UHart's Top 20 Moments of 2020

It's been a year unlike any other!

Honorable Mentions

Each year, we anticipate that a few curve balls will be thrown our way. Even perfect, well-thought-out plans encounter obstacles, and at the University of Hartford, we are always ready for the next challenge.

With that being said, we never could have predicted what 2020 would bring. At the drop of a hat, our entire world went virtual. We quickly adapted to learning and working from home, and successfully navigated health precautions that kept us all safe. It was a challenging year to say the least, but one that demonstrated the true strength of our UHart community. We pivoted, got creative with alternative solutions, and kept our sights set on the bright future ahead while doing everything in our power to nurture the present.

So in a year that tried to knock us down, we are so proud to have so much to celebrate.

Let's take a look back at our biggest achievements.

1. Our Hawks Stayed Healthy

Over the past nine months, we watched as schools in Connecticut and across the country pivoted to a fully remote model due to rising cases of COVID-19. We were prepared and we were committed. We never gave up, and here we are celebrating the incredible accomplishment of finishing our in-person classes exactly as scheduled. We worked together to make this possible and we can all feel tremendous pride in this result.

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2. Our Community Marched for Change

On Aug. 28, UHart students, faculty, and staff gathered in honor of the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. Together in solidarity, they led a march throughout campus in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and advocated for equality for all persons of color. Our very own student leaders organized this impactful call to action.

3. We Broke Ground

After announcing our plans to add a new building to our campus in 2019, we officially broke ground on the Francis X. and Nancy Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions this year! The construction progress has remained on schedule, and the 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is set to open in fall 2021.

7. We Celebrated Our Community


The Committed to Community initiative celebrates all of the outstanding individuals who make up the UHart family. We highlighted many stories of resilience through our #UHartinspires campaign, such as The Hartt School's relocation of 21 pianos to the homes of its students, and Hartford Art School alumnus Corey Pane '11, whose Hartford mural honored those who bring positivity to the community.

8. You Helped Us Break Records

In just 24 hours, 2,119 donors composed of students, alumni, parents, and friends raised a total of $288,527, making it our most successful Founders Day Challenge yet! Save the date for our next Day of Giving on March 11, 2021.

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9. We Shared Supplies

When classes moved online in March, the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions loaned three much-needed ventilators to Hartford Hospital to help critically ill COVID-19 patients receive the care they need.

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10. Our Artists Flourished

Hartford Art School students Andrew Whitworth '20 and Amanda Anderson '20 were the winners of the 2020 Alexander A. Goldfarb Juried Student Exhibition. They each received a $1,000 prize and had their artwork added to the Goldfarb Memorial Collection.

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11. We Welcomed a Legend

Hank Bolden, an 83-year-old jazz saxophone student, returned to The Hartt School to complete the degree that he started in the 1950s. As one of the few remaining African-American Atomic Veterans, Hank’s story shows that music knows no bounds, and that it is never too late to pursue your passion.

15. Our Faculty Continued to Impress

Professor of Chemistry Andrew Craft was honored for scholarly and/or artistic creativity, Associate Professor of English Donald Jones was honored for sustained service to the University, and Professor of English and Modern Languages Nicholas Ealy was honored for excellence in teaching and contributions to University life.

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16. Athletics Branched Out

Despite a disruption from COVID-19, the Hartford Hawks had four teams advance to America East championship games in 2019–20. Hartford Athletics is now bringing together a diverse team of students for its new co-ed varsity Esports team.

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17. We Rocked the Vote

The Hawks Vote campaign energized and inspired students to participate in this year’s historic presidential election. UHart held registration drives, provided transportation to the polls, and educated students about the voting process. Our students made their voices heard as young people voted in record numbers across the country.

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18. We Kept Dr. King's Dream Alive

On Feb. 5, the University’s annual Martin Luther King observance featured one of the world’s most well-known African American poets, Nikki Giovanni. Students had the honor of reciting her poetry and engaging in a Q&A session, while Giovanni also received an honorary degree from the University.

19. Our Students Teamed Up with Public Safety

public safety

More than a dozen students worked as Student Ambassadors in the new Public Safety Community Office. They provided safety escorts, assisted dispatch, patrolled buildings, and fulfilled other duties to help keep campus safe and secure. UHart also announced the launch of a new student-run Emergency Medical Service program, to be staffed by student volunteer EMTs.

20. Our Hawks Landed

Through it all, UHart students never failed to amaze us with their persistence, strength of character, and dedication to success. Countless members of the Class of 2020 secured positions at companies in Connecticut and beyond well before graduation, showing us all that they have what it takes to hold their own in the professional world.