URI professor & sisters establish an endowment in parents name
KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 29, 2000 -- Dr. Judith Anderson of North
Kingstown, a member of the University of Rhode Island faculty since
1970, may be leaving the University, but she's not withdrawing her support
for students or faculty in URI's Communications Studies Department. Neither
are her four sisters who live in Kansas.
With a $5,000 initial gift, the Anderson Five, as the Anderson women
call themselves, have established a memorial endowment in honor of their
parents. The George and Bernice Anderson Memorial Endowment in Communication
Studies will support students, faculty and departmental needs.
Anderson asked that no one bring gifts to her retirement party, held
on May 17. Rather she asked her friends to celebrate her career by supporting
and contributing to the endowment. Her supporters, which numbered approximately
135 at the party, responded by donating an additional $6,000. "My father
was a true storyteller with a wonderful sense of humor," Anderson told
the crowd. "He helped all of us with loans to build our own homesand
when we were growing up he had to share one bathroom with six women.
"My mother was the intellectual one. She entered college when she
was 15 and taught us to believe in ourselves. She was our hero."
The URI professor leaves her own legacy one of advocacy, research,
and teaching. Her influence has been felt in URI's Department of Communications
Studies, the Faculty Senate, the American Association of University Professors,
the Women's Studies Department and many on and off campus activities including
the American Civil Liberties Union.
Her colleagues and friends gently roasted Anderson. "Hiring Judy
was one of the best decisions I ever made," said colleague Dr. Agnes
Doody who acted as emcee.
Dr. Winifred Brownell, dean of URI's College of Arts & Sciences,
recalled meeting Anderson for the first time. "I felt like a I had
met a sister."
Dr. Patrick Devlin, another colleague in Communication Studies, called
Anderson the department's "flower child," citing the many causes
Anderson has fought for over the years.
Wendy Rowarth of URI's Art Department also cited Anderson's activism
in the AAUP. "She was our Norma Rae."
Other friends recalled the many facets of Anderson: she was the first
director of URI's Women Studies, she's a talented softball pitcher who hand
Longtime friend Dr. Steve Grubman-Black called Anderson's bond with her
dog Wichita "seamless."
Ten members of Anderson's family, including her four sisters, flew in
for the party, eagerly bidding during an Anderson memorabilia auction that
raised additional funds for the endowment.
The sisters did an impromptu can-can dance for the camera and broke into
laughter, leaving little doubt that their parents would be most pleased
with their offspring.
(An existing endowment valued at approximately $13,500 originally begun
by Dr. Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who was
a former faculty member in the Communications Studies Department, Dr. Stephen
Wood, chair of the department, and other friends of the department will
be added to the Anderson Memorial Endowment, according to Dr. Thomas Zorabedian,
senior development officer for the College of Arts & Sciences. Anyone
wishing to contribute to the endowment should contact Zorabedian at 874-2853)
For Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116