Arthur G. Hansen, Tech’s seventh President, died on Monday, July 5 due to complications from surgery at the age of 85. He served as President from 1969-1971 before leaving to become the President of his alma mater, Purdue University.
Hansen initially came from the University of Michigan to become the dean of Engineering in 1966 but asked to replace Edwin D. Harrison after he decided to retire in 1968.
In 1982, Hansen left Purdue to become the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University system.
“[Hansen] has maintained contacts with student leaders and non-leaders in a fashion which resulted in a degree of mutual respect of the highest order,” said in a piece titled “Hansen’s Credo: A President must be visible and vulnerable” in April 30, 1971 edition of the Technique.
“It can be said without qualification, Dr. Hansen has been the spokesman of the students,” the piece went on to say.
Even though his tenure was short, many notable events took place at Tech under his watch. The Student Center opened its door for the first time on Aug. 3, 1970. Hansen also spearheaded the effort to get funding from the state for the Student Athletic Center, which would later be renovated into what is now the CRC.
Hansen also shepherded the campus through the Kent State incident. Some members of the community at the time of the occurrence questioned the need to have the military on campus in the form of the ROTC program, but Hansen was able to preserve the historic program.
“I am glad that I chose Georgia Tech. It has filled my life. We shall go our separate ways, but a part of me shall always be here. My thanks to all of you for being [so] wonderful to me,” Hansen said, in his farewell speech to the Tech student body in 1971.