Graduate Commencement 2019
University of Hartford graduates 350 Master’s and Doctoral Students
Thirteen percent of U.S. adults have an advanced degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That number increased by 350 on Saturday, May 18, as master’s and doctoral degrees were conferred to the class of 2019 at the University of Hartford.
The University offers 64 graduate programs. The top five graduate program degrees conferred on Saturday were MBA (72), Physical Therapy (45), Nursing, (25), School Psychology (23), and Prosthetics & Orthotics (21).
Commencement speaker Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and former UHart provost from 2008 to 2010, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to always look beyond their chosen disciplines for problem solving possibilities. Citing a NASA study of 1,600 children of whom 98 percent scored at the genius level at ages 4 and 5, then 30 percent scored at the genius level at age 10, and ultimately 12 percent scored at the genius level at age 15, she said, “little kids are full of confidence in their ideas because they haven’t had a lifetime of being told something is too far-fetched, weird, or impossible. That confidence to express ideas is just as important as the creative skills needed to develop them.”
Pasquerella then urged the graduates to not allow convergent thinking (judgement and decision making) to take over divergent thinking (creative brainstorming) or the notion that anything is possible when we let our imaginations run wild.
Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and former UHart provost from 2008 to 2010
In this post-truth era of polarization, when, unless they confirm what we already believe, there is an inclination to dismiss ideas almost as soon as we hear them, we need to focus more on the power of divergent thinking and the agency to express these divergent thoughts.
University President Gregory S. Woodward also urged the graduates to do more, continue to learn, and to be both scholars and teachers. “It is incumbent upon you to keep learning and to teach others,” Woodward said. “You can choose to be whatever you want to be, but choose to do good in your own way.”
Pasquerella received an honorary Doctor of Letters during the ceremony in recognition of her dedication to teaching and scholarship and her achievements in and advocacy of women’s empowerment.