Ian O’Reilly is the recipient of this year’s Peter Burton Hanson Award for Humanity. The award is presented annually to a Joel Barlow High School senior who exemplifies Hanson’s dedication to social justice, human rights, volunteerism and passion for living.
Ian was one of 10 highly qualified students nominated last spring for the award by their teachers, according to Julie McTague, assistant principal. Ian received the nomination of two teachers. McTague cited Ian’s dedication to social justice, appreciation of cultural differences, love of the arts, concern for the environment, volunteerism and sensitivity to issues of peace.
Ian is a member of the Barlow Debate Team and liaison to the middle school. He is also a member of the baseball and chess teams and “an exceptionally strong student and stellar writer with a friendly and personable demeanor and a dry wit,” McTague said.
Peter, the son of Eunice Hanson and the late C. Lee Hanson of Easton, was a 1987 Barlow alumnus. He died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks along with his wife, Sue Kim Hanson, and daughter Christine Lee Hanson, 2 1/2. Christine was the youngest of eight children who died on that terrible day. Hanson and his family were aboard Flight 175 when it crashed into the South Tower.
Eunice and Lee Hanson established the Peter Burton Hanson Humanity Award in 2004. You can read more about the Hanson family and their charitable giving: Still Seeking Justice for Family Lost on 9/11 and A Day of Remembrance and Reflection: Easton Commemorates 9/11.