When Harold '49 and Edith Gorenz Anderson '48 think about their family traditions, Bradley University quickly comes to mind. Their grandson Tate is a recent graduate of the sports communication program and represents the family's fourth generation of Bradley students.
Edith's father, Joe Gorenz, started the family tradition when he took classes as part of his military training while stationed at Bradley during World War I. Next, both Harold and Edith graduated with bachelor's degrees in business.
All three of their children attended classes at Bradley. Their sons Erik Anderson '77 and Carl Anderson '86 both graduated with degrees in finance, and the Andersons' daughter Christine Dixon took graduate-level psychology courses at Bradley. Erik's son Tate, and Carl's sons Max and Reese are the most recent family member to continue the tradition.
Harold appreciates the mentoring he received from faculty when he was a student and sees firsthand that it continues today through the couple's son Carl who is the current Director of Bradley's Music Industry Studies programs.
The Andersons have established a scholarship that helps with tuition costs for music business majors. Each year Carl arranges a dinner for his parents to meet their scholarship recipients.
"To meet the students and get acquainted gives us a lot of satisfaction," Harold says. "When we sit down with the students and learn about their hopes and aspirations, we really feel like we're making a significant contribution."
The discussion brings back memories of their own college days. Harold enrolled in the jewelry store management program then offered by Bradley's School of Horology. He later changed his major to business administration and ultimately enjoyed a 37-year career as an investment broker.
Bradley recruiters convinced Edith's father to allow her to enroll. He insisted, however, that she major in business, even though Edith was most interested in journalism. She worked on Bradley's student newspaper, the Scout, and after graduation, she sold advertising for a magazine distributed by the Illinois Duroc Breeders Association. "I wound up doing what I wanted."
The couple met in a business class, but didn't start dating until after Edith graduated. They married in 1950 and have enjoyed more than 60 years together.
Their association with Bradley remains strong. Edith has been involved in fundraising efforts for the University and Alpha Chi Omega, her sorority.
Besides the scholarship, the Andersons give to the annual Bradley Fund and now have included Bradley in their estate plans. "We had an asset we no longer needed and directed a portion of it to Bradley in our estate."
Harold and Edith hope the family legacy will live on at Bradley for many years. "We are pleased to be able to do this for our alma mater," Harold says.
Their planned gift is dedicated to the music business scholarship to expand its support for students in the program. Scholarship gifts like theirs make it possible for students to attend Bradley who otherwise could not afford the full cost of tuition. Students scholarships are one of the most popular types of gifts received at Bradley most years.