Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks to Deliver Commencement Address; Honorands Announced

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Jack P. Carroll ‘24

Managing Editor 

In an email addressed to graduating students on Thursday, Apr. 29, President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney announced that President and Chief Executive Officer of Hartford HealthCare Jeffrey A. Flaks will serve as the featured speaker at Trinity College’s Commencement ceremony for the class of 2021. Additionally, Berger-Sweeney shared the honorands for the classes of 2021 and 2020. 

Flaks, a Connecticut native, has served as the co-chair of the Governor’s Health System Response Team for over a year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, Flaks has led some 33,000 Hartford HealthCare professionals and “an enterprise that includes seven acute-care hospitals and an extensive network that cares for more than 1.7 million individuals.”  

After beginning his tenure with Hartford Healthcare in 2004, Flaks was named President and CEO of Hartford Hospital in 2011 and CEO of the entire system in 2019. Flaks has pursued leadership roles in health systems in Detroit and New York City. On September 11, 2001, Flaks served at the hospital located closest to the World Trade Center. 

Flaks will attend Commencement in person and deliver his address at both ceremonies on Friday, May 21. Flaks will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree “in recognition of his distinguished career and enormous contributions to the field of health care.”

In addition to Flaks, this year’s honorary degree recipients include: Philip O. Geier, Co-founder of the Davis United World College Scholars Program and creator of the Projects for Peace initiative; Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and Paul W. Horn Distinguished Professor and the Political Science Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Law at Texas Tech University; and Philip S. Khoury ‘71, Associate Provost and Ford International Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  

The 2020 honorands are Francisco L. Borges ‘74, a former State of Connecticut Treasurer; The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church; James Hanley and Peter McMorris, Co-founders and Co-executive directors of Cinestudio; and the first four women to receive undergraduate degrees from Trinity: Trinity College Professor of Theatre and Dance, Emerita Judy Dworin; Elizabeth Martin Gallo, Judith Odlum Pomeroy, and Roberta Russell. 

This information was also taken from a press release provided by the Trinity College Office of Communications. 

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