This year, Founder's Day was particularly meaningful, as it was a fun and engaging way for the University community to safely come together to commemorate the University’s 101st birthday, as well as celebrate our resilience and Charger pride.
May 4, 2021
By Hannah Providence ’22
April 26, 2021 marked the University of New Haven’s 101st birthday!
I arrived on campus early that day, and my face immediately lit up. Our blue and gold colors took the form of balloons, ribbons, pompoms, free t-shirts, candy, and cookies! Every corner I turned, there was another activity or giveaway for students to participate in.
As I listened to music filling our campus from WHNU, our award-winning radio station and saw my fellow classmates walking around with goody bags and Charger gear, I couldn’t help but notice the joy and Charger pride that filled our University. Despite the drastic changes in our world over the past year, we were still able to celebrate such an important day, safely and in good fun.
This year’s Founder’s Day is particularly special because it is not only a celebration of our legacy, but also of our vigilance and resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have excelled as a University in protecting our community from COVID-19 and in continuing to provide meaningful opportunities both in and out of the classroom. After celebrating our 100th birthday virtually in 2020, it was a tremendous milestone for current students to celebrate our 101st in person.
To me, Founder’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on how much the University of New Haven has grown over the years. Not only have we become more resilient during the pandemic, but I’ve witnessed the University continue to innovate in other ways as well.
We have expanded the number of academic programs we offer. We opened our new Bergami Center of Science, Technology, and Innovation. And we are continuing to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion both in and out of the classroom. I have been involved in this growth firsthand through my work with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion student sub-committee for the Pompea College of Business, as well as several other student-led initiatives for the University.
I’ve watched as student leaders have adapted their organizations to host engaging and fun events for the University community while still following the safety guidelines set in place. As president of the Honors Student Council this year, I experienced firsthand how difficult it was to connect with members and capture the attention of my fellow classmates.
Above all, though, we persevered.
'Once a Charger, Always a Charger'
Our student organizations continued to host events both virtually and in person, our fellow classmates continued to show up and participate, and we all continued to foster our community outside of the classroom.
The faculty, staff, and students at our University have relentlessly accelerated the mission of success. When we come together, we are Charger strong. It is events like Founders Day when we can come together and truly celebrate our Charger community. After all, once a Charger, always a Charger.
Our University will forever build on the hope and dreams of our founders who started it all 101 years ago.
Happy birthday UNewHaven!
Let’s toast to the next 100 years.
Hannah Providence ’22 is an economics major at the University of New Haven.