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University of Wisconsin-Superior
Belknap and Catlin
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Superior, WI 54880
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Harold P. Hanson, a native of Superior, returned to the city he loves on July 18, 2013 to take part in the dedication of the Mary Jean and Harold P. Hanson Physics Laboratory.
In addition, he signed a copy of Ungdom, a translation of poetry by Sigrid Undset, which he co-authored and donated as well as other books to the Jim Dan Hill Library during his return visit to campus. Harold's education, at then-named Superior State Teachers College, launched a career in physics and higher education that lasted until 1990.
Harold met Mary Jean (Stevenson) in a physics laboratory on campus in 1941 and she became the love of his life. They were married for 68 years, until her passing in May of 2012. Harold said they would often take part in campus events together while at Superior. "We had some really fine athletes here when I was going to school. We had really good basketball players, especially. We went to all of the games together and enjoyed them."
Hanson graduated from Superior Central in 1938. Mary Jean was a product of East High School in Superior and concluded her studies at Superior State Teachers College two years after Harold. In 1944 Harold joined the Navy. He was an Ensign stationed in Washington, D.C. where he conducted research on torpedo propulsion systems. Mary Jean went into education, teaching in Austin, Texas and Gainesville, Florida.
Harold became a successful physicist. He held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Florida, University of Texas-Austin, Boston University and Wayne State University. He also served as the executive director of the Committee on Science and Technology for the U.S. House of Representatives and was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Norway in 1960-61.
In addition to the Mary Jean & Harold P. Hanson Physics Laboratory, Harold established the Harold P. and Mary Jean Hanson Scholarship that will be awarded annually to one student attending UW-Superior from the city of Superior.
On behalf of the UW-Superior Foundation and entire campus community, we sincerely thank the entire Hanson family for their generosity.
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