University News

University of New Haven to Award More Than 900 Degrees During Winter Commencement

The ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, December 12, at 2 p.m. at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Conn., will feature a keynote address by successful entrepreneur and University benefactor Samuel Sorbello Jr.

December 10, 2021

Students in their caps and gowns pose for a photo.
Graduates at the University’s Spring 2021 Commencement.

The University of New Haven will award more than 900 doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees as part of its Winter Commencement on Sunday, December 12, at 2 p.m. at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Conn.

Samuel Sorbello Jr., a successful entrepreneur who was the founder, president, and CEO of Atlantic Coast Freezers, a worldwide leader in refrigerated services and storage, will be giving the Commencement address. He is a longtime University of New Haven benefactor who supported the development of the Colleen Sorbello Research Laboratory. This state-of-the-art research laboratory honors his late wife, who succumbed to breast cancer in 2017.

Sam Sorbello shaking hands with students.
Sam Sorbello at the Colleen Sorbello Research Laboratory dedication in 2018.

The graduates, who are in the process of completing their final classes, are part of the Class of 2022 as their degrees will be officially conferred in January.

Among those who will be recognized at Winter Commencement is Erica Misner ’22 M.S., who earns her master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology. As a Charger, she has been a member of the University’s Lyme Research Lab and Breast Cancer Research Group.

“The exposure I had to different settings at the University was immensely helpful in preparing me for success,” said Misner, who has accepted a position as a post-graduate associate at the DeLuca Center for Innovation in Hematology Research in the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center. “As a teacher’s assistant in the microbiology lab, I developed the focus and drive required to maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking some very intense science courses, developing skills applicable to the real-world.”

Another graduate, Thomas Barvick ’22, studied in Nashville as part of the University’s Study Away program. He is a musician who has performed all over the northeast – including at the University. He plans to move to Austin, Texas, to pursue a career in the music industry.

“I believe my knowledge of working in a studio – from my internships and my classes at the University of New Haven – will help me land a job at a studio there,” he said. “My ability to run live sound for venues will also give me the option of working at a venue. I would love to venture into the live scene in Austin as well. I am excited to see where I land!”

All graduates and guests are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated or proof of a negative PCR or viral antigen COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before the ceremony. All individuals must wear a face covering at all times while in the venue. Learn more at