Mark Hanken '93

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Mark Hanken has spent his career striving to improve lives and change perspectives through the power of sport, social inclusion and community service.

As senior vice president of sports for Special Olympics Oregon, Hanken is recognized within the global movement for his leadership, passion, knowledge and innovation.

He started working for Special Olympics 20 years ago in Texas, managing large statewide multi-sport competitions and games. In 2003, Mark returned to the Pacific Northwest to help grow the Oregon program significantly over the past 15 years. He collaborates with staff and thousands of volunteers to provide year-round training and competition opportunities to more than 12,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. He has also traveled the world to educate colleagues, chair committees and organize events.

Since graduation, Hanken has stayed connected to Willamette. He was an assistant men’s and women’s soccer coach in 1996 and served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2007-2013.