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University of Hartford to Celebrate its 56th Birthday With Float Contest and New Bridge Opening

Posted 02/19/2013
Posted by Meagan Fazio

The University of Hartford will celebrate its 56th birthday on Thursday, Feb. 21, with a float contest for students, a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the campus’s new bridge, and more.

The party will take place on the bridge that crosses the Park River between The Hartt School and Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. Please note: Members of the media should come onto campus via the Mark Twain Drive entrance (off of Albany Ave.) and park in Lot F in front of Lincoln Theater. See the campus map here. The main campus road will be closed between Millard Circle and Lincoln Theater from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will feature remarks from University President Walter Harrison and appearances by Miss Connecticut and University senior Emily Audibert, Howie the Hawk, University cheerleaders and the Pep Band. The University’s second annual Founders Day float contest will immediately follow the ceremony. Students will parade their entries across the bridge and a prize will be awarded by a panel of judges. The theme of this year’s contest is “Building Bridges.” Following the float contest, the festivities will move to Gengras Student Union, where the celebration will continue with birthday cake and music from the Pep Band.

The University of Hartford was founded on February 21, 1957 when a charter was signed by Governor Abraham Ribicoff creating a university for the Greater Hartford community. It merged three existing schools, the Hartford Art School, the Hartt School of Music, and Hillyer College. Since its founding, the University has grown to seven schools and colleges and has been transformed from a commuter school to a comprehensive residential campus that offers 84 undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate degree programs. The University’s student population of about 7,000 comes from 45 states and more than 60 countries. For more information, visit