School of Education Dedicated to Isabelle Farrington

News Story: December 21, 2007

Sacred Heart University dedicated its School of Education in honor of Isabelle Farrington on Tuesday, November 27, 2007. The dedication, which was held at the Education Department on the Cambridge Campus in Trumbull, was attended by students, faculty, staff and friends of Mrs. Farrington.

SHU’s School of Education is part of the University’s College of Education and Health Professions, which recently expanded to the state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot Cambridge Campus. The University is the top independent educator of teachers and administrators in the state. SHU annually recommends about 300 students for teaching certification, and its Internship Program—designed for students who are completing their initial certification program after they have earned their bachelor’s degree—now places over 200 interns in schools each year.

“We have been in a significant growth mode for some years now,” said Dr. Edward W. Malin, chair and director of the Education Department in the College of Education and Health Professions. “This is marked by increases in our student census, in our full-time faculty, in the continued support from the University, in the relocation of our eastern branch to Griswold, Connecticut, and in the creation of our new facility at 7 Cambridge Drive. The establishment of the Isabel Farmington School of Education represents a wonderful evolution of this growth and challenges us to strive to deserve her continued confidence and approval.”

In May 1997, SHU honored its longtime friend, Mrs. Farrington, with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa.

Through a long and incredibly productive life, she has defied expectations and defined a distinctive role for herself. Reared in then-rural Brewster, New York, she was educated in a one-room schoolhouse. She paid her way through Danbury State Teachers College—now Western Connecticut State University—by working several jobs and graduated in just three years. She began her classroom career as an elementary school teacher in Milford, Connecticut.

After her marriage to Harold P. Farrington, she pursued art history and painting at Columbia University and became a ranked tennis player in the 1950s. As an assistant to her husband, she developed her skills in finance and became a vice president and director of gas companies in West Virginia and Louisiana.

Following Harold’s death in 1964, she served as chairman of both companies until 1973 when she retired.

Mrs. Farrington’s wide range of interests is reflected in her many charitable endeavors. She has established several scholarships, including a particularly important one at Sacred Heart University.

“Mrs. Farrington has always maintained a strong interest in the education of future teachers,” said Dr. Anthony J. Cernera, president of Sacred Heart University. “She understands the importance of education for the betterment of the individual and of society. She also values the importance of the vocation of teaching. She is one of our most generous benefactors and continues to support many projects at the University.”

Mrs. Farrington was honored by Pope John Paul II with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award and is a Commander of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre.

Long active in organizations ranging from the University Foundation of Western Connecticut and the Salvation Army to the Pope John Paul II Center for Health Care and Danbury Hospital, she continues to bless the community with her presence and her generosity. Mrs. Farrington resides in West Redding, Conn.