Margaret “Meg” S. Walker Hansson ’46
(Nov. 17, 1922 - Oct. 19, 2016)
It has been said that Meg Hansson ‘46 lived her very full life guided by the directive of Antioch College’s first president, Horace Mann: “Be ashamed to die until you have achieved some victory for Humanity.”
Meg, being Meg, and being instilled with an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit from her days at Antioch College, took Mann’s mantra to a higher plane: “Be ashamed to die until you have achieved some victory for The Planet.”
Simply put, Meg Hansson made the world a better place. Whether in the realm of women’s rights, the environment, family lifestyle, or the political arena, she placed her indelible stamp with passionate, purposeful action.
She created a new perspective for a generation through the development and marketing of the Gerry baby carrier as founder and former CEO of Gerry Baby Products. These baby carriers allowed children to be safely and securely carried from a vantage point that allowed a new world view and eye contact with their guardians. This design improved life for both parents and child; these carriers are now indispensable for families worldwide.
With regard to the environment, she championed methods to improve wastewater purification, and to clean up sewage and solid waste, most notably as CEO and Chairman of PureCycle Corp. and AquaLogic Inc. She pursued that same dream of cleaning up and reusing water resources with adrop LLC and Erth LLC, two companies engaged in the development of a centrifuge for water purification systems.
Through it all, her work has been marked by skillful problem-solving. She possessed an uncanny ability to connect the dots, and to create enterprises to create, develop and market solutions that benefit humanity and the environment.
She was engaged with the incubation of several high-tech companies and served on more than 20 boards -- with a general theme of working toward the betterment of our planet. The diversity of her enterprises is exemplified by Blockits, Inc., a company with patents on a new kind of sailboat block, and Genac, Inc., manufacturers of new products to improve the lives of those with disabilities. Her achievements have been recognized with a number of prestigious awards.
In the world of politics, she served as confidante and advisor to governors, United States Senators and Congressmen regarding entrepreneurship, social issues and environmental issues. In addition, she served as a presidential appointee under President Carter to the advisory board for the Small Business Administration.
As one of the founders of the Committee of 200, she opened the door for countless women to the world of business and entrepreneurship.
When Meg Hansson met the glass ceiling, she simply moved right around it. But the key is that she kept that path open, blazing a trail, freely sharing her wisdom with others coming up the ladder.
Meg’s extended Antioch family, in addition to those many alums whose lives she touched over the years, included husband Peter Hansson ‘46 (who preceded her in death); children Allyn Hansson Feinberg ’70, Kristina Hansson ’73, Tor Hansson ’74, Duncan W. Hansson ’79; sister Sydney Walker Jarvis ’46; niece Natalie Jarvis ’71; granddaughter Natalie Feinberg Lopez ’94; former son-in-law John D. Feinberg ’70; and aunt Margaret Sutherland Dunckel ‘29.
Meg held a BA in English from Antioch College and served on the Antioch Board of Trustees 1973-78, and on the Antioch Alumni Board 1971-72. A loyal and supportive alumna of Antioch College, Meg has served as an Antioch co-op employer, and has organized or hosted many alumni events over the years. She also worked for the Antioch College News Bureau 1946-53.
Meg Hansson received the prestigious Antioch College Horace Mann Award in 2006.
Antioch College extends its condolences to the family of Meg Hansson.