North Country Benefactors
Receive Hubbard Family Award For Service To Philanthropy At UNH
Contact: Mary Peterson
Editorial and Creative Services, and UNH Foundation
Oct. 4, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. – Arnold P. ("Arnie") and Della A.
Hanson, who created two significant endowments in just five years
at the University of New Hampshire, have received the UNH Foundation's
2004 Hubbard Family Award for Service to Philanthropy. The Berlin
residents have devoted their lives to their family and to the community
in the North Country.
Mr. Hanson, who is now retired, is an attorney and partner in the
Berlin law firm of Bergeon and Hanson, which, assisted by Mrs. Hanson,
he formed in 1960.
The Hanson's first endowment - the Dr. Norman Alexander Teaching
Excellence Fund - was created in 1998 to recognize distinction in
teaching and achievement in the university's faculty. Their second
major gift was made in 2002 to establish the Arnold P. and Della
A. Hanson Endowed Scholarship Fund, which helps provide students
from Coos County with four-year scholarships.
"I just wanted a kid in the North Country who has the desire
to go to college to know there is this opportunity coming that can
help achieve the goals he or she has set," Arnie Hanson said.
"I want these kids to know there can be help for their goals."
The scholarship fund is a dramatic demonstration of the Hansons'
continued quest to make a lifelong difference for members of their
community by providing educational opportunities for students with
financial need and academic promise," said Young Dawkins III,
president of the UNH Foundation. "Arnie and Della Hanson have
made a lasting impact at the University of New Hampshire, and it
is a pleasure to recognize them for the exemplary friends and alumni
family that they are."
Arnie Hanson started saving money early in his life. Growing up
as a young boy in Berlin, he had a milk route in the morning and
three newspaper routes, and he shoveled snow in the winter and mowed
lawns in the summer. In college, he had a monopoly on selling corsages
and boutonnieres to UNH fraternities for their formal social functions.
He also was the board manager at his fraternity, Sigma Beta.
When Hanson attended his first year at UNH in the 1940s, his parents
paid the tuition and he received three or four small scholarships.
His sister, a teacher, sent Hanson $2 per week "for spending
money," he recalled. Following his first year, he went into
the Navy and when he returned, his UNH education was paid for by
the G.I. Bill. He could handle up to 26 credits per semester --
the usual load is 16 credits. "I had a lot of help from people
when I was going to UNH," he said, "and Della and I feel
it's only right to help others in the same way."
Arnie and Della were married in 1948, one week after Arnie received
his bachelor's degree in political science from UNH. After graduation
from Boston University Law School in 1951, he was offered a lucrative
job in Boston at a prestigious law firm but, Hanson said, "I
wanted to go home. I wanted to know that when my daughter went out
with someone, I'd know who his parents were."
In addition to his law practice, Hanson served his community as
Coos County attorney for four years. He was a board member and past
president of the New Hampshire Bar Association, director of the
Berlin Cooperative Bank, and chairman of the board for the Berlin
City Bank. He is the recipient of the 1977 Boston University Law
School's prestigious Silver Shingle Award and the UNH Alumni Association's
Meritorious Service Award in 1986. The Hansons continue to support
many causes in their retirement.
The Hubbard Family Award for Service to Philanthropy is named for
the university's greatest benefactors, Oliver, Austin and Leslie
Hubbard, and recognizes individuals whose philanthropic leadership
has significantly strengthened the state, its communities and the
university. The UNH Foundation, Inc. is an independent charitable
organization dedicated to increasing private support at UNH.