Dr. Daniel Hanson Inaugurated as 33rd Peru State College President
Dr. Daniel H. Hanson became the 33rd Peru State College President during a special ceremony in the college’s theatre on Thursday, March 25. Hanson’s inauguration is the first since the 1970s for the college.
Nebraska State College System Chancellor Stan Carpenter called the ceremony one of the most important events to be held in the state college system.
Carpenter went on to praise Dr. Hanson and his academia background.
“I have no doubt (Dr. Hanson) will prove to be instrumental in improving and enhancing Peru State College,” Carpenter said.
Peru State College Foundation Board Chairman Charles Niemeyer acknowledged Hanson’s wife of 33 years, Elaine. He explained the role the partnership between the President and his wife is and will be pivotal in order for the college to progress.
“We have a pair of winners here,” Niemeyer told the audience.
Among the honored guests at the ceremony was Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, as well as State Senator Lavon Heidemann and former State Senator and PSC alumn Floyd Vrtiska.
Gov. Heineman made a comparison of the school to the state. For example, he said, the college was founded by the state legislature the same year as the establishment of the state in 1867. PSC was the first public college founded in Nebraska.
The Governor also talked about the college’s efforts to create innovative ways to attract students and the ability to offer unique academic programs to its students. He too also talked about Hanson’s 30 years of experience in the academic world and said Hanson is a good fit for the college and will continue to move the school forward.
Former colleagues also attended the ceremony. Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of North Dakota State University and a former colleague, gave the formal presentation of Hanson. In his short speech, Richard Hanson described Hanson as a friend and a servant leader. A servant leader, he said, is a person who inspires others to lead. He said Hanson does just that.
In his inaugural address, Hanson, thanked the community, the students, friends and family members. He gave a special recognition to the 275 students who volunteered for community service projects during the week of the inauguration, including a campus-wide cleanup and reading to Calvert Elementary second grade students.
Hanson said his inauguration was more than just a time to honor the role of the president, it was a time to celebrate the heritage and strength of Peru State College.
He described what he and his wife noticed when they first stepped on to the campus – a vibrant college and a pioneering spirit that was still alive. He said he discovered a talented faculty and appreciated how the southeast Nebraska community embraced the college, as well as a supportive alumni base and school districts that opened their doors to the college. Most importantly, he said, he discovered the college had many “outstanding students.”