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Phoenix’s Geraldine Hansen Colby Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Award presented at April 25 ceremony.

2014-05-02
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 5-2-2014

Mankato, Minn. – Geraldine Hansen Colby of Phoenix, Ariz., received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award from Minnesota State University, Mankato last week.

Hansen Colby (pictured), now retired after a long career in helping people with disabilities, is one of eight 2014 alumni award winners. She was honored at an April 25 ceremony hosted by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association.

Humanitarian Awards go to Minnesota State Mankato graduates whose lives exemplify service to humankind, and who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes.

A native of Mankato, Minn., Hansen Colby served as a camp counselor for underprivileged children in Chicago during the summers while she was still in high school.

She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Minnesota State Mankato in 1969 and then a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Minnesota State Mankato in 1972.

After college, Hansen Colby realized her lifelong dream of helping people with disabilities by managing vocational programs, developing research proposals for federal funding and creating long-term strategic plans. She was the first female director of a Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program in the country.

Her work has taken her across the country, from a rehabilitation center in Minneapolis to Southern Illinois University, Assumption College in Massachusetts, Western Washington University, and positions in Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin as well.

Although now retired, Hansen Colby and her husband, Arthur, continue to volunteer at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, an organization that provides assistance to the poor and hungry.

Those who want more information about the April 25 awards event may go to http://www.mnsu.edu/alumni/awards/ or call (507) 389-3235.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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