Donor Spotlight: Jacob Cross '04

I received a scholarship to attend the University of Hartford, and the University's focus on hands-on education was a formative part of my time there. I want to help enable current and future students learn from the same experiences I had. "

Jacob Cross '04,

Jacob Cross earned his bachelor's in communication from the University of Hartford in 2004. Using the skills gained as a student, he has enjoyed a successful career in television production, filmmaking, and digital media. Grateful for the scholarships which allowed him to attend the University, Jacob now pays it forward each year so others can have the same opportunities he had as a student.

Thank you for being a loyal supporter of UHart. Can you tell us what inspires you to give each year?

I received a scholarship to attend the University of Hartford, and I wanted to help enable current and future students to pursue their education at Hartford as well. I want to help them experience and learn from the same experiences I had. In particular, the Communication Students Special Opportunity Fund provides assistance to students who may not otherwise be able to attend their internships, whether it's through help with transportation or lodging, or purchasing some professional attire.

What are your top three favorite things about the University?

During my time at the University, I really enjoyed feeling part of a small, close community. It was enriching to meet and get to know people from different academic and personal backgrounds, whether it be through residential assignments, cross-curriculum classes, or clubs and activities.

The University's focus on hands-on education was also a formative part of my time there. Whether it was producing shows in the television studio, cutting tape at WWUH, or going to the Wadsworth Atheneum for art history class, nearly all of my professors encouraged learning by doing and that helped me get much more out of my education than I might have otherwise.

I also always enjoyed the daily "commute" from the residential side of campus across the bridge to the academic side (and the return trip home). It was a good time to reflect and clear my head, or catch up with a friend on a shared walk.

What is your favorite UHart tradition?

I'll never forget the rush—literal and adrenaline-fueled—on Thursday nights to prepare for Friday's STN Channel 2 newscast. It was an exciting tradition to be part of such a talented group of students working together to pull off a professional-level television broadcast every week.

What is the greatest lesson you learned while a student at UHart?

I learned that an education—as with many things in life—is only as good as what you devote to it. You can do the minimum amount of work and still earn a diploma, but you will have robbed yourself of countless opportunities to grow, educate, and enrich yourself. Happily for me, this was a lesson learned before it was too late. 

How have you stayed connected with the University over the years?

I'm especially proud of the friendships and relationships I forged during my time at the University. I'm happy to say that I met some of my now-closest friends during my college years. Beyond friends, I also am still in touch with many of my Hartford professors which I think speaks to the dedication of the faculty there and the ownership they place in their students' education and success.

More about Jacob:

I've lived in Washington, DC since graduating from the University in 2004. I've worked in various capacities in the television production and filmmaking community, including multiple positions at Discovery Communications, the parent company of Discovery Channel. I was honored to be invited back to the University to speak to students about my experience producing an underwater archaeology film for National Geographic Channel.

For the past several years, my career has focused on the fast-growing field of digital media, and I've been involved in the creation and distribution of video and other content for the web, social media, mobile devices, and other new and exciting platforms.Share your story. If you would like to share why you support UHart and its students, please let us know!