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Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Torre to Speak at University of Hartford Commencement

Posted 04/28/2014
Posted by David Isgur

Joe Torre

Joe Torre, who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations and who is being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Hartford’s Commencement weekend, May 17-18. Torre will address students at the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, and University of Hartford President Walter Harrison will address students at the graduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17. Both events begin at 10 a.m. on the lawn outside the Gengras Student Union building on the University campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, Conn.

About 1,050 students will receive bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at diploma presentation ceremonies at designated sites across campus following Sunday’s main ceremony. About 400 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees during Saturday’s main ceremony.

Torre will receive an honorary degree at the undergraduate ceremony, as will Ellen Marram, former president and chief executive officer of the Tropicana Beverage Group,  and Rabbi Stanley Kessler, the founding rabbi of Beth El Temple in West Hartford. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and world-renowned chef Jacques Pepin will receive honorary degrees during the graduate ceremony on May 17. For more information on the honorary degree recipients, please visit

As Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, Torre overseeing areas that include Major League operations, on-field operations, on-field discipline, and umpiring. Appointed to his role by Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in 2011, Torre is the Office of the Commissioner’s primary liaison to the general managers and field managers of the 30 Major League Clubs regarding all baseball and on-field matters. He also was a key part of the sub-committee on the expansion of instant replay for the 2014 season.

On Dec. 9, 2013, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced that its Expansion Era Committee had unanimously elected Torre as a part of its Class of 2014 inductees. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is slated for Sunday, July 27. Fellow managers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa are among Torre’s fellow inductees.

In the fall of 2010, Torre concluded his third and final season as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom he led to the National League Championship Series in 2008 and 2009. Previously, he spent 12 seasons as manager of the New York Yankees (1996-2007), guiding them to the postseason every year, including six World Series appearances and four World Championships (1996, 1998-2000). Torre made his managerial debut with the New York Mets on May 31, 1977, becoming the first player-manager in the majors since 1959. He managed the Mets until 1981 and the Atlanta Braves from 1982-84. After spending nearly six seasons as a television broadcaster for the California Angels, Torre managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 1990-95. He also led Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The University’s Commencement ceremonies will also feature the presentation of its Distinguished Alumni Award to Mark Lewis Boxer, global chief information officer for Cigna.

Students being honored at the undergraduate Commencement ceremony are: Catherine Brennan, who will be awarded the John G. Martin Scholarship to continue her studies at Oxford University in England; Kyle Hebert, who will receive the John G. Lee Medal for community service, and senior Nicole Kalmus, who will receive the Belle K. Ribicoff Prize for academic excellence. For more details, please visit

Also honored will be faculty members Monica Hardesty and Glen Adsit, who will both be presented with the Roy E. Larsen Award for Excellence in Teaching, Ivana Milanovic with the James E. and Frances W. Bent Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity, Hisham Alnajjar with the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Sustained Service to the University, Nels Highberg with the Donald W. Davis All-University Curriculum Award, and Jessica Nicklin with the Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize. For more details, go to