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Joseph P. Hannon


2016 Inductee - 1959 Graduate

Dr. Joseph P. Hannon has succeeded on and offthe track at an extraordinary level from a young age. As a student at Fitchburg High School he won state and New England titles while competing atthe Boston Garden and a gold medal at the national interscholastic indoor championship at Madison Square Garden. When he arrived at Fitchburg State in 1955, there hadn’t been a track team on campus for the previous 25 years. Hannon worked with theadministration to establish a team. As he was organizing, planning and preparing to compete for the Fitchburg State track program he took the position of head track coach at Fitchburg High School where he established night track meets at Crocker Field that drew up to 5,000 spectators. He continued working as the head track coach at FHS until he graduated.

The Fitchburg State team wasted no time in establishing itself and won the New England Teachers College Championship in 1957. At that meet, Hannon scored 17 ¾ points on his own by winning the broad jump, the 100-yard dash and the 200-yard dash. The team repeated as champions in the 1958 NETC meet where Hannon won the broad jump, the 100-yard dash and the 200-yard dash and ran the anchor leg of the winning 880 relay team. He also competed in the shot put at that meet.

Hannon was involved on campus as well as with athletics. He was the president of the Class of 1959 and gave the graduation address. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Fitchburg State in 1978.

Hannon has had a distinguished career in the Chicago area. He has served as assistant superintendent and general superintendent of schools for Chicago, president of the Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau, managing director of McCormick Place, vice president for operations of the World Trade Center Chicago Association, executive director of the Illinois Development Authority, senior vice president of human resources, security and administration for the Chicago Stock Exchange, executive vice president and director of education of EVEREN Securities, a member of the Abraham Lincoln Executive Committee, managing director of theIllinois Trade Office and the director of the Illinois Department of Commerce.