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A Day of Celebration for the Class of 2006
New banners for each of the University's schools and colleges were unveiled at Sunday's Commencement ceremonies.
Natalie Wing (third from left), coordinator of academic studies at The Hartt School, and her son, David, (second from left), both received master's degrees in communication Sunday. Natalie and David, along with Wing's son Aaron (far left) and daughter Kristy (far right), all received their bachelor's degrees from the University of Hartford as well.
“By the authority vested in me by the laws of this great state, and because I don’t see anyone here who can stop me, I hereby declare this day to be University of Hartford Class of 2006 Day of Celebration! You go, Class of 2006,” she said to the cheers of the graduates and their families and friends.
See photos from Sunday's Commencement ceremony.
Nappier was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws during Sunday's ceremony, and renowned structural engineer Charles H. Thornton was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science.
In her remarks, Nappier told graduates, “You have achieved your degree at one of the most difficult and demanding times in our nation’s history. We see incredible poverty, ethical lapses, economic upheaval and the tragedy of war. We see a troubling lack of progress on fundamental issues of fairness, justice, and equity. We face new risks to our security and way of life, but where there is risk, there is also opportunity. That is where you come in.”
“Never has there been a greater need for people of character and commitment, of integrity, of resolve and resilience to step forward. We are counting on you to help set things right,” Nappier told the graduates.
Elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, Nappier is the only woman to be elected treasurer in Connecticut history, and she is the first African-American woman elected to serve as a state treasurer in the United States. Nappier has served as a catalyst and advocate for financial education in Connecticut, working with the private sector and community-based organizations to expand financial literacy programs.
Thornton, an internationally acclaimed structural engineer whose firm has been honored for its disaster response efforts in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, also is a strong advocate of educational outreach and mentoring. In 1995 he founded the ACE Mentor Program, which provides guidance and training in architecture, construction, and engineering to inner-city high school students in 57 U.S. cities.
“I’m a structural engineer, but I’m more than that — I’m a businessman, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m a mentor," Thornton told graduates. "And all of you as you go forth, should try to be the same thing — be more than one thing.” Thornton reminded them that “Someone mentored me, someone mentored the faculty, somebody mentored the students that made it through undergraduate or graduate, and we need mentors in the inner cities of America because there are students there that are not getting the kind of guidance they need.”
The University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Francis X. Hursey A'73, '77, the discoverer of QuikClot, which is credited with stopping massive arterial and venous bleeding from traumatic injury. Scores of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan have been saved by QuikClot, and in this country, police and fire departments use QuikClot to save lives at scenes of accidents, fires, and crime. Hursey was designated Defense Researcher of the Year in 2003 by Scientific American and by Popular Science.
Four faculty members also were honored at Sunday’s main Commencement ceremony. Associate Professor of Chemistry Laura Pence was presented with the Roy E. Larsen Award for Excellence in Teaching; Professor of History Warren Goldstein received the James E. and Frances W. Bent Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Walter Banzhaf was recognized with the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Service to the University; and Associate Professor of Marketing Charles R. Canedy III received the Donald W. Davis All-University Curriculum Award.
In addition, two graduating students were honored for their outstanding achievements. Lauren Zaccaro, who graduated from the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture with a major in mechanical engineering and a concentration in acoustics, received the Belle K. Ribicoff Prize. Danielle Miller, a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the John G. Lee Medal. Daniel Dabek, who received a Bachelor of Music degree from The Hartt School, was the student speaker at the main Commencement ceremony.