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Kirk O. Hanson awarded endowed chair

Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J., has named Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, as the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Professor in Social Ethics for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2010. Made possible through an endowment by Andrew ’53 and Beverly Honzel of Lake Oswego, Ore., and the Honzel family, the new appointment honors Hanson’s scholarship and contribution to Santa Clara University, and also emphasizes the University’s commitment to work in applied ethics.

“My parents, Andy ’53 and Bev Honzel, admire Kirk Hanson’s work with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and are delighted with his appointment.  They value the importance of ethics and are strongly committed to giving social ethics and health care ethics a prominent and permanent place at Santa Clara,” said Karen Musica.

Hanson has been the Executive Director of the Markkula Center at Santa Clara University since 2001 and previously held the title University Professor of Organizations and Society. A pioneer in the study of business ethics, Hanson taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 23 years prior to coming to Santa Clara.  He has consulted with more than 100 business, health care, government and nonprofit organizations on ethics in his 40-year career.  He is widely quoted in the press on ethical issues facing society. 

“I am grateful to the Honzel family, which has not only supported this chair, but also an endowment in healthcare ethics to make it possible for the Markkula Center to expand its work in that critical field,” he said. “It’s a great honor to receive a chair named for John Courtney Murray, S.J., who was a pioneer in encouraging the Church and Jesuit education to engage in real ethical problems of the world. He is a wonderful symbol for the kind of applied ethics work which the Markkula Center does.”

John Courtney Murray, S.J., was a globally known ethicist who played a major role in the Second Vatican Council, writing some of its important documents, including Declaration on Religious Liberty. Murray emphasized, throughout his body of writings, the Catholic Church’s need to raise and discuss actual, real-life ethical issues, Hanson said.

While too soon to specify exactly what new endeavors will be put into place at the Markkula Center, Hanson said, the generosity of the Honzel family will allow the center to expand its work in the fields of business ethics, medical ethics, government ethics, character education in the schools, as well as in meeting the needs of the campus, particularly through the new core curriculum.

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