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Harrisburg University President, Dr. Eric Darr, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & Capital Region Economic Development Corp.’s Catalyst Award.

The chamber today announced the eight visionary leaders and businesses to be honored for creating positive change in the Harrisburg region at its annual Catalyst Awards celebration the evening of Dec. 4 at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and Hilton Harrisburg.

Catalyst Awards are presented to those who demonstrate a commitment to making a difference in their communities, creating more opportunities for business and building a brighter future in the Harrisburg region.

Dr. Darr has been President of the university since 2012, after serving HU since its inception as chief financial officer, then as provost and executive vice president. He has led the university through an explosive period of growth and prosperity within the last year, helping to build HU into a powerful economic driver for the city of Harrisburg and the region as a whole.

Under Dr. Darr’s leadership, the university has expanded to include a Philadelphia location, welcomed the largest class of new students in its history, expanded its total enrollment to over 6,000 students from 110 countries, launched new graduate and undergraduate degree programs, secured grants and scholarship support, opened new housing for its students and expanded the university’s classroom and laboratory space.

His tenure as president includes the creation of eSports as a varsity sport on campus. The HU Storm is the university’s only varsity athletic team. Under his leadership, the university is driving economic development in the region through the launch of multiple high profile eSports tournaments, concerts, and conventions. These events include the HUE Invitational, which features the nation’s largest collegiate eSports tournament, the PA Cup, the annual NACE convention and the HU Concert series, which features up-and-coming and renowned national artists.

Additionally, Dr. Darr is overseeing the construction of the university’s more than $100 million, 17-story Health Science Education Center, which will provide learning space for at least an additional 1,000 students.

About Harrisburg University 

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,

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