Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Take the Long View,’ Harrison Urges Graduates
Professors Nagurney and Moslehpour represented the CETA faculty at the Fall 2011 commencement.
Approximately 148 graduates celebrated the completion of their degrees with cheering family and friends Sunday at the annual Fall Commencement ceremony in Lincoln Theater. Despite the challenging times in which the students are graduating, University President Walter Harrison said he is optimistic about their future.
“Wherever you look, it seems, there are things to worry about – especially, for some of you, whether you will be able to find meaningful and rewarding work,” Harrison said.
“I am here to assure you that you will, and that things will most certainly get better – much better, if you take the long view,” Harrison said. “And today, my message is just that: Take the long view.
“This may not be the most encouraging time to be entering the job force, but you have really spent the past two, three, four, or five years here preparing yourselves not just for your first job, but for a lifetime of jobs,” Harrison said. Through their University of Hartford educations, “I sincerely believe that you have prepared yourself for a fulfilling career and a lifetime of service to humanity."
The Fall Commencement ceremony is for undergraduate and graduate students who complete their degree requirements in September or January but cannot attend the University's traditional Commencement ceremony in May. Fall Commencement was introduced in 1996 to provide these students with a formal ceremony that celebrates their academic accomplishments.
During Sunday’s ceremony, the University presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Chase T. Rogers, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Upon receiving her honorary degree, Chief Justice Rogers said she was “truly humbled” by the recognition, and congratulated all the graduates on their accomplishments. She also encouraged them to “seriously consider staying in the state of Connecticut with your newfound skills.”
Rogers is the second woman and the 35th person to hold the state’s highest judicial office, having been appointed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2007. Rogers served as a Superior Court judge from 1998 to 2006. Her assignments included the Child Protection Session in Middletown and serving as the presiding judge for juvenile matters in Bridgeport. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Rogers to the board of directors of the State Justice Institute, which is charged with working to improve the quality of justice in America’s state courts.
Among the graduates at Sunday's Commencement ceremony was Elizabeth Horton Sheff, a well-known activist and former Hartford City Council member who filed the landmark Sheff vs. O’Neill school desegregation lawsuit to address educational inequities in Hartford and surrounding communities. Horton Sheff, who currently serves as director of community services for the Community Renewal Team, earned a Master of Education with a specialty in educational technology.
Also celebrating the completion of their degrees Sunday were at least four University staff members. Crystal Hall Cyr of Institutional Advancement earned a Master of Busines Administration; Dianne Silliman of the Payroll Department earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Jacqueline Fulk-Noyan of the Bursar's Office earned a Bachelor of Arts in University Studies; and Huong Nguyen of the Office of Residential Life earned a Bachelor of Science in University Studies.
In addition, Da’Rel Eastling ’99 attended Sunday’s Fall Commencement ceremony both as president of the Alumni Association and as a graduate, having earned a Master of Business Administration.