The University of Hartford will celebrate President Walter Harrison’s legacy of leadership on Wednesday, April 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the University’s Sports Center. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends will honor Harrison with musical performances, a video presentation, student-made posters, and remarks from colleagues. Harrison is retiring at the end of June after serving as University president for 19 years.
President Walter Harrison has served as University president since July 1, 1998. Despite two significant national economic downturns in that span of nearly two decades, the University has experienced a period of energy and vitality unmatched in its history and has dramatically improved its academic quality, finances, and fundraising. New academic programs in technology, engineering, health sciences, and other areas have been added during his tenure. The University has also completed a number of building and beautification projects, engaged in a vigorous branding initiative, and established a strategic blueprint for its future.
Harrison has cultivated an exceptional relationship between the University and the Greater Hartford community. There are two Hartford Public School Magnet Schools on the campus. He is a board member of Hartford Stage, where he was president from 2007-2010; St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center; MetroHartford Alliance, where he is treasurer; Suffield Academy; Hartford Consortium for Higher Education; and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, where he is chair. He was also a founding board member of the Connecticut Science Center. President Harrison is recognized as a leader in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award for his work to improve the academic success of student-athletes. He became a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics in 2015.