Cannon family named SDSU
Alumni Association 2013 Family of the Year
The Charles and Edith Cannon Family were selected by the SDSU Alumni Association and Staters for State, the student alumni organization. The Cannon family was honored during halftime at the February 9 SDSU Women’s Basketball game.
One by One, Edith and Charles Cannon’s five children took the 50-mile journey north from their central Sioux Falls home to continue their education at South Dakota State. The process took over a quarter-century to complete, started by Mike Cannon’s enrollment in 1963 and ending with Joel’s graduation in 1987.
All five earned degrees, paying their own way through college. Two of the five siblings are married to SDSU graduates; a third is married to someone who attended SDSU for two years.
Yet each one immersed themselves in campus activities beyond the classroom. All five were involved in student government. Mike Cannon was President of the Union Board of Managers and played keyboard in two bands comprised of SDSU Students –The Talismen and the Monarchs. The Talisman was inducted in the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Mike also served as “Wearie Willie” in 1974. Mike’s wife, Sandy Cannon attended SDSU for two years and participated in Angel Flight. Pat Cannon was on the Dean’s List, and a student government representative during college; and he also organized a folk signing group that toured and performed with the Statesmen’s Men’s Chorus. Pat graduated in 1969 as one of two students who received the B.S. degree in Engineering Physics that year. Anne Cannon Hajek was on Arts and Sciences representative on the Board of Control during college. Anne earned two degrees from SDSU and was on the Dean’s List. Anne currently serves on the SDSU Foundation’s Council of Trustee and is part of the National Campaign Cabinet for the comprehensive campaign, It Starts with STATE. Anne’s husband, Douglas Hajek was also involved in Student Government. Douglas was elected social chairman and was responsible for bringing in nationally known acts including James Gang, Mac Davis, Poco, The Carpenters, Young Holt Unlimited and Pat Paulsen. Ed Cannon was the Young Hall president and Students Association finance chairman. He also served on the Inter-Residence Hall Council and Institute of Electrical Engineering during college. Ed was recognized as the Distinguished Engineer from SDSU in 2007 and received the inaugural CPSS Wayne Knabach Excellence in Power Award in 2010. Ed is currently on the SDSU Foundation’s Council of Trustees. Joel Cannon was Student Association Vice President, a member of the Dean’s List, a Resident Assistant and member of the Collegian staff. Joel’s wife Alexandra Cannon was involved in Drama, SDSU Concert Choir, and was on the Dean’s List while at State.
There are two stories involving the Cannon Family that are particularly personal and poignant in showing their gratitude and respect for SDSU. Ed, Mike, and Joel worked together at Cannon Technologies, a firm founded in the late 1980s. The company hired a number of SDSU students. One of them, Brad Schultz, went on a vacation trip to New Mexico two months after he was hired. Sadly, Brad Schultz died during the trip. The Cannons wanted to honor Brad and establish the Bradley Schultz Power Engineering Scholarship endowment. Even though the company had since been sold to Cooper Power Systems, member of the Cannon family continue to add to
When Joel Cannon enrolled, he intended to follow his brothers’ footsteps and major in engineering. Although it become clear to Joel that he might be better suited for a different profession, he didn’t know how to break the news to his family. Joel was serving as resident Life at the time. Eventually, he shared his dilemma with the person who was overseeing Residential Life at the time, Michael Reger. Dr. Reger, who went on to serve as Executive Vice President of Administration, encouraged Joel to be upfront with his family. When Joel told them, he was relieved –as were his family members who saw the need for change. Joel earned a degree in political science; ironically, he joined his brother, Ed in building the fledgling Cannon Technologies into a highly
Years later, when sharing his story with a member of the SDSU Foundation Staff, Joel said that he’d like to help start a scholarship in Reger’s honor when he retired. When Reger announced his retirement in the spring of 2009, Cannon immediately responded with a $25,000 gift to jumpstart the endowment.
The Cannon family relationship with SDSU that started with Mike Cannon’s enrollment in 1963 remains very strong, nearly a half-century later.
- Mike Cannon, B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1967
- Sandy Cannon, Attended SDSU for two years before transferring to University of Kansas
- Patrick J. Cannon, B.S. Engineering Physics, 1969
- Anne Cannon Hajek, B.S Psychology, 1973 and M.E. Guidance and Counseling, 1976
- Douglas Hajek, B.S. Economics, 1972
- Edward L. Cannon, B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1974
- Joel Cannon, B.S. Political Sciences, 1987
- Alexandra Cannon, B.S. Psychology, 1988
Families of the year are selected by Staters for State based on dedication, loyalty, support and contributions to SDSU, members of family who attended SDSU, and involvement as students and alumni.
To nominate someone for the Family of the Year, click here to download a nomination form. Please fill out and return to the Tompkins Alumni Center by December 1st.