A Purposeful Life

memorialLt. Col. (Ret.) Andrew F. Hartnett passed away suddenly on Jan. 19, 2016. He was 57.

WilmU’s MBA assistant chair, known to all simply as Andy, “always  had a big smile and a jovial greeting for everyone he met, every time he met them,” says College of Business Dean Dr. Don Durandetta. “Andy was an extremely engaging teacher who brought a tremendous amount of energy and experience to his students. He was an idea guy; always coming up with new programs to increase student engagement. He is leaving a huge hole in our faculty family, and we will greatly miss him both personally and professionally.”

Those who worked closest with Andy speak to his dedication to teaching, witty repartee and passion for life. “His favorite saying when faced with adversity was, ‘We’re young; we’ll get over it,’” says Renee Tyre, lead administrative assistant for graduate programs. “Then he would smile in a way that made you feel better no matter what the situation was.” Admissions Lead Assistant Judy Marquis will miss his “infectious laughter, thoughtful advice and endless anecdotes.”

Andy led a purposeful life. Before joining the Wilmington University family, he served as an admitting charge nurse in neuro units at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and then worked in various capacities at AstraZeneca. He was an adjunct at Pennsylvania State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. As a member of the Delaware Air National Guard, Andy was deployed worldwide as a flight nurse and combat medic and retired as a lieutenant colonel after 27 years of service. “He was a good man and a true patriot,” says MSM Program Chair Dr. Greg Warren. “He was proud to be an American, and he served his country well.”

Andy came to WilmU in September of 2012. His diverse background informed his teaching and made him a formidable force in the College of Business, where he taught primarily in the MBA and MSM programs. “Andy’s laugh, quick wit, intelligence and gregariousness benefited all of us who had the privilege of knowing him and working with him,” says Dr. Ken Morlino, MBA chair and assistant professor. “He was one of the most interesting people I have ever met.”

DBA Program Director Dr. Rob Rescigno says that Andy was constantly looking for ways to make his classes better. “He and I would have great conversations on how to best engage students.”

Andy assisted other departments. “He supported us by serving on our brand committee,” says University Relations Director Bill Swain. “He had a way with words, and we were always in awe of his ability to quickly turn complicated jargon into pithy messages.”

Andy earned his nursing degree from Duquesne University, his master’s at Ottawa University, and was most recently a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University.

“His high academic rigor and personal attention to students made him an integral part of the faculty,” says Wilmington University President Dr. Jack Varsalona. Executive Vice President Dr. LaVerne Harmon agrees, calling Andy “a devoted employee who went above and beyond the call of duty, and did so cheerfully and graciously.”

Andy was professionally indefatigable, but Pat, his wife of 32 years, and their two sons, Andrew and James, were his priority. “He always put family first and was an incredibly caring, intelligent and compassionate soul,” says Dr. Dan Young, assistant professor in the College of Business. “We talked at length about the relationship between fathers and sons. Andy was a spectacular father, whether it was fishing with his family, preparing for his son’s wedding — or brewing beer.”

Brewing beer. It was Andy’s not-so-secret, other passion. “He was working on being a brew master,” says Rescigno. “He educated me on the process and many times we raised a glass together.”

This time, we raise our glasses to Andy. WU

—Maria Hess