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Newman’s Own Foundation Names Walter Harrison to Advisory Board

November 01, 2016


Westport, CT – Newman’s Own today announced that Walter Harrison has been appointed to the Newman’s Own Advisory Board. Harrison is currently President of the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT, where he has served since 1998, marking nearly a third of the University’s history. 

Under his leadership, the University’s academic quality, finances, and fundraising have all improved. New academic programs were added under his tenure, and major additions and renovations were made to the University’s signature academic facilities. He was also responsible for building a strong and vibrant relationship with the greater Hartford community. The University was the first private university in the country with two public magnet schools on campus.
Prior to coming to the University of Hartford, Harrison was Vice President for University Relations and Secretary for the University of Michigan. Previously, he was President of Gehrung Associates, a media relations counseling firm for colleges and universities. Harrison was also a faculty member at Colorado College, Iowa State University, and Johannes University in Mainz, Germany.
Harrison serves on many boards in the Hartford area, including Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, World Business Capital, The Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, and the MetroHartford Alliance. He is a past president of Hartford Stage, and was one of the founders of The Connecticut Science Center. Harrison is recognized as a leader in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He is a recent recipient of the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award for his work to improve the academic success of student-athletes. In 2016 he received a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, from Goodwin College.
“We are delighted to have a person of Walt Harrison’s distinction, diverse accomplishments, and widely admired leadership on behalf of the common good join the Newman’s Own family,” said Robert Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation and Executive Chairman of Newman’s Own, Inc. “As a trusted advisor, he will bring great value to our commitment to donate 100% of Newman’s Own profits to charity with insight and integrity.”
Harrison is a scholar of American literature and culture. A native of Pittsburgh, he graduated from Trinity College in Hartford in 1968, and then earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1969. After an interim of three years to serve as an officer in the United States Air Force, he earned a doctorate from the University of California – Davis.
“I am honored to serve on the Newman’s Own Advisory Board,” said Harrison. “I’ve long admired the philanthropic mission of Newman’s Own and I look forward to working with the Board to help continue the work of this extraordinary organization.”
Harrison and his wife, Dianne, a scholar of 19th-century Victorian literature and mystery literature, make their home in Russell House, the president’s residence at the University of Hartford.