Peru State College surprises, honors Hansons during halftime ceremony

Julie Davis
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Any time you can pull off a surprise, especially one involving the President and First Lady of your College, you have done well.

That is what the Peru Association of Student Athletes (PASA) and the Bobcat athletic department were able to recently do for President Dan Hanson and the First Lady Elaine Hanson.

To make it even better, the "surprise" was to have happened earlier in February; however, a development on campus kept the Hansons from the first opportunity. So, the secret had to be maintained for about another ten days.

As part of the ruse, the Hansons were asked to help present an award to the Bobcat golf team and then their surprise took place after the golf presentation.

The following is what was read by the public address announcer on Monday, Feb. 15.

"And wait, there is one more recognition to be given tonight. And it has been kind of a secret!! Dr. and Mrs. Hanson – please do not leave the court. PASA members – will you please quickly join the Hansons on court for the final presentation?

As many of you are aware, the Hansons have decided to retire at the end of this fiscal year from Peru State after 11 years of service to the institution. The athletic department wanted to be one of the first to be able to publicly thank the two of you. While the list of accomplishments of everything the two of you have done to acknowledge this evening, the Bobcat athletic program wants to say thanks for the leadership provided in helping secure upgrades for the Oak Bowl Stadium, the Field House, the Park Avenue Entrance, and for getting the initial funding coming for an indoor  facility for baseball and softball. In addition, more operational and scholarship funding has been provided. Plus, Mrs. Hanson has been a key part, too, in our student-athletes development as you helped with PASA and helped organize many community service opportunities for the athletes.

So, in behalf of the Peru State athletic department, and PASA, we would like to present the two of you with a plaque that simply reads "Dan and Elaine Hanson - In appreciation of your support of Peru State athletics from 2009 to 2021" and a very big thank you card! We truly appreciate your support and hope you continue to the support the 'Cats once you have retired!"

PASA past chair Vivian Brown (Wichita, Kan.) and current chair McKinley Cross (Buhler, Kan.) presented the Hansons with their trophy and card. They were joined by many PASA members.

Peru State athletic director Wayne Albury commented, "The athletic department knew we had to do something to recognize the Hansons for all they have done – not just for athletics, but for the entire College. We have been very fortunate to have them as part of Peru State for the past 11 years and we definitely know the athletic programs would not be where they are at today without the support of both of them."