URI professor & sisters establish an endowment in parents name

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 paints furniture. 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) -xxx- For Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116