The achievements of more than 200 students were celebrated at the University of Hartford's Fall Commencement ceremonies on Sunday.
Those who received associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees this past September, or who are scheduled to next month, donned cap and gown in two separate ceremonies.
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UHart President Gregory Woodward, participating in his first Commencement exercises since taking office in July, told graduates at the afternoon undergraduate ceremony that the perseverance and sacrifice they used to obtain their degrees will help them achieve future goals.
“What happens next for our world?" Woodward asked. "Well, I am excited, energized, and truly satisfied to say, ‘I don’t know!' What I do know is that each of you leaves here today fully prepared to ask the tough questions. To explore what’s next. To achieve your wildest dreams and find your own definition of success.
"The world you inhabit is yours now to shape and to improve," he added. You can make a great life and a better world. You know how to do it, and you will do it.”
Earlier in the day, Charles Pagano Jr. '84, M'07, retired executive vice president and chief technology officer at ESPN and 2017 recipeint of UHart's Distinguished Alumni Award, told the candidates for master's and doctoral degrees that his "success at ESPN has a perfect correlation to the education and training that I’ve received here."
He advised graduates, "My charge to you is simple. This world needs leadership at every corner of our existence. Our children need it, our society needs it, and our nation needs it. Your education here is just one tool in the tool box of life going forward; you all now need to develop your own leadership tools and passion for it."
UHart introduced a Fall Commencement ceremony in 1996. In 2016, based on the growing number of students wishing to participate, Fall Commencement was split into two separate ceremonies Despite its perilous position on the calendar —the first Sunday each December—Fall Commencement has never been delayed or canceled due to weather in its 20-plus-year history.