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In today’s high-tech world, problems are
DISTINCTIVE alumni
2.Our University has been characterized since its
founding by close relationships between students
and faculty and staff, and among students. These
relationships are what the majority of alumni
treasure most about their experiences here. This
isn’t just my opinion. It is the most dominant
result of market research conducted by Simpson
Scarborough, a nationally known leader in this
field that the University has retained to help us
plan for the future. The important things to realize
for this discussion are (a) this system has developed around people coming together in one
geographic space to learn, and (b) it is relatively
expensive to operate.
Strategic planning. When I told a friend that this would be
the topic of this Observer column, she responded, “If you
pick that topic, people will immediately turn the page!”
I hope you’re still with me. If so, let me use the
next five minutes to tell you why I think it is so
important for the University to focus on how we
plan for the next five years.
The University of Hartford—and colleges and
universities all over the country—face very significant
threats to our continued vibrancy, perhaps even our
continued existence, unless we recognize them and
adapt to them. Among those threats are the declining
numbers of traditional-age, college-bound youth in
the Northeast and their increasing reliance on
financial aid; changing American attitudes toward the
value and cost of higher education; and the explosion
in online learning and other emerging technologies.
1.Our University, as well as many others, was built
on a federation model: that is, a university is
essentially a federation of schools and colleges
whose principle focus is their own educational
model and culture. That’s essentially a part of our
founding story here, but it is also true at almost
every university I know. Whatever the value of
such a structure, it does not allow for the nimbleness and the resources to adapt to the rapid and
massive change that characterizes our age.
2 Observer
I know these are very general descriptions, threats,
and goals, but many of us have been busy over the
summer adapting them to the specific situations the
University of Hartford faces. We’ll continue this
activity—engaging as many faculty, staff, alumni, and
students as we can—throughout the fall and winter,
hoping to develop a comprehensive plan by the spring.
What will that plan consist of? It is far too soon to
tell yet. But I will tell you what I, for one, think are the
essential questions we should be asking ourselves:
How do we take the values, both moral and
educational, that have traditionally characterized the
University of Hartford and use them to help form a
University that is more flexible and nimble in responding to a world defined by the increasing pace of change?
In other words, how do we ensure our sustainability?
And in doing so, how do we reach new groups of
students who can benefit from educational technology
that can now bring them a University of Hartford
education anywhere in the world?
During this process, I know there will be people
who feel we have mischaracterized our strengths or the
challenges or what we should do. I hope all of us can
have a lively and thoughtful conversation on these
subjects this fall and winter.
What is important now is for us to use the next
five months or so to construct a plan that will help our
University face the challenges of the next five years,
the five years beyond that, and the century ahead.
Thanks for reading this far. Please let me know by
email ([email protected]) if you have thoughts or
comments. I would especially love to know your
thoughts on what makes us distinctive. We are all in
this together, and I value your thoughts, now and in
the months and years ahead.
If you want to read more, see the strategic
planning website: hartford.edu/strategicplan.
Walter Harrison
President
Top: Jeff Pinheiro ’11, M’13, left, takes a break
with CETA Professor Dan Davis, now his colleague
at Fletcher Thompson architectural firm.
Middle and bottom: Interior and exterior views
of Pinheiro’s graduate school design for a SouthAsian Studies building for McGill University in
Montréal, Canada.
In today’s high-tech world, problems are
solved by the person who gets a piece of
software to work faster and better. In the
field of architecture today, one of the best
high-tech standouts is Jeff Pinheiro—but
most people know him as “The Revit Kid.”
The Revit Kid
Alum Becomes Architecture Software Guru
Pinheiro, who earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2011 and
his master’s in architecture in 2013, both from the University’s College of
Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), has made a name for
himself by creating a series of self-help videos and a blog that help others
get the most out of the Revit software. The program, developed by Autodesk,
is growing dramatically in usage in the architecture industry. Pinheiro says
the software helps designers see buildings and landscapes in 3-D, then to
see the impact of any changes they make to a building’s design.
Pinheiro started using the software when he was student at Norwalk
Community College, where he earned his associate’s degree before coming to
the University of Hartford. As he learned more about the program’s capabilities, he decided to help his classmates who were struggling to learn it. He
created the website therevitkid.com and posted how-to videos there; he also
started a question-and-answer forum to provide additional information.
The website has become the go-to place for Revit information, receiving
270,000 hits per month from people looking for tips on using the software. All
those visits have turned Pinheiro into a nationally recognized expert on Revit
software. He has been invited to speak at several conventions and seminars
and is recognized by Autodesk as a top technical advisor on Revit.
“Revit is the bridge between design and technology and between school
and the real world,” Pinheiro says, noting that more and more members of the
architecture community are embracing this three-dimensional design tool.
For Pinheiro, though, his bridge between school and the real world has
been Dan Davis, professor of architecture in CETA and a colleague of
Pinheiro’s at Fletcher Thompson Inc. Pinheiro and Davis both work in the
firm’s Hartford office. Pinheiro is one of four University of Hartford alums
currently working at Fletcher Thompson. “We are the entire design team for
them in Connecticut,” joked Pinheiro, who joined the firm in 2010, while he
was still in college.
Davis notes that being a mentor as well as a teacher is common in the
University’s architecture department. “Full-time faculty teach first-year degree
candidates and graduate students and everything in between,” he says, which
offers the opportunity to develop a real bond between teacher and student. He
admits, though, that a teacher and student working for the same architectural
design firm is not a usual occurrence.
Davis and Pinheiro have been teammates on some projects at Fletcher
Thompson, but much of the time they are just bouncing ideas off of each
other about the separate projects they are working on. “A lot of what I’ve
done for the past three years has been school designs, but I’ve also done
some hospitals and some single-family homes,” Pinheiro says, adding that it
is the variety that makes what he is doing so much fun. “For me, it’s always
been about designing, but I am intrigued by the intricacies of building and of
technology,” he says.
“He is so good with technology,” Davis says of Pinheiro. That is critical in
today’s architectural world, where technological skills are as vitally important as
design skills. “Technology has changed everything,” Davis says.
After all, it changed Jeffrey Pinheiro into The Revit Kid.
fall 2013 3
DISTINCTIVE alumni
Fulbright Shines
Spotlight on
Three Alumni
Two artists who graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartford
Art School recently returned to the United States after completing
their Fulbright research abroad. While they were in different countries
working on very different projects, Stass Shpanin ’12 and Chotsani
Dean ’98 both used art to connect the present with the past.
Shpanin, who was born in Russia, spent most of the past 12
months in Moscow, where he did research on the history of pre–
World War I Russia.
After a brief visit home earlier this fall, Shpanin returned to
Moscow in late October to do something truly unusual: live in a glass
house outside the Moscow Museum of Art for a month and complete
a painting a day based on images from television and newspapers.
“This is a public project. I want everyone to see it,” says Shpanin.
“Webcams will be set up so people can follow me. It’s a social experiment on how we see our contemporary history. I want to show that
we, as a society, are responsible for the history we are making.”
“The only political statement I am making is that the U.S. and
Russia have a lot in common and I hope they can have a friendship,”
Shpanin explains. “We live in a global world, where everything is
interconnected. Culture is something that can start that mutual
friendship. You don’t need to speak the same language to understand art.”
Shpanin’s Fulbright research followed that theme. He created
artwork based on the history of pre-World War I Russia. One of
his first pieces was a coat of arms, connecting images of human and
animal parts into one symbol.
“There is a heart, a tongue, and skeletons all in the form of a coat
of arms,” Shpanin describes. “What I want to show is that Darwinism
applies to animals and people. The strongest one survives. That is also
the case with coats of arms. They are symbols of someone’s power.”
Shpanin’s ultimate goal is to get viewers to think about art and
history in their own way and not to focus on what they may have
learned from books.
“I’ve been trying to use symmetry and symbols from history in
compositions,” says Shpanin. “In many cases, it is absurd, but it depends
on the viewer to determine what they see. There are a lot of parts, but
I want to let the viewer make the final decision about what it is.”
Top: Fulbright scholar Stass Shpanin ’12, center, stands wrapped up for the winter cold in Red Square in
Moscow. The Kremlin wall and Spasskaya Tower are on the right and St. Basil’s Cathedral is on the left.
Middle: Chotsani Dean ’98, left, at a tea plantation in northern India, explores similarities between the
cotton crop during American Civil War times and the tea crop in India.
Bottom: The Observer caught Miles Aron ’13 during a musical break while he was packing and getting
ready to set out for Zurich, Switzerland, to begin his Fulbright scholarship.
4 Observer
Right: Stass Shpanin’s painting,
Umbrella, 2013 (oil on canvas,
96 x 84 in.), was painted in
Moscow.
Far right: Inspired by cotton
quilts made on plantations in the
19th century, Chotsani Dean ’98
creates ceramic tiles that make a
connection between influences
from Africa and India.
Personal viewpoint is also a theme that runs through the research
of ceramics artist Chotsani Dean ’98, who spent nine months as a
Fulbright scholar in Varanasi, India, in 2012–13. Among her many
projects was a series of clay workshops for young students at the Kriti
Gallery in Varanasi, which mounts art exhibits in its gallery and also
offers artist residencies. During their first visit, Dean showed her
students miniature paintings that are part of India’s tradition.
“We were teaching them about seeing with their eye but also seeing
art through themselves,” she says. “We wanted them to ask themselves,
‘What do you really see when you look at the colors?’”
The workshops also introduced Dean to the plight of some young
girls in Varanasi. One of her students was kidnapped by her father and
sold into marriage. The girl eventually ran away but became ill and died
of Hepatitis C. Dean, who learned of the child’s death after she returned
to the United States, says the experience had a profound effect on her.
She was similarly moved by her time on a tea plantation in
northern India. Like cotton before the U.S. Civil War, tea in India is
grown on plantations and tended by workers who do not receive any of
the crop’s revenue. Dean visited the main tea plantation and spoke with
young girls living there. She says they were amazed that an American
had taken the time to meet them.
On the Swiss/English Express
Alumnus awarded both Fulbright in Switzerland
and University’s John G. Martin Scholarship to
Oxford University
When Miles Aron ’13 learned his Fulbright Scholar
application had been accepted, he was faced with
an unusual dilemma. Aron had just received the
John G. Martin Scholarship at Commencement
last May. He was set to spend the next two years
in England, studying at Hertford College at Oxford
University. After some serious thought, he
postponed the Martin scholarship for a year and
is now at the University of Zurich in Switzerland
for the next year.
Aron, a graduate of the Acoustical Engineering
and Music program in the University of Hartford’s
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), is working to improve the treatment of
While she spent part of her time in India on the tea plantation,
Dean’s primary research focused on cotton. She was looking for a
connection between Africa, the home of her ancestors, and India,
which was the main exporter of cotton before the Atlantic slave trade.
“I was just interested in that dynamic because that’s how my
ancestry impacted a different culture,” Dean says. “I learned that West
Africa was trading with India. And Indian textiles had the striped
patterns loved by Africans and that you see in my work. It was just
interesting to go to India to piece together a different kind of narrative
to my ancestry and the impact my ancestor’s hands had on the global
economy of cotton.”
Cotton continues to inspire Dean’s work. She makes ceramic quilts
based on the fabric quilts created on plantations. It’s that connection
between the past and the present that led her to Varanasi.
“It is one of the oldest, most sacred cities in the country,” she
explains. “That’s part of what drew me to it. You have these holy men
with iPads. They have the accoutrements of now, while they’re
embodying the elements of the past. The past, present, and future were
happening all at the same time.”
Miles Aron ’13 (far right) surveys
Bern, Switzerland, during his
Fulbright studies in Zurich.
brain diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and
Parkinson’s. He is looking into ways doctors can
use ultrasound to penetrate the blood-brain barrier
in order to deliver drugs more effectively to the
brain. Aron is starting his research in Switzerland
and will continue it at Oxford, where he hopes to
earn his PhD.
“When I first learned ultrasound was an option
for treating brain diseases, that seemed like
something worth spending a life on,” Aron says.
He became even more convinced of that
decision on his flight to Switzerland.
“I was sitting next to a woman who was very
proud of her son, who was a brain cancer
researcher,” Aron says. “Last year, he died of brain
cancer. He was in his early 30s. Seeing the pain
she was in from the loss of her son was moving,
and even though we had never met, his story is one
of many that inspire me to work on brain cancer
and diseases.”
So far, Aron is treasuring his Fulbright
experience. He lives in a flat with a view of the Alps,
has traveled to Germany for Oktoberfest, and has
experienced paragliding.
He also loves his research team. Aron says he
feels blessed to have the opportunity and hopes
his work pleases everyone who gave him a chance,
including Robert Celmer, professor of mechanical
engineering in CETA, his advisor during Aron’s
years at the University.
“He’s an amazing guy,” Aron says of Celmer. “It
was exciting to be his student. He expects a lot and
makes you raise the bar.”
fall 2013 5
DISTINCTIVE alumni
Fulbright Shines
Spotlight on
Three Alumni
Two artists who graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartford
Art School recently returned to the United States after completing
their Fulbright research abroad. While they were in different countries
working on very different projects, Stass Shpanin ’12 and Chotsani
Dean ’98 both used art to connect the present with the past.
Shpanin, who was born in Russia, spent most of the past 12
months in Moscow, where he did research on the history of pre–
World War I Russia.
After a brief visit home earlier this fall, Shpanin returned to
Moscow in late October to do something truly unusual: live in a glass
house outside the Moscow Museum of Art for a month and complete
a painting a day based on images from television and newspapers.
“This is a public project. I want everyone to see it,” says Shpanin.
“Webcams will be set up so people can follow me. It’s a social experiment on how we see our contemporary history. I want to show that
we, as a society, are responsible for the history we are making.”
“The only political statement I am making is that the U.S. and
Russia have a lot in common and I hope they can have a friendship,”
Shpanin explains. “We live in a global world, where everything is
interconnected. Culture is something that can start that mutual
friendship. You don’t need to speak the same language to understand art.”
Shpanin’s Fulbright research followed that theme. He created
artwork based on the history of pre-World War I Russia. One of
his first pieces was a coat of arms, connecting images of human and
animal parts into one symbol.
“There is a heart, a tongue, and skeletons all in the form of a coat
of arms,” Shpanin describes. “What I want to show is that Darwinism
applies to animals and people. The strongest one survives. That is also
the case with coats of arms. They are symbols of someone’s power.”
Shpanin’s ultimate goal is to get viewers to think about art and
history in their own way and not to focus on what they may have
learned from books.
“I’ve been trying to use symmetry and symbols from history in
compositions,” says Shpanin. “In many cases, it is absurd, but it depends
on the viewer to determine what they see. There are a lot of parts, but
I want to let the viewer make the final decision about what it is.”
Top: Fulbright scholar Stass Shpanin ’12, center, stands wrapped up for the winter cold in Red Square in
Moscow. The Kremlin wall and Spasskaya Tower are on the right and St. Basil’s Cathedral is on the left.
Middle: Chotsani Dean ’98, left, at a tea plantation in northern India, explores similarities between the
cotton crop during American Civil War times and the tea crop in India.
Bottom: The Observer caught Miles Aron ’13 during a musical break while he was packing and getting
ready to set out for Zurich, Switzerland, to begin his Fulbright scholarship.
4 Observer
Right: Stass Shpanin’s painting,
Umbrella, 2013 (oil on canvas,
96 x 84 in.), was painted in
Moscow.
Far right: Inspired by cotton
quilts made on plantations in the
19th century, Chotsani Dean ’98
creates ceramic tiles that make a
connection between influences
from Africa and India.
Personal viewpoint is also a theme that runs through the research
of ceramics artist Chotsani Dean ’98, who spent nine months as a
Fulbright scholar in Varanasi, India, in 2012–13. Among her many
projects was a series of clay workshops for young students at the Kriti
Gallery in Varanasi, which mounts art exhibits in its gallery and also
offers artist residencies. During their first visit, Dean showed her
students miniature paintings that are part of India’s tradition.
“We were teaching them about seeing with their eye but also seeing
art through themselves,” she says. “We wanted them to ask themselves,
‘What do you really see when you look at the colors?’”
The workshops also introduced Dean to the plight of some young
girls in Varanasi. One of her students was kidnapped by her father and
sold into marriage. The girl eventually ran away but became ill and died
of Hepatitis C. Dean, who learned of the child’s death after she returned
to the United States, says the experience had a profound effect on her.
She was similarly moved by her time on a tea plantation in
northern India. Like cotton before the U.S. Civil War, tea in India is
grown on plantations and tended by workers who do not receive any of
the crop’s revenue. Dean visited the main tea plantation and spoke with
young girls living there. She says they were amazed that an American
had taken the time to meet them.
On the Swiss/English Express
Alumnus awarded both Fulbright in Switzerland
and University’s John G. Martin Scholarship to
Oxford University
When Miles Aron ’13 learned his Fulbright Scholar
application had been accepted, he was faced with
an unusual dilemma. Aron had just received the
John G. Martin Scholarship at Commencement
last May. He was set to spend the next two years
in England, studying at Hertford College at Oxford
University. After some serious thought, he
postponed the Martin scholarship for a year and
is now at the University of Zurich in Switzerland
for the next year.
Aron, a graduate of the Acoustical Engineering
and Music program in the University of Hartford’s
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), is working to improve the treatment of
While she spent part of her time in India on the tea plantation,
Dean’s primary research focused on cotton. She was looking for a
connection between Africa, the home of her ancestors, and India,
which was the main exporter of cotton before the Atlantic slave trade.
“I was just interested in that dynamic because that’s how my
ancestry impacted a different culture,” Dean says. “I learned that West
Africa was trading with India. And Indian textiles had the striped
patterns loved by Africans and that you see in my work. It was just
interesting to go to India to piece together a different kind of narrative
to my ancestry and the impact my ancestor’s hands had on the global
economy of cotton.”
Cotton continues to inspire Dean’s work. She makes ceramic quilts
based on the fabric quilts created on plantations. It’s that connection
between the past and the present that led her to Varanasi.
“It is one of the oldest, most sacred cities in the country,” she
explains. “That’s part of what drew me to it. You have these holy men
with iPads. They have the accoutrements of now, while they’re
embodying the elements of the past. The past, present, and future were
happening all at the same time.”
Miles Aron ’13 (far right) surveys
Bern, Switzerland, during his
Fulbright studies in Zurich.
brain diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and
Parkinson’s. He is looking into ways doctors can
use ultrasound to penetrate the blood-brain barrier
in order to deliver drugs more effectively to the
brain. Aron is starting his research in Switzerland
and will continue it at Oxford, where he hopes to
earn his PhD.
“When I first learned ultrasound was an option
for treating brain diseases, that seemed like
something worth spending a life on,” Aron says.
He became even more convinced of that
decision on his flight to Switzerland.
“I was sitting next to a woman who was very
proud of her son, who was a brain cancer
researcher,” Aron says. “Last year, he died of brain
cancer. He was in his early 30s. Seeing the pain
she was in from the loss of her son was moving,
and even though we had never met, his story is one
of many that inspire me to work on brain cancer
and diseases.”
So far, Aron is treasuring his Fulbright
experience. He lives in a flat with a view of the Alps,
has traveled to Germany for Oktoberfest, and has
experienced paragliding.
He also loves his research team. Aron says he
feels blessed to have the opportunity and hopes
his work pleases everyone who gave him a chance,
including Robert Celmer, professor of mechanical
engineering in CETA, his advisor during Aron’s
years at the University.
“He’s an amazing guy,” Aron says of Celmer. “It
was exciting to be his student. He expects a lot and
makes you raise the bar.”
fall 2013 5
DISTINCTIVE alumni
DISTINCTIVE alumni
Si x Alumni Garner
EMMYS in SPORTS BROADCASTING
The University of Hartford community had a
half-dozen reasons to celebrate as the 34th
annual Sports Emmy Awards were handed out
this past spring in New York City’s Lincoln
Center. Six UHart alumni captured prestigious
Sports Emmy Awards.
Ashley Allen ’10, Ron Bishow ’10, Brad
Cheney ’00, Arnold Fucci ’03, Brandon Moye
’10, and Matt Parlapiano ’09 were honored for
their work with the MLB Network’s MLB Tonight
broadcast, which was named the outstanding
daily studio show for 2012. Cheney, director
of engineering for the network, served as an
operations producer on the show, while the
other five contributed as associate producers.
The Sports Emmy Awards are presented
by the National Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences in recognition of excellence
in American sports television programming,
including sports-related series, live coverage
of sporting events, and best sports announcers.
In contrast to the more well-known primetime
and daytime Emmy Awards, which hold a
separate “creative arts” ceremony for behindthe-scenes personnel, Sports Emmy Awards are
given in all categories during a single ceremony.
Parlapiano credits the University’s Student
Television Network for introducing him to “the
real TV news world” and says the video editing
system he uses now in his day-to-day work is
the same one he used while taking an advanced
television class that focused on local sports.
“My experience at the University of Hartford
fully prepared me for the real world,” Parlapiano
says, “and is the reason why I was able to do
what I wanted to do right out of college—and
even when I was still in school.”
Several of the more recent alumni developed
their skills through Hawk Sports Television, a
student-run sports broadcasting club that Allen
cofounded. Lynne Kelly, director of the School
of Communication, was a big supporter of the
efforts to get this organization up and running.
“Ashley Allen has a true passion for sports
broadcasting,” Kelly recalls. “She took advantage of every opportunity available to participate
in shooting sporting events. Where there were
no opportunities, she created them for herself
by her own resourcefulness.”
Kelly observed other students, including
Moye, shadowing Allen and learning from her,
adapting the same enthusiasm and work ethic.
“My favorite thing about the University was
the diversity of the student body, and the ability
and access to pursue my interests,” Moye
explains. “Winning an Emmy has been an
amazing accomplishment. To have one at such
an early age makes me only want to achieve
more later in life.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of these alumni for
their accomplishments,” Kelly says. We provided
them with opportunities to develop their skills in
media and beyond, but they took advantage of
those opportunities and had the drive and
passion to excel. Receiving Emmy Awards for
their work at MLB is recognition of their skill
level and their ability to work collaboratively as
part of a team, an intangible that we try hard to
instill in our students.”
Although six alumni received Emmys, none attended the actual ceremony shown here in the background. We received photos
from Ashley Allen ’10 (left foreground) and Brandon Moye ’10 (right inset) proudly showing off their Sports Emmy Awards.
Michael Gaylord ’87 sits on the
steps of a brownstone in the Park
Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn,
N.Y., where he lived for many years.
He now lives in Spain.
B E F O R E ‘ F LY H I G H ’ W E C H E E R E D
‘Hartford on to Victory’
In 1984 the University of Hartford was pulling out
all the stops to raise its profile as a new NCAA
Division I school.
At the GHO, Greater Hartford’s most celebrated golf tournament, for example, an aerial banner
bragged about the school’s move from Division II
to Division I. An elaborate advertising campaign
on television and radio and in newspapers talked
about the beginning of “Hartford’s newest sports
tradition.” And a Hawks hotline boosted season
ticket sales from 12 to 600 just two months before
the first Division I basketball game, according to
news reports at the time.
As the start of the season neared, the only
thing excited Hawks needed to cheer on the
fledgling Division I team was a fight song.
Bring in a Hartt School student with a
passion for band repertoire.
“In my freshman year I saw a posting for a
fight song contest,” says Michael Gaylord ’87.
“I always loved band repertoire—marches,
concerts. I played many instruments—the sax,
flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. I had played
so much band music that I figured it would be
easy to come up with a fight song.”
Gaylord’s “Hartford on to Victory” beat
out entries by graduate students to win the
$200 prize.
“I arranged the song for the new pep band,”
Gaylord says. “We were Division I, we had to
have a pep band. Back then, games were played
at the [Hartford] Civic Center. In my junior year,
a jazz band was organized to play during games,
and I made an arrangement for them as well.”
After graduating, Gaylord took his groundbreaking habits to the Manhattan School of
Music to earn a master’s in commercial
composition.
“In graduate school I took a job with a digital
media company [Fusion Media], and that started
me down the digital media path, when digital
media was fairly new,” he says. “Having been
a musician all of my life lent itself well to what
was happening in the digital world. I developed
interactive video for museums and shopping malls.
Thinking about all the layers and possibilities of
a video capitalized on my musical composition
skills. There was something symbiotic about
what I did in digital media and what I did as
an arranger. I think the career I ended up in
uses the same side of the brain that I was
trained to use at Hartt.”
In 1997 Gaylord joined MTV Networks,
where, as vice president of digital media for
TV Land and Nick at Nite, he “was responsible
for every screen but the television.” He and his
team won an Emmy for the 2005 TV Land
Awards synchronized broadband experience.
Gaylord now lives in Madrid, Spain, and
works for Silicone Valley companies like Google
and Twitter. He continues to be involved in
orchestrating and arranging. His current project is
a score for a short film, The Pan Complex, which
was shot in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After nearly 30 years Gaylord’s fight song was
almost forgotten on campus until discovered by a
student interning in the University’s archives. “Fly
High” by Professor Stephen Gryc has been played
at sporting events since 2001. But “Hartford on to
Victory” is still getting credit online for continuing
to inspire Hawk spirit. It is listed as the University’s
fight song on more than a few websites, including
Wikipedia.
Do You Remember the Lyrics?
Michael Gaylord ’87 recalls that the original lyrics
he wrote for the fight song commemorating the
University of Hartford’s entry into the NCAA
Division I were tweaked slightly. But he says he
will always remember “Hartford on to Victory.”
Check your memory:
Hartford on to Victory
The red and the white are set for victory,
The Hawks are the best that can be;
Oh, Hartford has spirit that is next to none,
For sure we are NUMBER 1!
We’ll win every battle with a shout and cheer,
Our message is really very clear;
On red and white,
Go out and win the fight,
Go, Hartford. CHARGE to victory!
To hear Gaylord’s music for the fight song,
go to hartford.edu/observer/fightsong.
fall 2013 7
DISTINCTIVE alumni
DISTINCTIVE alumni
Si x Alumni Garner
EMMYS in SPORTS BROADCASTING
The University of Hartford community had a
half-dozen reasons to celebrate as the 34th
annual Sports Emmy Awards were handed out
this past spring in New York City’s Lincoln
Center. Six UHart alumni captured prestigious
Sports Emmy Awards.
Ashley Allen ’10, Ron Bishow ’10, Brad
Cheney ’00, Arnold Fucci ’03, Brandon Moye
’10, and Matt Parlapiano ’09 were honored for
their work with the MLB Network’s MLB Tonight
broadcast, which was named the outstanding
daily studio show for 2012. Cheney, director
of engineering for the network, served as an
operations producer on the show, while the
other five contributed as associate producers.
The Sports Emmy Awards are presented
by the National Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences in recognition of excellence
in American sports television programming,
including sports-related series, live coverage
of sporting events, and best sports announcers.
In contrast to the more well-known primetime
and daytime Emmy Awards, which hold a
separate “creative arts” ceremony for behindthe-scenes personnel, Sports Emmy Awards are
given in all categories during a single ceremony.
Parlapiano credits the University’s Student
Television Network for introducing him to “the
real TV news world” and says the video editing
system he uses now in his day-to-day work is
the same one he used while taking an advanced
television class that focused on local sports.
“My experience at the University of Hartford
fully prepared me for the real world,” Parlapiano
says, “and is the reason why I was able to do
what I wanted to do right out of college—and
even when I was still in school.”
Several of the more recent alumni developed
their skills through Hawk Sports Television, a
student-run sports broadcasting club that Allen
cofounded. Lynne Kelly, director of the School
of Communication, was a big supporter of the
efforts to get this organization up and running.
“Ashley Allen has a true passion for sports
broadcasting,” Kelly recalls. “She took advantage of every opportunity available to participate
in shooting sporting events. Where there were
no opportunities, she created them for herself
by her own resourcefulness.”
Kelly observed other students, including
Moye, shadowing Allen and learning from her,
adapting the same enthusiasm and work ethic.
“My favorite thing about the University was
the diversity of the student body, and the ability
and access to pursue my interests,” Moye
explains. “Winning an Emmy has been an
amazing accomplishment. To have one at such
an early age makes me only want to achieve
more later in life.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of these alumni for
their accomplishments,” Kelly says. We provided
them with opportunities to develop their skills in
media and beyond, but they took advantage of
those opportunities and had the drive and
passion to excel. Receiving Emmy Awards for
their work at MLB is recognition of their skill
level and their ability to work collaboratively as
part of a team, an intangible that we try hard to
instill in our students.”
Although six alumni received Emmys, none attended the actual ceremony shown here in the background. We received photos
from Ashley Allen ’10 (left foreground) and Brandon Moye ’10 (right inset) proudly showing off their Sports Emmy Awards.
Michael Gaylord ’87 sits on the
steps of a brownstone in the Park
Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn,
N.Y., where he lived for many years.
He now lives in Spain.
B E F O R E ‘ F LY H I G H ’ W E C H E E R E D
‘Hartford on to Victory’
In 1984 the University of Hartford was pulling out
all the stops to raise its profile as a new NCAA
Division I school.
At the GHO, Greater Hartford’s most celebrated golf tournament, for example, an aerial banner
bragged about the school’s move from Division II
to Division I. An elaborate advertising campaign
on television and radio and in newspapers talked
about the beginning of “Hartford’s newest sports
tradition.” And a Hawks hotline boosted season
ticket sales from 12 to 600 just two months before
the first Division I basketball game, according to
news reports at the time.
As the start of the season neared, the only
thing excited Hawks needed to cheer on the
fledgling Division I team was a fight song.
Bring in a Hartt School student with a
passion for band repertoire.
“In my freshman year I saw a posting for a
fight song contest,” says Michael Gaylord ’87.
“I always loved band repertoire—marches,
concerts. I played many instruments—the sax,
flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. I had played
so much band music that I figured it would be
easy to come up with a fight song.”
Gaylord’s “Hartford on to Victory” beat
out entries by graduate students to win the
$200 prize.
“I arranged the song for the new pep band,”
Gaylord says. “We were Division I, we had to
have a pep band. Back then, games were played
at the [Hartford] Civic Center. In my junior year,
a jazz band was organized to play during games,
and I made an arrangement for them as well.”
After graduating, Gaylord took his groundbreaking habits to the Manhattan School of
Music to earn a master’s in commercial
composition.
“In graduate school I took a job with a digital
media company [Fusion Media], and that started
me down the digital media path, when digital
media was fairly new,” he says. “Having been
a musician all of my life lent itself well to what
was happening in the digital world. I developed
interactive video for museums and shopping malls.
Thinking about all the layers and possibilities of
a video capitalized on my musical composition
skills. There was something symbiotic about
what I did in digital media and what I did as
an arranger. I think the career I ended up in
uses the same side of the brain that I was
trained to use at Hartt.”
In 1997 Gaylord joined MTV Networks,
where, as vice president of digital media for
TV Land and Nick at Nite, he “was responsible
for every screen but the television.” He and his
team won an Emmy for the 2005 TV Land
Awards synchronized broadband experience.
Gaylord now lives in Madrid, Spain, and
works for Silicone Valley companies like Google
and Twitter. He continues to be involved in
orchestrating and arranging. His current project is
a score for a short film, The Pan Complex, which
was shot in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After nearly 30 years Gaylord’s fight song was
almost forgotten on campus until discovered by a
student interning in the University’s archives. “Fly
High” by Professor Stephen Gryc has been played
at sporting events since 2001. But “Hartford on to
Victory” is still getting credit online for continuing
to inspire Hawk spirit. It is listed as the University’s
fight song on more than a few websites, including
Wikipedia.
Do You Remember the Lyrics?
Michael Gaylord ’87 recalls that the original lyrics
he wrote for the fight song commemorating the
University of Hartford’s entry into the NCAA
Division I were tweaked slightly. But he says he
will always remember “Hartford on to Victory.”
Check your memory:
Hartford on to Victory
The red and the white are set for victory,
The Hawks are the best that can be;
Oh, Hartford has spirit that is next to none,
For sure we are NUMBER 1!
We’ll win every battle with a shout and cheer,
Our message is really very clear;
On red and white,
Go out and win the fight,
Go, Hartford. CHARGE to victory!
To hear Gaylord’s music for the fight song,
go to hartford.edu/observer/fightsong.
fall 2013 7
DISTINCTIVE alumni
“Houston, We’ve Had a Problem.”
Astronaut alumnus Jack Swigert M’67 aboard Apollo 13
G ET TI N G NASA
to the
The University of Hartford and what is
now the College of Engineering,
Technology, and Architecture (CETA)
have a long history of partnership with
the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA). Even before
the 1969 moon landing and the
dramatic Apollo 13 mission, University
of Hartford alumni were making
significant contributions to major
projects in the nation’s space program.
Today, that partnership continues and includes students working directly
with the space agency on a long list of engineering projects. The University
is the lead institution for NASA’s Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, and
Thomas Filburn, professor of mechanical engineering in CETA, is the
consortium’s director. The Space Grant Consortium provides students with
research grants, fellowships, scholarships, and internships.
Over the years, University of Hartford students have conducted a number
of important research projects for NASA, opportunities that are unusual at
the undergraduate level, Filburn says.
“Several engineering students are currently working on a water
reclamation project for the International Space Station that is aimed at
increasing the amount of clean water that can be recovered from urine,”
Filburn elaborates. “If successful, the project could save NASA hundreds
of thousands of dollars per year in the cost of supplying water to the
space station.”
In recent years, two University engineering students, Brett Tufano ’08
and Craig Dolder ’08, conducted a study involving air flow used to wash
away contaminants on the face masks of spacesuit helmets. As students,
Michelle Jarzyniecki ’06 and Jesse Berube ’06 designed a small “snorkel”
that would allow astronauts at the space station to purge nitrogen from
their systems before a space walk while wearing their spacesuits.
Another faculty member, Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical
engineering in CETA, has completed four NASA faculty fellowships to
conduct research at the John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her work is in the field of aerodynamics, studying air flows and the vortexes
that form when a jet of air encounters a cross-flow of air.
Even students at the University High School of Science and Engineering
(UHSSE), a public magnet school on the University of Hartford campus, have
conducted research to aid in space exploration.
Last year, under the guidance of Aime Levesque, associate professor of
biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and her student, Robert Lipski ’12,
a group of students from UHSSE
and Hartford’s Annie Fisher STEM
Magnet School conducted an
experiment on a possible way
of counteracting the effect of
microgravity on bone density.
The experiment was sent to the
International Space Station aboard
the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in
May 2012, the first commercial flight
to the International Space Station.
Many alumni of CETA, beginning in the late 1950s, have helped design
important components for NASA. Robert E. Breeding Sr. ’59 and Edgar H.
Brisson ’59 were the lead overseers at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks,
Conn. (today known as UTC Aerospace Systems), for the design and
development of the portable life-support system, called the “backpack,” and
the spacesuits used during lunar landings. Without that portable life-support
system, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would not have been able to make
their historic moon walk.
Brisson had this to say about his experiences: “I went to work at
Hamilton Standard six months after graduation. In 1966 they sent me
down to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to open a field office. We
trained the astronauts to use the spacesuits and the backpack. We even
built a lunar landscape for them to practice on. For Apollo 13, I flew to
Houston after the launch and helped with the emergency rigging of
equipment to reduce the buildup of carbon dioxide in the LM [lunar
module]. The backpack had a canister of lithium hydroxide, but canisters
in the command module [CM] were incompatible with those in the LM.
We had to improvise a way to connect the cube-shaped CM canisters to
the LM’s cylindrical canister-sockets.” After Apollo, Brisson went on to
work on the space shuttle, finally retiring in 2000.
Contributions to the Apollo program and future space travel also came
from another alumnus, Gunther Sabionski ’65, who earned a bachelor’s
degree in mathematics here. In his 27-year career with NASA, Sabionski
helped develop Apollo guidance programs and managed Apollo command
module flight software and flight control during lunar landings. He also
headed the software design section for space shuttle systems and served
as manager of the digital imagery laboratories, helping to initiate concepts
for further exploration of the moon and Mars.
The most prominent of these alumni connections is University of
Hartford alumnus Jack Swigert M’67, one of three astronauts aboard
the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission in 1970.
M O O N and MAR S
University alumni, faculty, and students play important roles
14 Observer
Mercury. Gemini. Apollo. Skylab. Columbia. Many Americans remember the
names of the projects and the excitement surrounding every launch into space
as the nation became fascinated with the NASA space program, beginning in
the 1960s. Children were actually allowed to watch television in school on those
special days, and adults crowded around TVs wherever they could find them.
It may surprise you to learn that a young man who eventually became an
astronaut on one of NASA’s early lunar missions was taking MBA courses in
the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business in the mid-1960s.
John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. came to Hartford, Conn., in 1957, after
receiving his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University
of Colorado. Swigert became an engineering test pilot at Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft Group in East Hartford and North American Aviation Inc., now part
of Boeing. He earned a master’s in aerospace science from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute in Hartford in 1965 and his Barney MBA in 1967.
Three years later he would be strapping in as pilot of the Apollo 13
command module and heading for the moon.
After two failed attempts to join the astronaut program, Swigert was
selected in 1966. NASA required astronauts to have a bachelor’s degree,
and most had graduate degrees as well, which is probably what brought
Swigert to the University of Hartford.
While here, he took an undergraduate course in statistics from an assistant
professor in math, Cecilia Welna. Later, he took calculus and she tutored him
for one semester. Once when she arrived to begin a tutoring session, he
presented her with a cake he had baked. “He was very personable and good
natured . . . and he loved to bake,” said Welna in a 1982 Observer story after
Swigert’s death from cancer that year.
Welna, who died in 2012, had a long career at the University, eventually
becoming the longtime chair of the math department, dean of both the
College of Arts and Sciences and what became known as the College of
Education, Nursing and Health Professions, as well as a professor emerita
and University regent.
A member of the back-up crew for Apollo 13, Swigert was bumped up
three days before launch to replace Thomas K. “Ken” Mattingly, who had been
exposed to German measles and was grounded by NASA doctors.
Apollo 13 would go down in history as the “successful failure.” Launched
on April 11, 1970, from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., it suffered a devastating
explosion just under 56 hours into the mission. An oxygen tank exploded on
board, crippling the spacecraft as it approached the moon. It was then that
Swigert uttered the now-famous sentence, “Houston, we’ve had a problem
here.” (The statement was changed to “Houston, we have a problem” in the
movie Apollo 13, in which Swigert was played by Kevin Bacon).
Flight Director Glynn Luney aborted the lunar landing, and the astronauts
were forced to use the lunar module Aquarius as their “lifeboat.” For four days
the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas, scrambled. Adequate
power and water and the removal of carbon dioxide were major concerns. And,
of course, planning the astronauts’ safe return.
That plan involved a slingshot maneuver that would use the moon’s and
Earth’s gravity. What NASA calls a “free-return-to-Earth trajectory took Apollo
13 around the back side of the moon. The astronauts then fired up the LM’s
descent engine to put the spacecraft on the free-return trajectory. As the nation
held its breath, the astronauts crawled back into the CM, fired it up, jettisoned
the LM, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa.
Top: Jack Swigert M’67 (right), aboard Apollo 13, holds the apparatus that astronauts used to connect
the air scrubber in the CM so that it would work in the LM, reducing dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
Above: Swigert (left), shown here with Peter F. Hunter ’69, former director of alumni relations (center),
and Jack Repass, former sports information officer (right), was back on campus three weeks after Apollo
13’s successful landing to receive the 1970 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University during his
two-day hero’s welcome. He was nominated for the award by Thomas F. Brennan ’51.
Swigert was back on campus three weeks later, flying himself in and out of
Bradley International Airport in a T-33 jet trainer. He reportedly joked, “NASA’s
on an austerity drive, so we have to fly ourselves around.” Swigert returned to
Hartford to receive the 1970 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University
and a two-day hero’s welcome from the city.
Asked why he became interested in the space program when he returned
to Hartford, Swigert told the Hartford Courant: “I’m a test pilot. A man should
try to advance to the top of his profession. The astronaut program is the
Supreme Court of the test pilot business.”
The friendship that grew between the professor of mathematics and the
young man who would become an astronaut in the Apollo program as well as a
successful political candidate, continued after Swigert left the area. Welna
received Christmas cards from him and contributed to his two political
campaigns. He was elected to the U.S. Congress as a Republican in the House
of Representatives from Colorado’s 6th district. Stricken with cancer during the
campaign, he died in a Georgetown University hospital in December 1982 at
age 51, a week before he was to have assumed office.
Editor’s note: In July 2013, President Walter Harrison received an email from Peter F. Hunter ’69, a former director of Alumni Relations, notifying him of the recent death of
Thomas F. Brennan ’51, who was very involved in alumni activities. After graduation, Brennan was personnel director at the Fuller Brush Company and then vice president and
regional director at Northeast Utilities. In his email, Hunter mentioned that it had been Brennan who nominated Jack Swigert to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award in
1970, just a few weeks after Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific. The award was presented to him by Brennan.
fall 2013 15
DISTINCTIVE alumni
“Houston, We’ve Had a Problem.”
Astronaut alumnus Jack Swigert M’67 aboard Apollo 13
G ET TI N G NASA
to the
The University of Hartford and what is
now the College of Engineering,
Technology, and Architecture (CETA)
have a long history of partnership with
the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA). Even before
the 1969 moon landing and the
dramatic Apollo 13 mission, University
of Hartford alumni were making
significant contributions to major
projects in the nation’s space program.
Today, that partnership continues and includes students working directly
with the space agency on a long list of engineering projects. The University
is the lead institution for NASA’s Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, and
Thomas Filburn, professor of mechanical engineering in CETA, is the
consortium’s director. The Space Grant Consortium provides students with
research grants, fellowships, scholarships, and internships.
Over the years, University of Hartford students have conducted a number
of important research projects for NASA, opportunities that are unusual at
the undergraduate level, Filburn says.
“Several engineering students are currently working on a water
reclamation project for the International Space Station that is aimed at
increasing the amount of clean water that can be recovered from urine,”
Filburn elaborates. “If successful, the project could save NASA hundreds
of thousands of dollars per year in the cost of supplying water to the
space station.”
In recent years, two University engineering students, Brett Tufano ’08
and Craig Dolder ’08, conducted a study involving air flow used to wash
away contaminants on the face masks of spacesuit helmets. As students,
Michelle Jarzyniecki ’06 and Jesse Berube ’06 designed a small “snorkel”
that would allow astronauts at the space station to purge nitrogen from
their systems before a space walk while wearing their spacesuits.
Another faculty member, Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical
engineering in CETA, has completed four NASA faculty fellowships to
conduct research at the John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her work is in the field of aerodynamics, studying air flows and the vortexes
that form when a jet of air encounters a cross-flow of air.
Even students at the University High School of Science and Engineering
(UHSSE), a public magnet school on the University of Hartford campus, have
conducted research to aid in space exploration.
Last year, under the guidance of Aime Levesque, associate professor of
biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and her student, Robert Lipski ’12,
a group of students from UHSSE
and Hartford’s Annie Fisher STEM
Magnet School conducted an
experiment on a possible way
of counteracting the effect of
microgravity on bone density.
The experiment was sent to the
International Space Station aboard
the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in
May 2012, the first commercial flight
to the International Space Station.
Many alumni of CETA, beginning in the late 1950s, have helped design
important components for NASA. Robert E. Breeding Sr. ’59 and Edgar H.
Brisson ’59 were the lead overseers at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks,
Conn. (today known as UTC Aerospace Systems), for the design and
development of the portable life-support system, called the “backpack,” and
the spacesuits used during lunar landings. Without that portable life-support
system, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would not have been able to make
their historic moon walk.
Brisson had this to say about his experiences: “I went to work at
Hamilton Standard six months after graduation. In 1966 they sent me
down to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to open a field office. We
trained the astronauts to use the spacesuits and the backpack. We even
built a lunar landscape for them to practice on. For Apollo 13, I flew to
Houston after the launch and helped with the emergency rigging of
equipment to reduce the buildup of carbon dioxide in the LM [lunar
module]. The backpack had a canister of lithium hydroxide, but canisters
in the command module [CM] were incompatible with those in the LM.
We had to improvise a way to connect the cube-shaped CM canisters to
the LM’s cylindrical canister-sockets.” After Apollo, Brisson went on to
work on the space shuttle, finally retiring in 2000.
Contributions to the Apollo program and future space travel also came
from another alumnus, Gunther Sabionski ’65, who earned a bachelor’s
degree in mathematics here. In his 27-year career with NASA, Sabionski
helped develop Apollo guidance programs and managed Apollo command
module flight software and flight control during lunar landings. He also
headed the software design section for space shuttle systems and served
as manager of the digital imagery laboratories, helping to initiate concepts
for further exploration of the moon and Mars.
The most prominent of these alumni connections is University of
Hartford alumnus Jack Swigert M’67, one of three astronauts aboard
the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission in 1970.
M O O N and MAR S
University alumni, faculty, and students play important roles
14 Observer
Mercury. Gemini. Apollo. Skylab. Columbia. Many Americans remember the
names of the projects and the excitement surrounding every launch into space
as the nation became fascinated with the NASA space program, beginning in
the 1960s. Children were actually allowed to watch television in school on those
special days, and adults crowded around TVs wherever they could find them.
It may surprise you to learn that a young man who eventually became an
astronaut on one of NASA’s early lunar missions was taking MBA courses in
the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business in the mid-1960s.
John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. came to Hartford, Conn., in 1957, after
receiving his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University
of Colorado. Swigert became an engineering test pilot at Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft Group in East Hartford and North American Aviation Inc., now part
of Boeing. He earned a master’s in aerospace science from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute in Hartford in 1965 and his Barney MBA in 1967.
Three years later he would be strapping in as pilot of the Apollo 13
command module and heading for the moon.
After two failed attempts to join the astronaut program, Swigert was
selected in 1966. NASA required astronauts to have a bachelor’s degree,
and most had graduate degrees as well, which is probably what brought
Swigert to the University of Hartford.
While here, he took an undergraduate course in statistics from an assistant
professor in math, Cecilia Welna. Later, he took calculus and she tutored him
for one semester. Once when she arrived to begin a tutoring session, he
presented her with a cake he had baked. “He was very personable and good
natured . . . and he loved to bake,” said Welna in a 1982 Observer story after
Swigert’s death from cancer that year.
Welna, who died in 2012, had a long career at the University, eventually
becoming the longtime chair of the math department, dean of both the
College of Arts and Sciences and what became known as the College of
Education, Nursing and Health Professions, as well as a professor emerita
and University regent.
A member of the back-up crew for Apollo 13, Swigert was bumped up
three days before launch to replace Thomas K. “Ken” Mattingly, who had been
exposed to German measles and was grounded by NASA doctors.
Apollo 13 would go down in history as the “successful failure.” Launched
on April 11, 1970, from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., it suffered a devastating
explosion just under 56 hours into the mission. An oxygen tank exploded on
board, crippling the spacecraft as it approached the moon. It was then that
Swigert uttered the now-famous sentence, “Houston, we’ve had a problem
here.” (The statement was changed to “Houston, we have a problem” in the
movie Apollo 13, in which Swigert was played by Kevin Bacon).
Flight Director Glynn Luney aborted the lunar landing, and the astronauts
were forced to use the lunar module Aquarius as their “lifeboat.” For four days
the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas, scrambled. Adequate
power and water and the removal of carbon dioxide were major concerns. And,
of course, planning the astronauts’ safe return.
That plan involved a slingshot maneuver that would use the moon’s and
Earth’s gravity. What NASA calls a “free-return-to-Earth trajectory took Apollo
13 around the back side of the moon. The astronauts then fired up the LM’s
descent engine to put the spacecraft on the free-return trajectory. As the nation
held its breath, the astronauts crawled back into the CM, fired it up, jettisoned
the LM, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa.
Top: Jack Swigert M’67 (right), aboard Apollo 13, holds the apparatus that astronauts used to connect
the air scrubber in the CM so that it would work in the LM, reducing dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
Above: Swigert (left), shown here with Peter F. Hunter ’69, former director of alumni relations (center),
and Jack Repass, former sports information officer (right), was back on campus three weeks after Apollo
13’s successful landing to receive the 1970 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University during his
two-day hero’s welcome. He was nominated for the award by Thomas F. Brennan ’51.
Swigert was back on campus three weeks later, flying himself in and out of
Bradley International Airport in a T-33 jet trainer. He reportedly joked, “NASA’s
on an austerity drive, so we have to fly ourselves around.” Swigert returned to
Hartford to receive the 1970 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University
and a two-day hero’s welcome from the city.
Asked why he became interested in the space program when he returned
to Hartford, Swigert told the Hartford Courant: “I’m a test pilot. A man should
try to advance to the top of his profession. The astronaut program is the
Supreme Court of the test pilot business.”
The friendship that grew between the professor of mathematics and the
young man who would become an astronaut in the Apollo program as well as a
successful political candidate, continued after Swigert left the area. Welna
received Christmas cards from him and contributed to his two political
campaigns. He was elected to the U.S. Congress as a Republican in the House
of Representatives from Colorado’s 6th district. Stricken with cancer during the
campaign, he died in a Georgetown University hospital in December 1982 at
age 51, a week before he was to have assumed office.
Editor’s note: In July 2013, President Walter Harrison received an email from Peter F. Hunter ’69, a former director of Alumni Relations, notifying him of the recent death of
Thomas F. Brennan ’51, who was very involved in alumni activities. After graduation, Brennan was personnel director at the Fuller Brush Company and then vice president and
regional director at Northeast Utilities. In his email, Hunter mentioned that it had been Brennan who nominated Jack Swigert to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award in
1970, just a few weeks after Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific. The award was presented to him by Brennan.
fall 2013 15
Fly UP