Joel Barlow award honors alum who died in 9-11 attack

Photo of Katrina Koerting

Colin Holm-Hansen is this year’s recipient of the Peter Burton Hanson Award for Humanity, which is presented annually to a Joel Barlow High School senior in memory of a 1987 alum who died in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

The award is given to someone who best exemplifies Hanson’s dedication to social justice, human rights, volunteerism and a passion to living. Holm-Hansen also shared Hanson’s belief in self, appreciation of differences and sense of humor.

Holm-Hanson was celebrated at this week’s ceremony for his efforts to create an inclusive environment for everyone in Best Buddies, as well as helping and supporting students with special needs. He also motivates his teammates on the baseball team by enforcing a positive, constructive and inclusive culture.

“He has a sense of humor and gentle kindness that makes it easy for people to feel accepted and welcome in his presence,” according to the award ceremony.

The award was established in 2004 by Hanson’s parents. Hanson was killed with his wife and 21/2 year old daughter when their plane crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

“They chose to add kindness, compassion and generosity to a day that could easily be filled with sadness, sorrow, and fear,” said Gina Pin, Joel Barlow’s Head of School.