UHart's Top 23 Moments of 2023

The 2023 calendar year was an exciting one for the University of Hartford. Let's take a look back at our most memorable moments. 

1. We reached new enrollment heights and launched in-demand programs.

UHart enthusiastically welcomed more than 1,400 new undergraduate students to campus last fall. This promising class is the largest since 2017, driven by rising applications, high-demand programs, Division III athletics, and impressive facilities like the Hursey Center.

UHart recently launched several new programs to continue to meet the needs of our undergraduate and graduate students, including environmental science, environmental studies, animation and game art, sports management, supply chain and logistics management, construction management + technology, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Master of Arts in Integrated Communication. See all our programs. 

5. Teddy, UHart's new comfort dog, joined the campus community.

The 2-year-old Labrador retriever joined the pack at UHart’s Department of Public Safety as a campus comfort canine. An unconventional life for any pup, but one that brings him—and all his new student pals—immense joy.

Check out some fun videos of Teddy. 

Teddy always does his job with a smile. And a wag. Well, if you consider it “work” to bask in attention, belly rubs, chin scratches, and compliments all day long.

6. Stanley Black & Decker launched a scholarship program for UHart students.

The “Be a Force for Good Scholarship” initiative provides a total of $600,000 in scholarships over four years to UHart’s Stanley Black & Decker Scholars, focusing on students underrepresented in business, including first-generation and BIPOC college students. Scholars receive up to $10,000 toward their UHart education each year. The initiative also includes mentoring programs and early career opportunities.

More about this program.
7. We graduated our first undergrad nursing class!

The Class of 2023 nursing students made history at UHart as the first group to graduate from the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program. On May 13, they took part in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions’ first-ever pinning ceremony for BSN students, which officially welcomes them into the profession. The next day, they walked across the stage at Commencement.

Congrats, BSN students!
8. Study abroad opportunities grow with $1.8 million gifted in scholarships.

Thanks to the generosity of the Dunn family, unforgettable study abroad experiences are now more accessible to UHart students. The West Hartford couple gifted $1.8 million for study abroad scholarships, granting access to so many students who never imagined extending their education to another country.

More about this scholarship

9. Our women’s soccer team claimed the ECAC postseason championship!


The top-seeded University of Hartford women's soccer team claimed the 2023 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III postseason championship with a 6–0 victory over the third-seeded University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.The Hawks finished the 2023 season with 12 consecutive wins, ending with an impressive 16–2 record.

Go Hawks!

13. UHart professor studied CT bridges with AI.

Clara Fang

Clara Fang, professor of civil engineering in UHart’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, is using artificial intelligence to evaluate and predict infrastructure needs of Connecticut’s more than 5,000 bridges. Fang received a $238,000 research grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration as lead investigator for the project, which is spanning two years. Fang’s team will be using AI to better predict the bridge performance and deterioration process. Creating a more advanced prediction model will allow the state to further plan for bridges for years and decades to come. 

14. We celebrated with alumni and friends at Hawktober.

Hawktober Reunion and Family Weekend 2023 was a massive success, bringing together alumni, parents, students, and friends of UHart! Despite the rainy start, we welcomed more than 1,200 individuals to campus. Hawktoberfest welcomed more than 600 alumni, students, and parents into Konover Campus Center for student performances, snacks, games, and even some dancing.

See Hawktober Photos
15. 86-year-old veteran graduated from The Hartt School.

Henry "Hank" Bolden earned his degree from UHart at the age of 86. But getting there has also required more resilience than anyone could imagine. Bolden is an “Atomic Veteran,” one of thousands of Black soldiers used in government experiments focused on nuclear weapons exposure during the Cold War. He fought to receive support for medical treatment once it all became public knowledge decades later. But music was always in Bolden’s heart. After traveling and playing saxophone as a musician, Bolden decided to pursue a degree at The Hartt School.

Read Hank's Story
16. UHart grad students take their PT skills across the globe.

Four students pursuing their doctorate of physical therapy, along with Assistant Professor TJ Bellama, traveled across the globe to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands to help fill the gap in physical therapy care by treating patients of all ages while living in their community for a month. Students worked in a small private health clinic aiding patients’ musculoskeletal conditions, as well as other issues based on need, and visited the local hospital and other nearby clinics to observe.

Read full story

17. CETA celebrated another successful Design Expo showcasing student innovation.

expo student photo

The Hursey Center was filled with support from families and industry professionals as students presented at the Spring 2023 CETA Design Expo on Friday, April 28. The design expo is a biannual event hosted at the end of each semester, with students sharing their innovative projects intended to help others or solve a particular problem. The design expo provides students with a realistic product-pitching experience. Teams are expected to not only design and create prototypes of their inventions, but also present their ideas the same way industry professionals do.

18. UHart's Day of Giving made a big impact.

The 2023 Day of Giving saw increases across the board over last year in the number of gifts, alumni paying it forward, donors supporting the University of Hartford, and guests at kickoff events. Through 908 donors making gifts totaling $329,186, the campus community benefited from support for financial aid, clubs and organizations, academic programs, and much more. Donors offering 27 challenges and 12 matches gave an incredible boost to the festivities, motivating even more people to make a difference.

Impact by the Numbers
19. UHart student becomes our first Rangel Fellow.

A University of Hartford student was awarded a prestigious international affairs fellowship, becoming the first from UHart to earn the honor. Benedicta “Benie” Kwarteng ’23 was granted a 2023 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a nationwide competition of nearly 900 highly qualified candidates. Just 45 fellows were chosen across the country. The program will allow the multi-lingual Kwarteng to pursue her master’s degree, work overseas and stateside with a member of Congress, and become a U.S. diplomat.

More about the Rangel Fellowship

23. We celebrated the success of our students!

Commencement ceremony

Approximately 1,200 University of Hartford graduates received their degrees during two separate Commencement ceremonies at downtown Hartford's XL Center on Sunday, May 14.

Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Thank you, UHart Community, for making 2023 a year to remember.

We launched new programs, set records, welcomed President Biden to campus, celebrated student achievements and exciting career opportunities, created new scholarships, raised funds for our students, and honored many deserving alumni, students, faculty, and staff for their continued successes. 

We look forward to a new year and new stories to share in 2024!