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University of Hartford Board of Regents Elects First Woman Chair

Posted 05/13/2013
Posted by David Isgur

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 led the Board of Regents for the past five years.

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 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 on 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. It is believed to be the first time that both vice chairs of the board are alumni of the University. Fulco served as a student regent while an undergraduate student in 1980-81.

Nickerson has been a member of the Board of Regents since 2006, and served as vice chair for the past three years. She chaired the board’s Audit Committee and Governance Committee, served on the board of trustees of Hartford College for Women (HCW), and currently 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. He noted that Nickerson is “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.”

Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a “private university with a public purpose,” the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University’s student body of more than 7,000 represents 45 states and nearly 60 countries. For more information, visit