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Dear Members of the University Community,

With deep sadness I share the news that Eric O. Hanson, the Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J., Professor in Political Science, died last Friday, July 7, after a five-month struggle with illness.  He served the University superbly in many roles over his 41 years here.  His wife, Kathleen Hanson, his daughters, Erin Katharine Collins and Kara Hanson, and three grandchildren mourn his loss, as does his brother Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Eric came to Santa Clara directly from his Ph.D. program at Stanford University in 1976.  A published author, he taught comparative politics, Chinese politics, and religion and politics. He was the recipient of the University’s Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence in 1992 and the College of Arts and Sciences award for excellence in teaching in 2003. Among his notable service to the University, he chaired the committee that revised the Core Curriculum in 1992, headed the Core from 1992-1997, and served as chair of the Political Science Department. Besides the faculty he mentored and the hundreds of students he advised, he was also the Alumni Liaison for the department and published the alumni newsletter, “Political Asylum.”

Eric was perhaps the most faithful faculty fan SCU women’s soccer has ever had, missing only a very few home games in the history of the team.  In 1987 he and current governor Jerry Brown teamed to provide many hours of KGO-ABC televised commentary on Pope John Paul II’s three day visit to the Bay Area.

Letters of condolence may be addressed to:

Kathleen Hanson and Family
c/o Department of Political Science, Vari Hall
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

The family plans a private burial.  In September, there will be a Memorial Service on campus to celebrate Eric's life.  Information will be provided as details are available.

We join Eric's family in mourning his loss. Please keep Eric and his family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.


Michael E. Engh, S.J.


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