Dan Hackmann’s Howdy

All the very best greetings from my fellow classmates of 1973!

After graduation from West High:

  • BA in History, with minors in Music and Spanish from the University of Iowa (1977)
  • MA in Spanish and Linguistics, also from the U of I (1979)
  • Dissertation Research at the University of Munich (1986)
  • Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from the School of Religion at the University of Iowa (1989)
  • I taught at the U of I, UNI, Coe College and Kirkwood until 1989, received chair in Humanities Department at Kirkwood in 1989.
  • Guest Professor at the University of Konstanz, Germany (summers 1993, 1994)
  • Met and married my wife of 28 years, Marion Plate (1995)
  • Taught University until 1996, then moved to Germany, started high tech consulting firm
  • Moved to Zürich area of Switzerland in 1999 and worked in IT and High Tech Swiss and American Firms until 2018
  • Member of our Church Board at the Swiss Reformed Church in Uetikon am See, Switzerland since 2013, responsible for finances and real estate
  • Founded two other advisory firms and one joint venture with a Graduate College in Brookings, South Dakota
  • Started teaching adjunct for the Graduate College (Christ School of Theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology) in January 2022
  • Appointed full Professor, Research Fellow and Academic Dean at Christ School of Theology starting July 1, 2023

My two grown up children (Elke and Thomas) live respectively in DeWitt and Iowa City. Elke has two children, David and Ellie (10 and soon to be 6) and is married to Joe Hanson. She works in fashion sales management and Joe is a journeyman pipefitter (they install industrial sprinkler systems). Thomas is married to Katie (nee Aunan) and has three boys, Jack, Silas and Benjamin (4, 2, and 7 months). 

I have been back to the States three times this year (2 x Florida and Puerto Rico, 1 x South Dakota just last week) but unfortunately had only time for a quick swing through Iowa City to see family in April, when my mom turned 89. Was looking forward to being there this weekend but could not extend my trip beyond Tuesday of this week because of meetings here in Switzerland.

We absolutely love it here in Switzerland and both became Swiss citizens in 2018, but both retained our US and German citizenship.  The weather and of course the scenery (we live on Lake Zurich) with the mountains and beautiful small villages and cities are excellent.  My wife Marion (Mücki) started a practice for foot care (FootSpa) in 2019 and has built up a substantial clientele over the last four years.

Going forward, since the Christ School of Theology is 100% online since its inception in 2007, I can teach courses and work with our faculty from more or less anywhere with a decent internet connection. I proved this in February when I met my cousin and his wife from Minnesota in Rincon, Puerto Rico, where we all worked and played from that paradise!

We plan to continue living in our current flat at least as long as Mücki still runs her practice. She is still 3 years from retirement age here in Switzerland (64 for women). But our plan is to be able to travel more to see family and friends and the beautiful world around us more in the next years. I’m excited that Chris Wilhite, a good friend of mine at West High is moving back to Iowa City. The chances will be much higher then that we will be able to get together, as both of us have live very far from there and each other for decades now!

Have fun at the celebration on Saturday and REALLY wish I could have been there to see you all.