Nancy Hanley of Mesa and Lt. Gen. John Goodman, USMC (Ret) have spent a lifetime assisting others – one on a world stage, one in the close-knit philanthropic community of Phoenix.
On May 18, their paths will intersect, and their contributions will be recognized during the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s annual Arizona Awards Dinner. The foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships for military children.
Thirty years before Pat Tillman, Goodman blazed his own path between athlete and solider. The standout quarterback at Arizona State University (ASU) put a promising NFL career on hold to pick up a rifle and go to war.
Goodman returned safely from a combat tour in Vietnam and that experience helped shape his life.
The war would also have a profound impact on Hanley, a Phoenix native and resident of Paradise Valley. Her late husband and high school sweetheart, Lee, was a Marine officer who also served in Vietnam.
Lee’s experience would inspire Nancy to spend a good portion of her life working to make a difference for others.
Hanley will receive the Service Above Self award at the May 18 awards dinner, an award that recognizes individuals for their lifetime of commitment to volunteerism and community. At age 16, she worked as a candy striper at St. Joseph’s Hospital and rocked babies born to drug addicted mothers at Maricopa County Medical Center.
She served as chairman of the Phoenix Heart Ball in 1995, was Heart Ball Sweetheart in 2003, served with Lee as honorary chairmen in 2008 and continues to serve as an advisor.
Nancy and Lee also served as co-chairs of Valley of the Sun United Way and chairs for Arizona Diamondbacks Charities in 2008.
Nancy is also dedicated to organizations that help women and children, including Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Ryan House and Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.
She was on the board of directors of HomeBase Youth Services for six years and co-chaired their Doorway of Hope Gala in 2000.
Her generosity also extends to the Marine Corps, where she funds scholarships through the foundation to assist the children of veterans.
While Hanley’s philanthropic career is focused locally, General Goodman’s history of service spans the globe.
Following a collegiate football career at ASU, he attended training camp with the New Orleans Saints in 1967 when he received a draft notice. He placed his dreams of playing professional football on hold to join the Army and serve as an infantry officer.
After a decorated combat tour, he returned to the Saints, but a clavicle injury derailed his pro career. The military, however, beckoned.
“I needed to be working toward something more important than myself or a bottom line,” said Goodman, a Mesa resident.
Goodman joined the Marine Corps, earned his pilot wings and began a 41-year career that would take him to Okinawa, Korea, Kuwait, Burma and other locations.
Goodman would end up logging more than 4,100 hours in tactical jets for the Marines, attend the Navy’s legendary “Top Gun” fighter school and serve in several high-profile leadership posts including commander of Marine Forces Pacific.
Goodman retired from the Marine Corps in 2008 and became director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. His responsibilities included educating, training and preparing the U.S. military and international governments in disaster preparedness and response.
Goodman also served as chairman of the board of advisors for Tactical Edge, a service-disabled, veteran-owned software company and is a member of the ASU’s Flag Officer Advisory Council.
Goodman will receive the Semper Fidelis Award at the May 18 awards dinner, honoring his years of military and humanitarian service.
“Nancy Hanley and Gen. John Goodman have spent a lifetime working to make the world a better place,” says Dave English, one of the co-chairs of this year’s Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Awards Dinner. “We’re honored to recognize them and their commitment to assisting others.”
Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded $120 million in scholarships to 40,000 recipients. In Arizona alone, more than $11 million has been raised since 2009.
Every child of a Marine or Navy Corpsman who served with Marines is eligible.