Women’s Advancement

The Women’s Advancement Initiative, (formerly WELFund), is a distinctive program at the University of Hartford that uniquely positions women for success through education and leadership programs, research and scholarship opportunities, and career connections and experiences.

Built on the heritage of Hartford College for Women, The Women’s Advancement Initiative challenges, encourages, and empowers students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. The Women’s Advancement Initiative is supported and sustained by a community of women and men who believe that advancing the potential of women is a personal and a collective priority.

Celebrating the Life of Louise Loomis, Ed.D.

Louise Earle Loomis
Louise Earle Loomis

Louise Earle Loomis dedicated educator and leader in critical thinking, died on April 22, 2023, at the age of 94. Lou had an appointment as an assistant professor at Hartford College for Women, and held adjunct positions at Fairfield University, Goodwin College, and the University of Hartford. Throughout her career, she maintained a forward-thinking approach to life, and a dedication to making a difference for all.

Ninety Years of Educating Women in Hartford

Hartford College for Women 90th Anniversary Image

Hartford College for Women began as Mount Holyoke in Hartford, a “noble experiment” in 1933. It came at a time when women had limited access to opportunities in higher education. Over the years, there have been notable celebrations to honor Hartford College for Women, some based on its founding in 1933 and other based on its inception as an independent college in 1939. The College’s past and each celebration connects women across decades. The Hartford College for Women legacy is rich with stories. 

In 2023, we commemorated “90 Years of Educating Women in Hartford” with a special anniversary event on September 9, 2023 and the publication of a commemorative book. The book celebrates the biographical timeline of events and people that shaped the HCW legacy. Please email us if you are interested in ordering the Hartford College for Women 90th Anniversary commemorative book.

15 Years of Education, Opportunity, and Impact

The Women's Advancement Initiative's 15th Anniversary Celebration Video

The Women's Advancement Initiative is proud to continue the legacy of Hartford College for Women.

In the year 2021, The Women’s Advancement Initiative celebrated its 15th anniversary. In 2006, it was established to benefit women and celebrate the legacy of Hartford College for Women. Today, our organization offers leadership training, personal and professional development workshops, and resilience and opportunity coaching for women students, faculty, and staff. The design of our signature program, LEAD (Leadership Education and Development), was inspired by the way students at Hartford College for Women were supported and challenged.

We proudly continue to provide education, create opportunities, and impact the lives of women served through our programs. 

W Magazine

W magazine

Are you interested in reading about our heritage, success stories, and programming? Read our annual W magazine.

The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s Annual Symposium and Reception

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 5:30–7 p.m. 

Harry Jack Gray Center | 1877 Club 
University of Hartford Campus 

You’re invited to an evening of celebration, creativity, and community building. Experience The Women’s Advancement Initiative through the eyes of students, faculty, and staff who benefit from our programs. Explore innovative research and creative projects from Dorothy Goodwin Scholars, meet Laura Johnson Leaders, celebrate this year’s recipients of the Irene Robinson Marshall and Dr. Dan Marshall Scholarship and Debbie Javit ’83 (HCW) “Javy” Resilience Awards, and learn from live leadership lessons presented by today’s LEAD students.

Support The Women's Advancement Initiative

Women's Advancement

Your gifts to The Women's Advancement Initiative help us to:

  • Build on the values instilled at Hartford College for Women
  • Provide students with opportunities for leadership training, personal development, career connections and mentoring
  • Bring lessons to life with fun, fast-paced, interactive activities that promote teamwork, problem solving and clear communication
  • Support scholarly and innovative research projects by students with faculty mentors
  • Send students to national conferences
  • Inspire the next generation of women to be leaders