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University Celebrates Founders Day
L-R: Courtney Payne '16, Emily Audibert '13 (the reigning Miss Connecticut), and Dave Schupp '63 cut the ribbon for the new bridge.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) won the Founders Day Float Contest with their entry on "Bridging Athletics and Academics."
Members of the University community came out in frigid weather Thursday for a festive celebration of the University of Hartford's 56th birthday, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new bridge, a float contest, and more!
Feb. 21 is Founders Day, the anniversary of the date when the University was formed. The charter establishing the University of Hartford was signed on Feb. 21, 1957.
In observance of Founders Day, students, faculty, and staff celebrated the newest addition to the University campus – the new bridge between The Hartt School and Lincoln Theater. Despite freezing temperatures, members of the University community gathered at the bridge for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that had lots of school spirit, courtesy of the Pep Band, University of Hartford cheerleaders, and Howie the Hawk.
President Walter Harrison spoke briefly about the benefits of the new bridge and the removal of the old dam, including environmental improvements and significantly reduced flooding on campus.
The theme of this year's Founders Day celebration was "Building Bridges" – and in keeping with that idea, the three people who cut the ribbon represented a bridge between the University's past, present, and future. The ribbon was cut by Dave Schupp '63, a University regent and 1963 graduate; Emily Audibert '13, a senior in the Barney School of Business and the reigning Miss Connecticut; and Courtney Payne '16, a first-year student who lives in the Hawk Spirit Residential Learning Community in Hawk Hall.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a float contest was held on the bridge, with Schupp, Audibert, Payne, and Hillyer College Dean David Goldenberg serving as judges. The winning entry was created by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) -- the theme of their float was "Bridging Athletics and Academics." The Student Government Association (SGA) and Dining Services also created floats for the contest.
The Float Contest was followed by a drawing for students; a parade to Gengras Student Union; and birthday cake, music from the Pep Band, and T-shirts and other giveaways in Suisman Lounge.
The Founders Day celebration actually began on Wednesday evening (Feb. 20), at the men's basketball game against New Hampshire, with Founders Day T-shirts for students and a colorful Paper Airplane Contest at halftime.
This year's Founders Day celebrations were sponsored by the Office of Marketing and Communication, Student Government Association, Department of Athletics, and ARAMARK.