Christian A. Hanna ’13 transferred from Southern Illinois University to Wagner in 2011. “Wagner offered me the chance to continue playing Division I football at a comprehensive institution in the back yard of the greatest city in the world,” says the Ohio native.
Even after an injury ended his football career, he stayed involved in athletics, becoming a student assistant for Dan Hurley, the prominent collegiate basketball coach who was then head coach of Wagner men’s basketball.
Hanna saw the benefits of athletics to himself as a student and to the College. “Athletics is crucial to the enrollment of Wagner College,” he says. “My personal experiences with Walt Hameline, Jason Houghtaling, Danny and Bobby Hurley helped mold me into the man I’ve become today, and I’m forever indebted to Wagner because of that.”
That’s why Hanna has decided to give significant financial support to Wagner’s stadium expansion project.
Wagner’s stadium — the home of football, women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s lacrosse — dates to 1997, and the team facilities within it are inadequate in size and condition. The expansion will create new locker rooms, training facilities, and equipment rooms. These additions will make space available in the Spiro Sports Center for all of the other athletic programs.
Hanna joins many other alumni who have given more than $1 million to this effort. Pending city approval, the stadium expansion groundbreaking could take place in 2019.
Hanna majored in business administration, and he says that business and athletics “intertwine with each other.” In both, students learn and practice the essential skills of strategic thinking, competitiveness, and collaboration. “Athletics were instrumental in my development as a business professional and will be until the day I die,” he says. He earned an MBA at Manhattan College and has pursued a successful career in insurance and risk management in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Wagner is truly a wonderful place,” Hanna says. “It afforded me a lot of the opportunities I’ve been able to attain. I just want to make Wagner a better place. I hope that all my fellow alumni feel the same way. Let that be a call to action so that we, the Wagner community, ensure and sustain the success of this institution for another 100 years.”