Knowledge is Power
Bruce Anderson ’63 makes things happen. Thanks to his generosity, two Hartwick students went abroad for J Term this winter and another is receiving financial assistance for four years of study. He is making a difference, and doing it in the name of his parents.
“My parents didn’t have the opportunity to graduate high school,” says Anderson, whose father died when he was 15 years old. “We didn’t have much money and without financial aid I couldn’t have gone to Hartwick. I got a very good education and now I’m giving back; the two cannot be separated.”
As a Hartwick College trustee and before that as a member, and chair, of the Alumni Association Board, Anderson has gained many important insights, including what it takes to provide the quality education that is Hartwick and how many ways there are to help students.
“The past seven or eight years have been a tremendous learning opportunity for me,” Anderson says. A case in point: he learned what it takes to endow a scholarship (a gift of $25,000 or more) and how important J Term experiences are to today’s students.
“Hartwick didn’t have J Term when I was a student, so I didn’t realize how much a part of the culture it has become,” he says. “These experiences have a major impact on students and that’s very powerful. It’s frustrating that many students can’t afford this kind of study abroad. I wanted to do something.” A man of action and a man of his word, he created The Andrew and Betty Anderson J Term Fund; it currently provides annual funds for study abroad; he intends to grow it into an endowment.
“Margaret [Drugovich] believes strongly, as does the Board, that every Hartwick student should have the opportunity to have a J Term experience abroad,” Anderson says. “That’s the vision. To do it we need endowment.”
Anderson first endowed the Andrew and Betty Anderson Scholarship to assist one student through four years of study. The first recipient, Nick Clair ’12, was a Mathematics and Education from Walden, NY, who is now …… “Meeting Nick personalized the scholarship for me,” Anderson says. “I’m proud to have helped him. Nick motivated me to make more gifts to make the scholarship larger.”
The returns on his investments are many. Annual gifts, such as the Anderson J Term Fund and the Hartwick Fund that Anderson continues to support, provide “instant gratification.” Endowed funds, such as the Anderson Scholarship and the Alumni Legacy Scholarship that he also continues to support, “mean sustainability.” For his part, this well-informed donor and volunteer has become a part of young people’s lives and the future of his alma mater.