posted 08/30/2012
Posted by David Isgur

What is the Higgs boson and why does it matter? What are the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on health care? What can be done about the precipitous decline in Connecticut’s bat population? What should we do about energy policy? Who are Rage Against the Machine anyway?

These and a host of other questions will be answered on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.), at this year’s University of Hartford Presidents’ College symposium, Showcase 2012. The day-long series of activities, featuring lectures, panel discussions, book signings, a concert, and an art exhibition (along with various other events), is designed to inform the general public about issues many of which will be of particular importance in this year’s presidential and other races. Above all, it is intended as an intellectual feast for those interested in hearing from the University’s best professors and other visiting dignitaries.

This year’s symposium will have three main themes: “Style,” “The State of the State,” and “Science and the Citizen.”  Topics to be covered include everything from historic preservation in Connecticut to the future of stem cell research.  One panel will address the Connecticut economy, while another will look at environmental protection in the state.  There will be a reading and book signing by writer Francine DuPlessix Gray, whose new novel The Queen’s Lover was recently published. Renaissance art, the U.S. Supreme Court, popular music, and architectural style will be among the lecture topics, along with energy policy, ubiquitous computing, and, to end the day, an attempt by a physics professor to explain all those things that you don’t quite understand but that you know are important, followed by a reception hosted by University President Walter Harrison in one of the University’s art galleries.

“We are hoping,” said Humphrey Tonkin, former president of the University and director of the Presidents’ College, “that by day’s end the participants will be better informed about Connecticut, better informed about the world, and more aware of the remarkable teaching talent assembled at the University of Hartford.”

“We’re a community within a community,” Tonkin added, “We seek to provide quality continuing education and access to the life of the university for those in Greater Hartford and beyond.”

For more information on Showcase 2012, go to To register for the Showcase, call 860.768.4269. 

The Presidents’ College is a program of short non-credit courses, lectures and other activities, offered to the general public through the University Libraries.  The program, which is largely run by volunteers and taught by university faculty, provides participants with access to the library and its resources, parking on campus, and discounts on campus events.  All receipts from registration and gifts go directly to support the library and improve its services.