January 19, 2007
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
It is my sad duty to inform you of the tragic death of Hanley Denning, a member of the Class of 1992 and the recipient in 2002 of Bowdoin's Common Good Award. Hanley died yesterday in a car accident in Guatemala City.
Hanley Denning was a truly remarkable woman who embodied the spirit of selfless service to the common good. In 1999, at the age of 29, Hanley founded Safe Passage, an organization dedicated to providing educational and other assistance to children and families living in the areas in and around the Guatemala City garbage dump. Through her tireless efforts and that of the organization she founded, more than 500 children have been given hope, self-esteem, and - through education and better health practices - a chance to live better lives.
A native of Yarmouth, Maine, Hanley devoted her life to helping at-risk children and families. In the process she was an inspiration to many, including other Bowdoin students who traveled to Guatemala City to see her work first-hand and to learn from her as a teacher and role model.
Information about memorial arrangements will be posted on the Bowdoin Web site when they become available.
I know each of you joins me in expressing heartfelt condolences to Hanley's family and friends. We are all saddened to learn of her untimely passing, but we remain proud to have known this extraordinary woman and to count her among our most distinguished graduates.