I couldn’t let March fly by without paying homage to the women who have shaped my life.
First, my mother, who passed away at the age of 84, one week after my inauguration as president of Bloomsburg University. Mom epitomized selflessness, she sacrificed more for my father, sisters, and me than any one person should. The gifts of empathy, sincerity, and above all selflessness that I carry with me today are possible only because of her.
My six sisters, without whose support nothing would be possible. The courage and reassurance they provide allow me to carry on and persevere regardless of circumstances. I lean on them more than a sibling should. Without exception, they have always been there.
Our lives have been colored with highs – weddings, births, high school and college graduations, Ph.D. conferral – and our share of lows – cancer X4 (which took mom away), strokes, heart attacks, death (dad in 2011 and mom in 2018). Through all the highs and more importantly, the lows, the seven of us had and will continue to have each other.
My college and Ph.D. mentor, Dr. Nina Hillman – who saw something in me that I never saw in myself. I am grateful to her every day for not giving up on me and guiding me through my undergraduate and doctoral years.
My life partner, Deanna whom God guided into my life while we were undergraduates at Temple University. She has been and continues to be – my rock, my best friend, my patient partner and an insightful sounding board. Without her, NOTHING would be possible.
Last and certainly, not least, I have the honor and privilege of being Lauren’s father. She has taught me more about life and the world than she will ever know.
In closing, I honor the legacy and life lessons learned from these strong women by
being empathetic, altruistic and to serve with a servant-leadership mentality.
Bashar W. Hanna, President
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