March 22, 2010
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate

Hanson, Nancy (Schneider) - 1957
Wilson, Thomas - 1965


Nancy (Schneider) Hanson - Class of 1957

Hundreds of people have Nancy (Schneider) Hanson to thank for improving their quality of life. Her innovations in social work have resulted in advances in adoption, foster care, education, legal services, counseling, and health care.

After graduation from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School, Mrs. Hanson continued her education at the University of Iowa, the University of Charleston, West Virginia, and she completed her Masters of Social Work Degree in 1979 at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

As a Social Worker she worked with clients in child welfare, hospice, schools, the court system, and substance abuse treatment. She was also a human services advocate at the local, state, and national level. In 1993, Mrs. Hanson, along with a small group of volunteers, recognized the need to care for ill and injured homeless men and women who had been discharged from hospitals with no place to go to recuperate. Together they founded Interfaith House Respite Center in Chicago which was the third facility of its kind in the country. She was a member of the Board of Directors for 12 years and served as Board President from 1998 to 2002. Currently she is on the Advisory Board and remains an active fundraiser for the organization.

Under her leadership, the Respite Care Provider's National Network was created in 2003 and now includes over 50 medical respite programs in 28 states and Ontario, Canada. These innovative centers provide medical care, room and board, and supportive services for homeless persons who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury on the street, but who are not ill enough to be in the hospital.

Mrs. Hanson has been honored with the Carol Award for Outstanding Community Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1969; the Social Worker of the Year Award for Fox Valley, Illinois District in 1989; and Volunteer of the Year for Interfaith House in 1999. Mrs. Hanson resides in Hinsdale, Illinois, with her husband, Tom. They have two adult sons and two grandchildren.

Thomas Wilson - Class of 1965

Thomas (Tom) Wilson distinguished himself as a dedicated member of the Wyandotte Public Schools Board of Education, and for his tireless efforts to correct gender inequities in female sports programs throughout the State of Michigan.

Tom Wilson furthered his education at the Detroit College of Business where he majored in Business and Real Estate. This training led to his employment at Detroit Edison (DTE Energy) where he has served over 40 years. Always an advocate of gender equity at DTE and in the community, Tom received the prestigious Alex Dow Award from his employer for his human relations work.

Governor Granholm appointed Tom Wilson to the Michigan Women's Commission. He serves on a Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force and served on a Central States Committee on the Equality of Women and Men. Tom Wilson was honored with the Phillip A. Hart Award from the Michigan Women's Studies Association.

Tom Wilson served from 1983 to 1994 on the Wyandotte Public Schools Board of Education. Tom was an active member who worked to improve the educational offerings for all children. During his term on the Board of Education, he worked to restore programs, to reopen the middle school, and promote bond proposals that were needed to renovate and improve the school buildings. Tom was State President of School Boards United for Fair Funding of Schools which sought passage of School Funding Proposal A.

Tom Wilson, has for many years vigorously supported Wyandotte female sports, and enthusiastically labored to provide the same benefits and gender opportunities that the male sports programs have traditionally enjoyed. In 1999, Tom founded the Female Alumni Athletic Boosters (FAAB) of Wyandotte. To date, over $58,000 has been made available for female athletic scholarships through the FAAB Organization. The Chartered 501(c)(3) organization will continue to provide scholarships for our female athletes into future years, thanks to the dedicated effort of Thomas Wilson.

Tom and his wife, Janice, reside in Wyandotte and their family includes 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren. Tom continues to serve our children and community with distinction and loyalty.