CDR Dan F. Shanower '83
2002 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Service to Country
U.S. Navy Commander Dan F. Shanower '83 was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Shanower graduated from Naperville Central High School in 1979 and from Carroll in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. During his time at Carroll, he was a member of the Phi Theta Pi fraternity and participated in an NCEP trip to the former USSR and Eastern Europe. While a student at Carroll, he participated in the Washington Semester at American University, interning in the office of Illinois Senator Charles Percy, then Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
He began his naval career in 1985 training as an intelligence officer. In 1999, he moved to the office of naval intelligence in Washington D.C., and was promoted to commander in December 2000. CDR Shanower’s personal and professional commendations include the Defense Meritorious Service Award, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Purple Heart, and numerous campaign and service awards.
Dan was known for his ready smile, terrific sense of humor, love of conversation, ability to tell a story, love of politics, and his intellectual and cultural curiosity about the world. He enjoyed writing both fiction and non-fiction, and many of his opinion essays and articles were published in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, including the poignant May 1997 one entitled, “Freedom Isn’t Free.”
His article reflected on the loss of his shipmates in 1987, and he wrote: “Those of us in the military are expected to make the ultimate sacrifice when called. The military loses scores of personnel each year. Each one risked and lost his or her life in something they believed in, leaving behind family and shipmates to bear the burden and celebrate their devotion to our country…they knew the risks they were taking and gave their lives for something bigger than themselves.”
The Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Country was awarded posthumously to U.S. Navy CDR Dan F. Shanower for his unselfish service and dedication to our country.