Manager of Museum Security Operations Timothy Hanson is a true Mainer. Growing up in Rumford, Hanson led a normal life with loving parents and traditional schooling. In his junior year of high school, his horizons expanded past Maine, when he learned that his passion lay in a six-lettered word—travel.

“When I was in high school, I started taking a Spanish class and convinced my teacher to bring us to Mexico...It was pretty wild,” he said. “She was a fantastic teacher and I was amazed that she was convinced because it was a bunch of 16, 17 year olds that she was going to bring to Mexico. And then I got the bug for languages and travel at that point.”

In his final year of high school Hanson went to Mexico City to explore. He rented a hotel for 30 days, immersing himself in the culture. On his trip he got his passport stolen and admits to making some poor choices. 

“I figured, I survived. ...The experience of being so far from home, in a different culture, feeling how other people feel and perceive the United really, really an amazing experience.”

After graduating high school, Hanson attended University of Maine in Orono. There he studied French, Spanish and Russian, earning a degree in Modern Languages. In college, Hanson studied in southern Spain for a year and visited Morocco and France. After graduation, however, Hanson struggled to find a job in his field.

“I wasn’t too excited about the employment prospects, so I decided that I would get certified as an ESL teacher,” he said. “I did that and then I went to Spain with the intent of teaching English as a foreign language. It didn’t work out because in 2008 the economy there was really hitting the pits. I stayed there for about eight months and then I came back and I needed a job, so I found a job in security, just as a security officer in a corporate account. I did that for a few years and then I came here.”

Hanson now lives in Brunswick with his wife, who also loves to travel. They save money for traveling and enjoy back-trail hiking. This fall they are going to Barcelona and Paris.

At Bowdoin, Hanson is responsible for management of all security at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, working with the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and the campus. At the art museum, he generally runs into three different groups of visitors: visiting students, members of the Brunswick community and Bowdoin students. Hanson particularly enjoys when Bowdoin students visit because of their familiarity with the security and staff members. He recalled a humerous incident when a visitor did not fall into any of these categories.

“Working at the museum, often times you get unique personalities,” he said. “There was one gentleman who just had a very strange way with acting. He would make all sorts of gestures at the artwork while he was looking at it. He would shoot his arms out at the artwork and do little dances in front of it. The gentleman would come into the museum, change his clothing—put on different shoes and socks—the whole nine yards—go in, look at the art, come back out, change, again, to go home.”