Skip to Main Content

Commencement Speaker

Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III

Hoddy HannaHoward W. “Hoddy” Hanna III is Trustee Emeritus of La Roche University and Chairman of Howard Hanna Holdings.

At the age of 18, Mr. Hanna began his real estate career as a weekend sales associate for Howard Hanna while attending John Carroll University. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in political science from the Cleveland-based Jesuit institution.

Mr. Hanna eventually assumed the helm of the family-run business and led its expansion and diversification to 300-plus offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Maryland with more than 11,000 sales associates and staff. Howard Hanna is now the third largest real estate company in the United States, with over $7 billion in sales.

Not only has the company grown dramatically under his leadership, but Mr. Hanna’s personal influence is well-known within the broader real estate community. Howard Hanna Real Estate Services was among the first in the country to launch a weekly television program showcasing homes listed for sale, and is the only real estate company in the nation to offer a “100% Money Back Guarantee.” In 2002 he testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and its Subcommittee on Financial Institutions regarding the need for open competition between banks and real estate agencies.

The ever-continuing goal of leading in sales, mortgages and closings of real estate with pride, enthusiasm and integrity has led to numerous honors for Mr. Hanna. La Roche University awarded him the Ad Lucem Award in honor of the Hanna Family’s vision, leadership and determination. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recognized Mr. Hanna with the National American Heritage Award, given to individuals who serve their community through work and deed. Western Pennsylvania Junior Achievement named him Man of the Year.

In 2017 recognized Mr. Hanna as the region’s top-rated CEO, according to the national CEO likeability study by the crowdsourcing data platform. Mr. Hanna received a 99.9 out of a possible 100 score, giving him the #1 ranking in Pittsburgh. The 2017 Owler Top Rated CEO Awards recognize the highest-rated leaders across 50 cities and 25 industries.

Mr. Hanna received the RISMedia/Bank of America National Home Ownership Award for continuously demonstrating extraordinary contributions toward increasing home ownership, and was named to the Inman News list of 100 Most Influential People.

Very active in the community, Mr. Hanna currently serves as chair of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh board of trustees and is a member of the hospital’s foundation board. Additionally, he has served as a member of the board of La Roche University, John Carroll University, the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business Board of Visitors, the Diocese of

Pittsburgh Finance Council, RBS Citizen’s Financial Group and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. He recently completed a term on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Mr. Hanna is a founder and former chairman of Family House, a home away from home for patients and families with life-threatening illnesses in Pittsburgh, and founder of the annual Viking Victory Auction for Central Catholic High School, which has raised millions for academic programs and financial aid.

Mr. Hanna personally chairs the annual Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fundraising Drive. Since 1988 the campaign has raised and donated more than $11 million to children’s hospitals where the company does business.

He and his wife Mary Anne reside in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania and Naples, Florida, where they have raised five children and are the proud grandparents of 15 grandchildren.