College of Education

Celebration of Life to be held in honor of Dr. Hank Bersani

Dr. Hank Bersani Jr.

Western Oregon University (WOU) held a Celebration of Life honoring Dr. Hank Bersani on Saturday, April 7. The celebration will take place in the Werner University Center Pacific Room. Doors will open at 1 p.m. with a program beginning at 1:15 p.m. A light reception will follow at about 2:15 p.m. All are welcome and parking will be free in all campus parking lots.

Bersani died on Saturday, March 31 as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Bersani was a respected teacher, scholar and leader in the field of special education. He joined WOU in 1999 and over the course of his career he has made an enormous impact as an educator, advocate for people with special needs, and scholar. More details about Bersani’s career, contributions and accomplishments can be found here:

The celebration will feature aspects of Bersani’s life shared by selected individuals who knew him well. The celebration will offer an opportunity for those unable to attend the memorial and visitation events during the week to honor Bersani’s accomplishments. Memories, commemorative remarks and personal reflections can be shared online  or in a memory book that will be available at the celebration.

For those wanting to make a contribution in Bersani’s honor, the WOU Foundation has established a Hank Bersani Student Scholarship Fund that will provide tuition support for students seeking to complete a teacher preparation program in special education at WOU. Gifts can be made electronically. For further information about donations and pledges, please contact Cara Groshong at or Tommy Love at Both may be reached by phone at 503-838-8281.

If you have a disability that may require some accommodation in order to participate in the Celebration of Life Honoring Dr. Hank Bersani, please notify the Office for Disability Services (503) 838-8250 V/TTY or e-mail at least 72 hours in advance.

If you would like to give to the Hank Bersani Student Scholarship in his honor, please go to our giving page.

One thought on “Celebration of Life to be held in honor of Dr. Hank Bersani

  1. For those of us who are unable to travel to honor Hank and to share in the celebration of his life, will there be a tape or transcript available? I’ve known Hank for over 40 years and so wish that I could be there to say my goodbye. Thanks – Barbara Torrey

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