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Memorable Moments from 2014

Posted 01/02/2015
Posted by Meagan Fazio

As we begin a new year, let's take a look back at 20 of the biggest campus stories of 2014:


MLK.The spring semester started with the eighth annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20. The theme of this year's program was "Human Dignity and Respect for All." A large crowd filled Lincoln Theater for an inspirational program.


”BarneyThe University was ranked second among U.S. colleges in insurer hiring of 2012–2013 risk management and insurance undergraduates. Eighty percent of the Barney School of Business 2012–13 risk management and insurance undergraduates were hired.

BlumenthalSen. Richard Blumenthal and Purple Heart recipient Greg Caron visited students who are studying prosthetics and orthotics in the University’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. Many of these students hope to work with wounded veterans.



Dozens of students spent their spring break helping others. Some went to Moore, Okla. as part of the annual Alternative Spring Break trip to help the city recover from last year’s deadly tornado. The campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity worked on projects in North and South Carolina. In addition, graduate students accompanied prosthetics and orthotics clinical faculty member Paul Armstrong on his annual trip to Peru to provide prosthetic and other rehabilitative care to poor patients.



Alyssa Englert ’14, one of our Hartford Hawks women’s basketball players, was one of only five Division I players named to this year’s Allstate Women’s Basket Coaches Association Good Works Team. She was chosen for her countless hours of community service on and off campus. Englert accepted her award during the nationally televised semifinal game at the Final Four in Nashville.

”ShakespeareIn honor of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, students from The Hartt School took over Mortensen Library for more than 10 minutes on Wednesday, surprising those at the library with a Shakespeare "flash mob." It was one of our most popular video posts of the year.



Approximately 1500 graduate and undergraduate students received their diplomas. Many of them had little time to celebrate before they embarked on their new careers. Jessica Tantin, for example, started her job at Citi Field, just two days after graduating from the Barney School.

”GoffAnton Goff was introduced as the new director of Athletics, bringing years of experience and a new slogan: “Hawk Nation Domination.” Goff succeeded Pat Meiser, who retired after 21 years at the University.


”NewcombHartford Hawks junior lefthander Sean Newcomb was selected 15th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. It was the highest a University of Hartford player has ever been selected and the first time that a Hawk was chosen in the first round.

”cupThe University of Hartford clinched its third-straight America East Academic Cup in 2013–14, as our student-athletes posted the highest grade point average of any school in the 19-year history of the award. Compiling a 3.28 GPA in 2013–14, the Hawks brought home their fourth Academic Cup all-time.



With sleek, stainless steel food stations, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, modern lighting fixtures, and soothing gray walls, the Commons dining hall was completely transformed this summer. The 44-year-old building underwent a renovation that converted it from a 70s-era cafeteria to a modern food-court-style dining hall.

”the_hThe University welcomed about 1,500 new students to campus during the annual “Move-in Weekend” that began on Friday, August 29. The University’s Class of 2018 comes from than 33 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 25 foreign countries.



“Empowering Change,” a landmark week-long initiative celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act, offered programs and observances during the week of Sept. 14-22 to encourage reflection, dialogue, and action in civil rights and social change.


”hillyerHillyer College presented its Outstanding Young Alumnus Award to Ebony Wright-Campbell ’02, ’04. When Wright-Campbell was a sophomore, her mother and only parent died in the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001. With the help of mentors, scholarships, and her own perseverance, Wright-Campbell went on to earn an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree. She is currently working as a social worker and is pursuing her doctorate in social work.

”hawktoberMore than 1500 alumni, parents, and friends joined us for Hawktober Weekend. This year’s event will be held Oct. 16-18. Save the date!

”lauraThis year’s list of top university professors in the country includes Laura Pence, professor of chemistry in the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences, The 2014 list that ranks the nation’s top professors and universities lists Pence at number 20. The annual ranking list is based entirely on students’ input.



Katherine A. Black, who had served as interim dean of the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences since January 2014, became dean of the college effective Nov. 1. The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is the largest of the University’s seven schools and colleges.


Misty Copeland, who has become an inspiration to young girls and others for overcoming numerous obstacles to become the first black ballerina in two decades to be a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), taught a master class for Hartt dance students on Nov. 3. Copeland was also presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.



In recognition of his work to improve the academic success of student-athletes, the NCAA announced University President Walter Harrison will receive the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award. The award honors an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for college sports over the course of his or her career.

”fallAbout 180 graduating students received degrees at the University’s Fall Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 7. Among them was Austen Williams, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering while working full-time as a regional application engineer for Henkel Corp. in Rocky Hill, Conn. Williams was in the enviable position of having been offered a good job in his field weeks before graduation, thanks to his talent, drive, and a co-op opportunity that he got through the University.