Growing Knowledge Regis Today


Scholarship recipient Lori Hanks ’99 pays it forward to the next generation

By Ashley Starr


Lori Hanks ’99 has always forged her own path through life, so it is no surprise that she found a non-traditional way to celebrate her birthday last fall. As a present to herself, Hanks made a gift to the Hannah Bradley Endowed Scholarship at Regis College in the amount she once received as a student scholar.

“One of my goals over the years has been to replenish the scholarship received and pay it forward,” says Hanks. “Choosing to donate on my birthday completed the circle—a celebration of a gift that I could now pass on.”

Although Hanks’ journey to Regis had many twists and turns that took nearly a decade for her to navigate, she remained determined. During her senior year of high school, when her parents both faced life-threatening medical illnesses and as the family healed and adapted to a new normal, her college dreams faded into the background but were definitely not forgotten.

“As time passed and I became an adult, those dreams functioned as my compass,” reflects Hanks. “Whenever I found myself at one of life’s crossroads, overwhelmed and stymied by the next step forward, I would sign up for a class or two. Furthering my education never let me down, and I always felt better afterward.”

Making her way to Regis in her mid-30s, Hanks arrived with hopes and dreams, as well as enormous responsibilities. 

“I was a single mother and responsible for the functional realities of life: rent, food, child care; the list goes on,” shares Hanks. “Everything I did was to make ends meet—minimally cutting work hours, clustering classes to reduce daycare needs, and taking night classes, which were reduced [cost] at the time.”

The tree of knowledge this scholarship helped me plant is still growing and its shade has been enjoyed by myself and the whole family. Lori HanksJust when Hanks was unsure whether she could keep up the balancing act, her mentor pointed her in the direction of the Hannah Bradley Scholarship. Established in 1994 by former trustee Jacalyn C. Egan ’96, the Hannah Bradley Endowed Scholarship is awarded to non-traditional students pursuing an undergraduate degree who are facing the daunting struggles of balancing work, life, and education. As a non-traditional student herself, Egan hoped the creation of this scholarship would help students who were defined by a unique set of circumstances thrive at Regis and beyond.

“I am truly grateful to Jacalyn for recognizing the problem that non-traditional students face and designing a solution that continues to propagate as it is sown,” says Hanks. “The tree of knowledge this scholarship helped me plant is still growing and its shade has been enjoyed by myself and the whole family.”

Hanks credits the scholarship for paving the way for her family’s success. Inspired by Hanks, her husband went back to college and her son—who occasionally found his bedtime story came from her textbooks—followed a more traditional path to his college dreams.

Together the couple ran a successful media and entertainment services company for 10 years, followed by the creation of a boutique investment property designed for college students to foster creativity in a safe environment.

With her family now back under one roof due to the pandemic, there are already new lifestyle business ideas populating their whiteboard and they can’t wait for their next adventure.

Hanks is optimistic that her support will help others recognize and take advantage of the opportunities that will make their lives—and those they love—a little bit brighter. “I truly hope that my gift to Regis will now find its way to another non- traditional student and impact their life as it did mine,” says Hanks. “To the future recipient of the scholarship, I say, ‘tag—you’re it!’”   


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