The following message was distributed to the Acadia community by Vice-President Academic, Dr. Heather Hemming, on July 24, 2018 following the passing of former faculty member, Dr. Erik Hansen.
I am saddened to inform you that a long-time member of our Acadia community, Dr. Erik Hansen (’49), passed away on July 22.
Erik earned his BSc in Chemistry from Acadia in 1949 before entering graduate school at Yale, where he earned his PhD. He joined the Dominion Rubber Company shortly afterward, but returned to Acadia in 1957 as a professor in the Chemistry department. Erik was the first organic chemistry professor at Acadia with a published research profile and was actively involved in cross-disciplinary work with his colleagues in Biology. Erik retired from Acadia in 1993, but continued to teach through Open Acadia well into his eighties. In addition to his teaching and research, where he inspired thousands of students, Erik served Acadia in administrative positions, including Provost, Dean of Men, and Dean of Students.
He was a fiercely proud Acadia graduate and served four years as President of the Associated Alumni of Acadia University between 1962 and 1966. During this time, he played a monumental role in reorganizing and activating the Association. He hired the Association’s first Executive Director, Bill Parker (’56), and Bill credits Erik with devising and pressing for the adoption of the current appointment process to Acadia’s Board of Governors that flowed from his determination and interest in strengthening the alumni connection to Acadia.
Erik is survived by his wife Juliet Hansen, daughters Gay (Thaddeus Holownia), Sackville, NB; Lee (Jim Gillespie), Grafton, NS; Sarah, Armstrong, BC; son Rik, Western Shore, NS; and step-daughters Magda (Mark) Mahler, Jasper, AB; Julia Wassef (Jim Morrow), Avonport, NS and Nadia Wassef, Edmonton, AB; along with 22 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
There will be no visitation or funeral services by his request and an event for friends and colleagues in Wolfville will take place at a later date. A link to his online obituary can be found here.