1958 - 1973: Eugene Nelson Hanson
Eugene N. Hanson served as Dean of the Ohio Northern College of Law from 1958 – 1973.
Hanson was born in Iola, Wis., in 1917, and survived polio when he was 8 years old. He received his B.A. from Luther College in 1939, his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1940, his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1946, as well as his LL.M. from the University of Michigan in 1948. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He joined the law faculty of Ohio Northern University in 1947.
He was honored in 1960 as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Iceland. His continued interest in that country and its people is evidenced through his establishment of the student exchange program that continues there today.
From 1974-76, he took a leave of absence to teach at the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento, Calif. In 1974, they designated him as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.
From 1958-73, Hanson served as Dean of the Ohio Northern University College of Law. During his tenure as dean, the college’s enrollment increased five-fold, the college moved into a new facility and it gained membership in the Association of American Law Schools, the highest legal accreditation possible. Furthermore, the number of faculty members and the library holdings were greatly increased, a law review established, and a National Moot Court Competition brought into existence, among a lengthy list of other accomplishments.
Dean Hanson and his wife, Katie Lou, were well-known for their warm hospitality and charm. They regularly opened their home to students.
Hanson held the status of Professor of Law Emeritus since his retirement in 1983.
He served as judge of the Hardin County Court for Liberty and Marion townships during 1986-87. He also served as president of the Hardin County Bar Association and the League of Ohio Law Schools and as a member of the Fellowship Review Panel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Fellowship Review Panel of the National Science Foundation. In addition, he served as president of Ada Village Council and secretary of the National Lutheran Campus Ministry and served as a member of the executive board of the Ohio Synod of Lutheran Churches.
The University honored Hanson in 1985 by naming in his honor a 17,000 square foot addition to the College of Law Library, the Eugene N. Hanson Annex of the Taggart Law Library. In 1986, Hanson received an honorary doctor of laws degree during the ONU commencement. The college also created the Hanson Reading Room in 2008 to honor Dean Hanson and created the Hanson Fellows program.
Hanson passed away April 18, 2005, at his daughter’s residence in Oakmont, Pa.