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University of Hartford Announces 2019 Commencement Speakers


Posted 04/10/2019
Posted by Meagan Fazio


Alumnus Orin Wolf ’01, lead producer of a Tony-Award winning musical, and Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, will deliver Commencement addresses at the University of Hartford next month.

Wolf, who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Actor Training from The Hartt School, will address undergraduates on Sunday, May 19. Wolf is the lead producer of the Tony-Award winning musical, The Band’s Visit, which won 10 Tony Awards in 2018, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history. It also won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Wolf is also president of NETworks Theatrical Presentation, the largest Broadway touring production company.

Wolf’s additional Broadway producing credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Nominated), Beautiful — The Carole King Musical (Tony Nominated), Orphans (Tony Nominated), Hands on a Hardbody, Once (Broadway Tony Award Winner, London and National Tour), That Championship Season, and A View From the Bridge (Tony Nominated). His off-Broadway and touring credits include The Band’s Visit, Not By Bread Alone, Groundswell, Judy Gold’s 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Robert Wuhl’s Assume the Position, History of the Word, and I Love a Piano.

Wolf, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is the co-founder of OBB/Off Broadway Booking, an agency that pioneered a national touring market for off-Broadway shows. He was awarded one of the first T-Fellowships for Creative Producing at Columbia University, a program created by Hal Prince and other producers to help nurture young producers. He is now director of the T-Fellowships.

Wolf will deliver his address on May 19 at 10 a.m. during the University’s main ceremony on the campus green. The main ceremony is followed by individual school and college ceremonies at separate sites. During The Hartt School’s ceremony Wolf will be honored with a Hartt Alumni Award, which annually recognizes outstanding alumni.

Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), which represents 1,400 independent and public higher education entities, will address master’s and doctoral degree graduates during their commencement on Saturday, May 18. Pasquerella was provost of the University of Hartford from 2008-10 when she assumed the role of president at her undergraduate alma mater Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. At UHart, she guided the development of an academic strategic plan and the completion of a University-wide strategic plan; a university-wide values initiative, “Committed to Community;” and the expansion and implementation of the Jackie McLean Fellowship to support scholars and performers from underrepresented groups.

Pasquerella was president at Mount Holyoke from 2010-16 where her major initiatives included the establishment of the Lynk Program, connecting liberal arts and sciences to careers; the completion of a $300 million comprehensive campaign; the creation of offices for Planning and Programming and for Professional and Graduate Education; the founding of the President’s Commission on Work-Life-Family, a President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and Sustainability Week; and hosting NPR’s The Academic Minute and Amherst public access television’s Difficult Dialogues: Voices From the Valley.   

Pasquerella became president of the AAC&U in 2016. It is an organization committed to advancing liberal education, equity, and quality in undergraduate higher education in service to democracy. Founded by 150 college presidents in 1915, today’s AAC&U leads institutions and communities in articulating and demonstrating the value of liberal education for work, citizenship, and life. In her three years at the helm, Pasquerella has led a comprehensive strategic planning process, culminating in the plan for 2018-22, ASPIRE: Advancing Student Performance through Integration, Research, and Excellence, and strategic initiatives that include supporting centers for truth, racial healing, and transformation on college and university campuses; collaborating with the Interfaith Youth Core to facilitate speaking across religious differences; and developing a guided pathways project within and across institutions for underserved student success.

Pasquerella will deliver her address on May 18 during the 10 a.m. graduate ceremony on the University’s campus green. She will also be conferred an honorary degree.