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Parents' Gift to Bring Noted Writers to Campus

In honor of their son, Peter B. Hanson, AS'91, who, along with his wife and daughter, died during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, C. Lee Hanson, BA'55, and his wife, Eunice, have given Northeastern $115,000 to establish a memorial fund in Peter's name.

"This fund will be a fitting tribute to his love of
the written word and
a wonderful way to
remember him forever."

The Peter Burton Hanson Memorial Reading Fund will support the Department of English by creating the Peter Burton Hanson Memorial Reading and Lecture Seires, as well as the Peter Burton Hanson Memorial Prizes in Poetry and Literary Scholarship.

The series will bring a noted writer to campus each year to lecture or read and interact with students and faculty at a luncheon and reception.

"Our goal is to help Northeastern present a prominent author, poet, or journalist who will appeal to people from across the university community," says Lee Hanson.

The prizes in poetry and literary scholarship will be awarded annually to undergraduate English students in recognition of outstanding writing.

Peter earned a bachelor's degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. His parents have established the memorial fund in appreciate for the outstanding liberal arts education he received there.

"I encouraged Peter to study English so that he could go in any direction he wanted," says Lee Hanson. "His education enabled him to become a better communicator, while challenging him to consider new ideas and uphold basic values."

"Peter loved to read, to discover new authors, and to browse through old books in Boston's bookstores," adds Eunice Hanson. "This fund will be a fitting tribute to his love of the written word and a wonderful way to remember him forever."

The Hansons were touched and impressed by how many people at Northeastern knew and remembered Peter as a student. Stuart S. Peterfreund, professor of English, fondly recalled Peter's "ready humor" and "good ideas," and was moved by news of Peter's death to write a memorial poem. Kathy M. Howlett, associate professor of English, described Peter as "intelligent, curious, friendly, and gentle" and praised his "character and humanity."

In March, the university held a special ceremony to formally remember Peter and his family, and to recognize his parents' generosity.

"We are grateful for the Hansons' generous support of our programs and students," says James R. Stellar, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "The university is committed to stewarding the fund and Peter's memory with thoughtfulness and care."

Peter was vice president of sales for TimeTrade Systems, a software company in Waltham, Massachusetts. His wife, Sue Kim, received a PhD in immunology posthumously from the Boston University School of Medicine. At two and a half, their daughter, Christine, was the youngest victim of the events of September 11.

College of Arts and Sciences
  This article was printed in the September 2003 issue of Northeastern University Magazine.          

Copyright 2006 Northeastern University. All rights reserved.