“Keep being legendary.” That was the message of the evening on Monday, June 18 as 96 members of the University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) Class of 2018 received their diplomas at Lincoln Theater on the University’s campus. Each UHSSE class selects a name in its first year. The class of 2018 selected “legendary” and each speaker throughout the program referenced ways in which the class had worked individually and as a group to live up to that name. Their group projects included hosting water stations at the Hartford Marathon, rebuilding houses in the storm-damaged Dominican Republic, holding a Senior Citizen Prom, and tutoring schoolmates who were struggling.
95 of the graduates plan to continue their education or enter the military, continuing a decade-long tradition of at least 97% of graduates continuing on after high school. Some of the schools they will attend include University of Hartford, University of Connecticut, Cornell University, Syracuse University, Washington University in St. Louis, Boston University, Northeastern University, Southern and Central CT State Universities, and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
UHSSE is a City of Hartford magnet high school located on campus and is based on the early-college philosophy that some high school students are capable of performing and excelling in university work while still in high school. UHSSE students can often be seen walking to and from the school to campus buildings where they have the ability to take college level courses at no charge if there are open seats in the class and if they have met the high school’s academic requirements.
In this year’s graduating class, five earned more than 30 college credits each in their high school years and maintained a college-level GPA of over 3.90. One, Mathieu Letendre of Berlin, who was also the class president, received the President’s Early College Award. He achieved a college-level GPA of 4.00 while completing 34 college credits at UHart. His coursework included four calculus courses, history, psychology, computer programming, and philosophy. He will attend Washington University in St. Louis in the fall. Graduate Samuel Shagan of Cromwell received the Dean’s Early College Award during the ceremony. He earned 65 college credits while at the high school and maintained a 3.97 GPA. He will attend Cornell University in the fall.
Six graduates of UHSSE are members of UHart’s class of 2022. Since 1990, the University has had the Hartford Scholars Program that gives half-tuition scholarships to qualified applicants who live in Hartford and graduate from Hartford public high schools or from suburban schools that participate in Project Choice, a state program to improve diversity in suburban school districts. One of the incoming UHSSE graduates, Ariel Brown, is a Hartford Scholar.