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University of Hartford to Celebrate Opening of New Academic Building

Posted 09/12/2012
Posted by Meagan Fazio

The University of Hartford will dedicate the Shaw Center at Hillyer College, a new two-story, 10,000-square-foot addition to Hillyer Hall, during a celebration that begins at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13. The festivities will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a multi-media performance by students, a poetry reading, and building tours. The dedication will take place outside of Hillyer Hall (on the side facing the campus lawn), University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. A campus map is available at

The schedule is as follows:
1:30 p.m.: Ribbon-cutting ceremony.

2-3 p.m.: Students from the University’s Hartt School and the Hartford Art School will present a multi-media installation, which will include dance, visual art, and music that makes use of the building itself. The installation is designed to showcase the Shaw Center as a "living space." This performance will happen inside the building.

3 p.m.: Assistant Professor of English Joyce Ashuntantang will perform poetry accompanied by drums. This event will happen inside the building.

4:30 p.m.: Associate Professor Wick Griswold will give a lecture to celebrate the launch of his book, A History of the Connecticut River.

Students will give tours of the Shaw Center throughout the afternoon.

The Shaw Center for the first time provides a dedicated home for the University’s Hillyer College. It also features facilities that will benefit the University’s other schools that hold classes in Hillyer Hall, the oldest classroom building on the main campus.

The Shaw Center includes offices for Hillyer College faculty, a state-of-the art classroom for the Hillyer honors program, four new general-purpose classrooms, and a large common area known as “Regents Commons,” which will provide an informal gathering space for students and faculty.

The facility is named for lead donors John “Jay” Shaw (A'74) and Debi Shaw, who made a gift of $1.5 million to the project.