La Salle University has announced the honorees for its 30th annual Charter Dinner—an annual event that celebrates La Salle’s founding 160 years ago in 1863.
Over the last three decades, Charter Dinner has raised more than $5 million in support of student scholarships at La Salle. Tickets are available for the event, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 11.
This is the first time the event will be held at the National Constitution Center, located in Old City, Philadelphia. The event supports the Charter Challenge, a bold fundraising initiative set in motion by La Salle President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., and calling on Explorers to raise $10 million by the end of May 2023.
Here are this year’s Charter Dinner award winners:
E.F. (Bud) Hansen, III, ’90, MBA ’96, will receive the 2023 Lasallian Leadership Award, in acknowledgement of an individual’s outstanding leadership in their communities—whether corporate, civic, governmental, or religious.
Hansen is President of Hansen Properties, Inc. The hospitality company, founded in 1967 by his father, former University Trustee Elmer F. Hansen, Jr., ’58, has a staff of more than 400 and owns Blue Bell Country Club and Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center. Under Hansen III’s leadership, Hansen Properties was named 2018 Multi-Generational Family-Owned Business of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since 2017, Hansen Properties has been honored annually by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of its top-10 family-owned businesses in the region.
Hansen was a member of La Salle’s Board of Trustees from 2009–2022, on which he served on four committees. He majored in finance and accounting at La Salle, earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1990. He also received an MBA from La Salle in 1996.
“It is with immense pride and gratitude that I have been honored as the recipient of the Lasallian Leadership Award,” Hansen III said. “I would like to thank President Dan Allen and Board Chair Ellen Reilly, ’83, for considering me for this prestigious accolade. La Salle is the institution that gave my life direction at a young age and challenged me to gravitate toward the values, opportunities, and people that helped define the person I have become. My time at La Salle—as a student, volunteer, and member of the Board of Trustees—has been the foundation to build strong lifelong relationships, express creativity, and improve my overall well-being. Fourteen years ago, I had the privilege of watching my father receive this same award. My father was my mentor and best friend and he always impressed upon me the need to give back. While I am not able to share this moment with him in person, I know the love he, too, had for La Salle and the Christian Brothers. I look forward to an evening filled with friends, family, and all the Explorers who continue to make an impact at our alma mater.”
Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, or BLOCS, will receive the 2023 Lasallian Impact Award. This honor recognizes organizations that value education in the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle, while also demonstrating respect for employees; valuing diversity of thought; nurturing mentorship; and acting ethically, collaboratively, responsibly.
Founded in 1980, BLOCS has been committed to providing access to high-quality, values-based Catholic education as an alternative to local public schools for any eligible pre-K, elementary school, high school, and special education students.
Just recently, BLOCS made a substantial financial commitment to the La Salle Early Achievement Program (LEAP) with a $250,000 pledge to the University’s dual-enrollment program.
BLOCS provides more than 17,000 need-based scholarships each year to Philadelphia’s 100-plus Archdiocesan schools and more than 300 private Catholic and non-Catholic schools. BLOCS raised an unprecedented $100 million in 2022 in private and corporate donations, and more than 96 cents of every dollar donated to BLOCS is distributed directly to families through BLOCS’ partner schools.
“For over 40 years, BLOCS, in conjunction with our partner schools, has created boundless educational opportunities for students all across the Philadelphia area,” said BLOCS CEO Dave Rowan. “We are thrilled to have received the Lasallian Impact Award honoring the important work we do in stewarding the next generation of leaders through the power of education.”
—Christopher A. Vito