The Head of School’s Award recognizes alumni whose commitment and service to the school serve as an inspiration, and who have lived out the Ransom Everglades mission. Recipients must have demonstrated commitment to the school’s mission by fostering a sense of “community, personal integrity and values,” and following Paul C. Ransom’s belief that people are “in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it.”
Ransom Everglades bestowed the Head of School’s Award on Henry “Harry” Anderson, Jr. ’38 during his 80th reunion. Anderson joined RE’s board of trustees in 1946 while still at Columbia Law School, then helped usher the school through many challenges, including the decision to close the Adirondack campus. As the decades rolled on, his reach expanded; he helped assemble video and written histories of the school, supported the sailing program, helped stave off the demolition of the Pagoda and gave generously to a number of capital campaigns.
Highly regarded in the world of international amateur sailing, Anderson has used his passion for the bay to stimulate RE’s waterfront programs, through leadership, financial support and mentorship. RE’s waterfront and gymnasium both bear his name.
“Harry has been a model of our mission,” Head of School Penny Townsend said. “He has been a defender of our history. He has been a protector of our legacy. To be able to honor him is just amazing.”
Anderson described his seven decades of dedication to Ransom Everglades as repayment for “a life-forming experience, being an undergraduate.” He added that he was determined to “continue the creed laid down by Paul Ransom, the founder, to do for others before you do for yourself.”
Anderson also said thank you in a way that befits the award he received; minutes after Townsend introduced him as the recipient, Anderson revealed a special reunion gift to Ransom Everglades, and then urged his fellow alumni to follow his lead. Anderson, 96, couldn’t make it to the event, so he addressed the reunion crowd in the gymnasium that bears his name via a pre-recorded video from Mystic, Conn.
“I’m dedicating $80,000 for my class reunion,” he told the assembled crowd of about 250, many from the Classes of 1968, 1978, 1988, 1993 and 1998. I’m “hoping that some of your classes will emulate this.”