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Two graduates awarded Spirit of Creighton at commencement ceremonies

Grad hatsA pair of Creighton University graduates were bestowed the University’s highest student honor during commencement exercises Saturday, May 18.

The 2019 Spirit of Creighton Award winners are Hannah “Hana” O’Hagan, BS’19, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Nathaniel Hansen, DDS’19, a graduate of the School of Dentistry.

The Spirit of Creighton Award is conferred upon students who embody the spirit of Creighton’s founders. Awarded annually since 1949, the award honors undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their initiative, enterprise, academic achievement and outstanding character traits.

Nate HansenIn the morning ceremony, Hansen, of Rollins, Wyoming, was bestowed the Spirit of Creighton Award in recognition of his many academic achievements, his extracurricular activities and abundant acts of service. Ranked third in his graduating class, Hansen has been involved in five major research projects, including work on presentations at two national conferences. He is president of the Creighton chapter of the American Dental Education Association and, since his first year as a dental student, has participated in clinics across the community and at the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC). He also participated in a service trip to Fiji to provide dental care to people in need in the island nation. Moreover, Nathan has perhaps been most visible the past four years as Billy Bluejay, Creighton’s mascot, performing before sold-out basketball games but also finding time to make appearances for schoolchildren and other community groups.

Hannah O'HaganO’Hagan, of McHenry, Illinois, but also holding Peruvian citizenship, was honored in the afternoon ceremony. Graduating with honors with a degree in chemistry, she is a member of the Honors Program, a Dean’s Fellow and an avid researcher through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. O’Hagan’s research has taken her to Peru, where she studied water quality in an area just south of Lima. She has also participated in service at ILAC, with OneWorld Community Health Centers and the Women’s Center for Advocacy. O’Hagan’s nominators all wrote of her irrepressible spirit and willingness to jump into opportunities, academic, artistic and service-oriented. She is driven, writes Arts and Sciences Dean Bridget Keegan, “to be an agent for social transformation and who has the creativity, ingenuity and persistence to make dreams of a more just world a reality and who will make us proud now and in years to come.”

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