Wildlife conservationist, global explorer, and media personality Suzanne “Suzi” Egli Hanna will serve as the principal speaker at Muskingum University’s 172nd commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, the University announced today. Hanna, a 1969 Muskingum graduate, will share the inspiration behind her work with the assistance of animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.
“Suzi’s lifelong commitment to public service — as a wildlife conservationist, a world-traveling philanthropist and compassionate volunteer — has changed so many lives,” said Susan S. Hasseler, President of Muskingum University. “At Muskingum, we educate the whole person for the whole world — and Suzi is an inspiring example of the limitless impact that each one of us can have when we engage with and serve others.”
A New Jersey native, Suzi Hanna enrolled at Muskingum to study physical education and health. In 1968, she and fellow student Jack Hanna – an animal enthusiast from Tennessee – married in Brown Chapel on the University’s campus. Together, they have traveled the globe, been involved in wildlife conservation on every continent, and educated others about the animal world through frequent media appearances. They have focused particular efforts on Rwanda, dedicating wildlife, educational, and humanitarian support to the endangered Mountain Gorilla habitat and the residents of its surrounding communities.
As a co-star on Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, Suzi Hanna has helped bring the complexities, challenges and realities of global cultures into the living rooms of families across the United States. Into the Wild is currently airing in its tenth season and has been awarded four Daytime Emmy Awards. She also regularly appears on Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.
“Out of all of our adventures together, our first and most consequential was our move away from our homes to the rolling hills of Muskingum,” Suzi Hanna said. “Our lives were forever changed by that decision. I am so honored to celebrate commencement with Muskingum’s Class of 2017 graduates.”