Former Tech President Arthur Hansen Dies

Arthur G. Hansen, who came to Georgia Tech as dean of the College of Engineering and would later serve as president from 1969-1971, died July 5, 2010, following complications from surgery. He was 85.

Arthur Hansen
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Arthur G. Hansen, who came to Georgia Tech as dean of the College of Engineering in 1966 and served as president from 1969-1971.

As the Institute’s seventh president, the 44-year-old was “readily accessible to students … and shared with many of the student leaders a concern about contemporary social problems.” He left the Institute two years later to become president of his alma mater, Purdue University.

He joined Georgia Tech in 1966 as dean of engineering. Though at Georgia Tech for a short period of time, Hansen was a leader in rethinking the core undergraduate engineering curriculum, eventually succeeding in implementing a number of changes that reduced the number of required hours to graduate, installed more flexibility in the selection of courses, and increased the course offerings in the humanities and social sciences. He told students on the day of his appointment as president, “If you do not have the freedom to explore, you will not learn, grow, and will not be a well educated person.”

Hansen is survived by his wife, Marylin White Hansen; sons Geoffrey (wife Angela) of San Francisco, James of Houston, and Paul (wife Dee Ann) of Saratoga, Calif.; daughters Ruth Rachel (husband Michael) of Carmel, Calif., and Chris Glancy (husband Michael) of Fort Myers, Fla.; and five grandchildren: John, Catherine, James, Steven, and Richard.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Carter Center in Atlanta, or to Purdue University on behalf of the Cancer Center in the Arthur G. Hansen Life Sciences Research Building.

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