Celebrating the Life of Hanley Denning

January 29, 2007

Hanley Denning (’96 MS), our beloved friend and alum, was killed in a car accident on Thursday, January 18 in Guatemala City. Join the Wheelock community as we come together to celebrate her life on Tuesday, January 30, at 3:30 p.m. in the Wheelock Family Theater. A reception will follow in the Alumni Room.

Funeral services were held in Hanley’s hometown of Yarmouth, Maine, on Tuesday, January 23, at 3:30 p.m. at Yarmouth High School. Wheelock College provided bus transportation to the services for any student, faculty, or staff member who wished to attend.

Hanley was the founder of Safe Passage in Guatemala and recently came to Wheelock as part of our Visiting Scholars Program. Safe Passage attempts to provide hundreds of children at the Guatemala City garbage dump with the skills, caring, support and supervision they need in order to lift themselves and their families from grinding poverty. Safe Passage works to help these at-risk children stay in school and pursue their dreams of an education. The areas in which the organization works are plagued by drug abuse and crime.

Hanley embodied Wheelock’s mission to improve the lives of children and families around the world. We were proud to have her as part of our community and grateful that she returned to share her story with our students.

“I saw hundreds of kids who really wanted to go to school and, for what I thought was a nominal amount of money, couldn't. As an educator, it angered me," she said. "I felt this obligation to go back and see what I could do to make a difference for those kids” (Hanley quoted in a 2004 Catholic News Service article).

In Hanley’s memory, donations may be made to Safe Passage, P.O. Box 663,Yarmouth, ME, 04096 or by visiting http://safepassage.org.

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