Walter Harrison (university administrator)

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Walter Harrison
5th President of the
University of Hartford
In office
July 1998 – July 2017
Preceded byHumphrey Tonkin
Succeeded byGregory S. Woodward
Personal details
Walter Lee Harrison

(1946-05-15)May 15, 1946
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alma materTrinity College (Connecticut), University of Michigan
WebsiteOffice of the President
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
RankUS Air Force O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain

Walter Lee Harrison, (born May 15, 1946) a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an American scholar of American Literature and Culture, and is most recently president emeritus of the University of Hartford, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Currently Harrison sits on the board of trustees for Trinity College (Connecticut).

Harrison graduated from Trinity College in 1968 and earned a master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1969. He subsequently served as a captain in the United States Air Force before earning his doctorate from the University of California-Davis.


He began his career as an educator, teaching English and American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Mainz, Germany, Iowa State University and Colorado College.

Following his educational career, Harrison left full-time teaching to take an administrative position at Colorado College. He joined Gehrung Associates University Relations Counselors in 1985, where he worked with such clients as the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College and Williams College. He became president of the firm shortly thereafter. In 1989 Harrison moved to the University of Michigan, where he became vice president of university relations and secretary of the university.

University of Hartford[edit]

Harrison became the 5th President of the University Hartford in 1998.[1]During Harrison's tenure, the University of Hartford has undertaken a vigorous and comprehensive building campaign in an attempt to modify the archaic and outdated structures, most of which were built in the 1960s. Building projects completed under Harrsion's presidency included the Hartford Arts school's visual arts complex, ISET science complex, the Mort and Irma Performing arts center, and the Shaw Center at Hillyer College. Harrison taught one english course per year at Hartford where, in addition to being the university's president, he held the rank of resident professor. On June 30, 2017 Harrison retired from the University of Hartford. [2] [3] [4]After the renovation of the universities library in 2016, the university announced that the library would now be named, Harrison University Libraries in honor of University President Walter Harrison.[5]

Awards and Honors[edit]

Harrison chairs the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Committee on Academic Performance.[6]In 2015 Harrison was named to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the commission works to promote a reform agenda that emphasizes the educational mission of college sports.[7] In 2017 the America East Conference renamed it's academic cup to the Walter Harrison Academic Cup. The cup is presented to the institution whose student-athletes post the highest grade-point average during that academic year.[8]


  1. ^ "Walt Harrison named president of University of Hartford". University of Hartford and U-M Office of University Relations. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "University Of Hartford President Walter Harrison Retiring in 2017". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Retiring President Walt Harrison Served University, Hartford Well". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  4. ^ "Harrison's love of learning shapes university president tenure". Hartford Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "University of Hartford Libraries to Become Harrison University Libraries". Patch. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Harrison to receive Ford Award". NCAA. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "Hartford President Walt Harrison Named to Knight Commission". America East Conference. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  8. ^ "AMERICA EAST NAMES ACADEMIC CUP AFTER PRESIDENT HARRISON". Hartford Athletics. Retrieved July 8, 2018.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Humphrey Tonkin
5th President of the University of Hartford
Succeeded by
Gregory S. Woodward