About 200 graduating students are expected to receive degrees at the University of Hartford’s Fall Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 6, starting at 2:30 p.m., in Lincoln Theater on the University campus. Students and their guests will hear remarks from Bruce Douglas, executive director of the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). For the past 15 years, CREC has worked with boards of education of the Capitol Region to improve the quality of public education and may be best known for its development of interdistrict magnet schools which are key to the state's pursuit of integration benchmarks in the Sheff vs. O'Neill desegregation case. The University of Hartford Magnet School on the University campus is a CREC school. Douglas, who will retire from CREC at the end of this year, will be presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree at the ceremony. Douglas is also an alum of the University, having earned a sixth-year certificate in education administration from the University in 1980.
University President Walter Harrison will preside over the ceremony at which approximately 90 students will cross the stage to be recognized for earning their undergraduate degrees and another 105 will be honored for earning master’s or doctoral degrees.
The University's Fall Commencement ceremony was introduced in 1996 to provide a formal ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students who complete their degree requirements in September or January and cannot attend the University's traditional Commencement Weekend ceremonies in May.
The University of Hartford will provide a live webcast of the ceremony which can be accessed at www.hartford.edu/view.
For more information on Fall Commencement, please visit www.hartford.edu/commencement.
An advocate for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, Bruce E. Douglas, PhD, has been an educator for 45 years, having served as the executive director of the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) since 2001, assistant executive director of CREC, and superintendent and assistant superintendent of Suffield Public Schools.
He began his career in the Bloomfield Public School system, where he was a teacher, coach, and school administrator. Douglas' transformative leadership, divergent thinking, and inspirational mentorship have shaped the educational and social landscape of Connecticut and improved the future for Connecticut's children.
Under Douglas' leadership, CREC has grown from a $38 million organization to a $500 million organization. In addition to facilitating the significant expansion of CREC's existing divisions, he led the development of three new divisions: the Institute of Teaching and Learning; the Division of Construction; and the Division of Data Analysis, Research, and Technology.
Douglas has led CREC to adopt an ethos of serving the best interests of children and families in Connecticut's capital region. In pursuit of that goal, he works tirelessly to eliminate the local, national, and global achievement gaps and to ensure that every child receives a world-class public education. Douglas' personal ethic and demonstrated results make him a trusted educational, economic, and social visionary.
Douglas believes that “education is an emergency, and we must approach it with a sense of urgency.” He develops policy and legislation that drive public education to the forefront of the Connecticut General Assembly's agenda each year. During his tenure at CREC, his leadership has led a measurable growth in the high-quality educational opportunities available to Connecticut's children. He has directed the reorganization of the Hartford Region Open Choice Program and the creation of a school system of 19 award-winning magnet schools and four highly specialized schools for special education services. CREC schools currently serve more than 10,000 children. In his role as executive director of CREC, Douglas has fostered a spirit of collaboration and capacity building among educational, civic, business, and higher-education institutions.
Douglas holds a bachelor of science in history and secondary education from Central Connecticut State University; a master's degree in history and medieval studies from Trinity College; a sixth-year certificate in education administration from the University of Hartford; and a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.