This past Sunday, the University of Hartford celebrated the achievements of over 200 graduates at Fall Commencement. Two separate ceremonies were held for students who received their associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees in September or who are scheduled to next month.
Despite the gray and rainy weather, graduates wore big smiles as they crossed the stage. The keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony was Alexandra Arroyo ‘13, an associate attorney in Wiggin and Dana’s Private Client Services Department. Arroyo reminded the graduates of their accomplishments.
“Your degree was not given, it was earned through hard work, perseverance, and commitment alongside your dedicated professors," Arroyo told graduates. "You did it.”
She left the graduates with this final advice, “I urge you to seize the moment, pursue every opportunity, and to be your best self.”
In the morning ceremony, Donald Allen Jr. ‘86, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Stanley Black & Decker, reflected on his life experiences and offered the graduates his five tenants for a successful life and career.
“First, the need for a strong support system of family or friends to be successful in life; second, differentiation is very important to a successful career; third, seek experiences that make you uncomfortable as they will make you better; fourth, give back to your community to help those in need and finally fifth, make sure you enjoy the ride on your journey in life.
“Whether you follow these five tenets or you develop your own key tenets on how to live your life—make sure you always do things with the highest level of integrity and honesty. As without integrity and honesty, the foundation of your tenets crumble.”
UHart introduced a Fall Commencement ceremony in 1996. In 2016, based on the growing number of students wishing to participate, Fall Commencement was split into two separate ceremonies. Despite its perilous position on the calendar —the first Sunday each December—Fall Commencement has never been delayed or canceled due to weather in its 23-year history.