Mike Hanna

Hobart Medal of Excellence

Michael J. Hanna ’68, P’99

“I want our student-athletes to be able to look back on their four years here proudly and be able to look forward to whatever is next and feel like they’re ready,” said Michael J. Hanna ’68, P’99 who the Hobart College Alumni Association honored with the Medal of Excellence on Feb. 9. Hanna retired in December after spending 37 years as the director of athletics at his alma mater.

The longest serving athletic director in Hobart history, Hanna made a considerable and lasting impact on the lives of generations of Statesmen. The founder in 1995 of the Napier Student-Athlete Leadership Seminar, his leadership impacted all aspects of Hobart Athletics, raising Statesmen performance levels in the athletic arena, in the classroom and in the community.

Academically, Hobart scholar-athletes are performing at the highest level. During the 2016-17 academic year, the average Hobart athlete had a 3.03 grade point average with eight of the school’s 11 sports boasting a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. Seventeen of the College’s 18 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® were in the Hanna era.

In competition, Hobart teams have won 13 national championships during Hanna’s tenure, 11 in lacrosse and two in sailing. From 1995 to 2017, the Statesmen captured 50 conference championships, including 12 consecutive in rowing. Hobart athletes have earned hundreds of allconference awards and dozens of All-America honors.

In recognition of the difference he made in their lives, on the eve of their commencement, the Hobart Class of 2004 inducted Hanna as an honorary member.

Eugen Baer

Eugen Baer P’95, P’97

“May your diploma guide you into a life of consequence and may it always help you to navigate the waters of life to reach the shores of your dreams. We are all in it. You and I and we. Hip Hobart forever,” said Eugen Baer P’95, P’97 who received the Hobart Medal of Excellence during this year’s Charter Day festivities. Baer retired at the end of the Spring 2018 semester after 47 years as a professor of philosophy and, since 2006, Dean of Hobart College.

Since 1971, Baer has taught courses in semiotics, philosophy of language and European studies, while authoring a substantial interdisciplinary body of scholarship. With more than 100 bylines in publications throughout the world, Baer has published 10 books, most recently Eternal Life in the Word: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Friedrich Weinreb. Throughout his career, Baer has served his colleagues and professional community in numerous leadership roles, holding titles with the Semiotic Society of America, including two terms as president and 10 years as an editorial board member.

Baer has served as chair of the HWS Department of Philosophy; as adviser to Hobart sophomores, Hobart Student Government and Orange Key Society; and on numerous critical committees related to academic affairs, alums, appointments, curriculum and tenure at the Colleges.

Baer is the first recipient of the award who did not graduate from Hobart College; he receives the award based on honorary membership to the Hobart class of 2007.

The Hobart Medal of Excellence is the Alumni Association’s highest honor. It is awarded to an alumnus who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in his particular business, profession or community, has brought honor and distinction to his alma mater. Since 1970, the Medal of Excellence has been presented to 39 illustrious alumni. These individuals represent many fields of professional endeavor—medicine, law, journalism, business, art, education. Regardless of career path, each and every one of the awardees embodies the integrity and leadership that distinguish Hobart men.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.