The University of Hartford marked the inauguration of President Gregory S. Woodward on Saturday, Oct. 20, with a ceremony celebrating the school’s rich history and looking ahead toward a bright future. Woodward, a West Hartford native, became the University’s sixth president in July 2017. He has already transformed the campus with his energy and his resolute focus on the success of students.
“The future is right here,” Woodward promised in his inaugural address to family, friends, and the University community in the campus’s Lincoln Theater. “We are shaping it in every class, every residence hall, every club, every playing field, in every laboratory and performance space, and in every chance encounter and chance meeting.”
Woodward laid out his plans for the University’s approximately 6,500 current students and those who will enroll in the coming years.
“I want every single student to graduate,” he said. “I want every student to choose a considered and wise path forward. I want every student to know more about who they are and how they interface with this diverse world when they walk across the stage with their diploma. I am ethically and morally bound to help every student we enroll to succeed.”
The event was filled with nods to the University’s past. Woodward was joined by all three former living presidents: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, who served from 1977–88; Humphrey Tonkin, who led the University from 1989–98; and Walter Harrison, who retired in 2017 after 19 years as president. Each of these predecessors talked about their memories of the University and delivered well-wishes for Woodward’s success. Woodward also received items of historical significance, including the University robe, charter, mace, and medallion, in accordance with academic tradition.
Woodward has spent nearly four decades working in almost every conceivable role in higher education. Most recently, he served as the president of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Woodward moved to Carthage from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he was dean of the School of Music, served as interim provost/vice president for academic affairs, and created and served as the inaugural dean of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies.