A message from President Gregory S. Woodward:
With immense thanks to one Hawk who stayed close to the nest, I write to announce that John J. Carson, senior advisor to the president, retired on Friday, Sept. 29. John graduated from the University with a degree in economics in 1965. After earning a master’s in economics at the University of Massachusetts in 1967, he held various positions in economic development and public policy with the Connecticut Policy and Economic Council, Deloitte & Touche, and as commissioner of economic development for the State of Connecticut.
John always maintained a close watch on his alma mater. Even before working here, he served two terms as an alumnus on the Board of Regents and was an adjunct professor of economics. In 1997, he joined the University as interim vice president for finance and administration. In the ensuing two decades, he has served as the University’s vice president of university relations, interim director of athletics, and two separate terms as senior advisor to President Emeritus Walter Harrison. His accomplishments at the University span government relations, public relations, communication and branding, and community relations, as well as the Center for Professional Development and WWUH, the University’s noncommercial FM radio station.
John’s knowledge and expertise helped build a strong, sustainable collection of University buildings and programs for all of us. He guided the University's emergence from the financial challenges of the early 1990s into an era of strong growth and enhanced reputation. He helped us attract millions of dollars in public funding to pay for key buildings and his expertise in government relations helped to bring two U.S. presidents to campus.
When John received the University Medal for Distinguished Service at Commencement in May 2016, the citation read in part, “Throughout your career, you have always embraced the spirit and mission of the University. You have shown pride in being an alumnus and served the University with grace, courage, and distinction.” In the brief number of months I have worked with John, I echo these sentiments loudly and truly appreciate the knowledge he has shared with me and the many contacts he has helped me make.
I am happy to report that John will continue on as a personal advisor to me and as an ongoing bridge to our community on a part-time basis for the remainder of this year. A retirement “farewell” reception for John will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. in the Henry Roberts Room. I hope you will attend. Please join me in wishing John a very happy retirement and more time to spend with his children and grandchildren on the east and west coasts.