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Herb Hanson, who gave $10 million to the Carlson School, spends time with students when he visits twice a year.
Investing for the future
From M, summer 2004
For Herb Hanson (B.A., '49), a successful career begins with a good education. He credits the U's Carlson School of Management for giving him his start and he is committed to helping others get the same opportunity. With that goal in mind, Hanson recently gave a $10 million gift to the Carlson School for the construction of a new Undergraduate Center. The donation leads a campaign to construct a building adjacent to the main Carlson School building. The new facility is part of a plan to expand undergraduate enrollment at the Carlson School. Because of space limitations, the school can serve only 15 percent of the students who apply. "When I heard they needed a new building to accommodate more students, I said 'great, where do we go from here,'" Hanson says. Hanson retired in 1993 after selling the San Francisco-based money management firm that he ran for nearly two decades. He always names one man, Arthur Upgren, the economics professor who would eventually become his mentor and friend, as having helped him the most. "I went into World War II right after I graduated from high school," says Hanson. "When I got back and started at the Carlson School in 1946, I was 22 years old. Upgren loved to talk to freshmen who were in their 20s. He understood that we were out of the habit of studying and he respected us for having been in the service." When he graduated in 1949, Hanson told Upgren he was going to San Francisco to find work. Upgren surprised Hanson with three letters of reference addressed to the chairmen of three San Francisco banks. "Out of three banks I got two offers and I went to work for Wells Fargo for $225 a month," says Hanson. "Arthur did so much that had a huge impact on my life. Now I'm able to give back."