It started with Jim Anderson ’55. It continued with Carolyn Anderson ’70 (M.A.T. ’78). It kept going with Philip Anderson ’81 and then Joseph Anderson ’86 and his wife Regina Hutto Anderson ’89 and – most recently – with Kathleen Anderson Shuler ’14. And now there’s no end in sight: Thanks to the James P. and Carolyn N. Anderson Endowed Alumni Scholarship, the Anderson family’s legacy at the College of Charleston will live on for many years to come.
In 2012, brothers Philip and Joseph established the scholarship in honor of their parents, Jim and Carolyn, and their commitment to continued learning. After majoring in mathematics and earning his B.S. at the College, Jim returned to his alma mater’s math department, where he served as a prominent professor for 36 years. During that time, Carolyn earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) in education from the College and went on to dedicate her career to teaching at Ashley Hall and Buist Academy in downtown Charleston.
“Growing up, education was very important in our family, so a scholarship seemed like a great opportunity to recognize our parents and their impact on the education of not only us, but many, many other students, as well,” says Joseph, who received the Alumni Association’s 2012 Pre-Medical Society’s Outstanding Service Award in Medicine. “It’s a way to thank our parents not only for making education a priority for my brother and me, but for the literally hundreds of students they’ve taught over their careers.”
And now they can continue to make education a priority for the recipients of the scholarship – which, at the request of Carolyn and Jim, will go to first-generation students.
“The fact that my parents had that as a specific criterion speaks to their appreciation for the opportunities that education can provide. For them to be giving those opportunities even in their retirement just seems very fitting,” says Joseph, noting that his father was the first in his family to graduate from college, too. “So, for them to make that part of the criteria is a reflection on their own lives.”
For Philip, the decision to give back to the College in the form of an alumni scholarship just made sense: Both brothers received alumni scholarships as CofC students – as did Joseph’s daughter Kathleen.
“People opened doors for me, and I want to do that for others,” he says, adding that he also mentors College of Charleston students. “I think we all have a responsibility to give back – to invest in someone else’s future.”
The Anderson family is excited to see where the investment takes its first recipient, Amari Lawson, who will start her CofC career in the spring of 2019.
“It’s exciting to feel like you’re helping someone along in their education and their life,” says Jim, noting that he and Carolyn had the chance to meet Lawson last semester, when they welcomed her into the CofC family.
“The College has been an essential part of our family,” says Carolyn, “and we’re grateful that we can open it up to others.”
Featured image: Carolyn and James Anderson. (Photo by Mike Ledford)