Making an Annual Gift Continue in Perpetuity: Robert Anderson (Univ. Men 65-66, ICCA 05-13)

Meet Robert Anderson. Since 2001, Robert has spent his summers in northern Michigan—becoming a familiar face on the Interlochen campus.

Almost 40 years passed between his first Interlochen summer and his 2001 return. His fond memories of playing the clarinet in the University Men program in the 1960s led him back to the music he played as a Camp student.

After earning a Masters of Music from the University of Michigan, Robert taught music for the public school systems in California and Virginia. Then he moved to South Carolina, where he was a faithful band performer for 21 years at Newberry College.

But Robert underwent a significant shift in his life. After suffering from a stroke, he recovered well enough to work as a postal clerk. Some few years later, he retired from the U.S. Post Office. After this upheaval, Robert decided to travel; Interlochen was his first stop.

These life changes brought new focus to his life. He felt drawn back to Interlochen—a place where he had spent his formative years. And in 2001, his initial one-week visit turned into an entire summer. Since then, he has spent every summer in northern Michigan, visiting Interlochen often.

During that first trip, he found Interlochen was still a wonderful place full of gifted and talented musicians. But he was surprised campus had barely changed. Upon seeing it again, he thought, “This place needs help.” He began donating annually to help bring Interlochen into the 21st century.

Robert split his first gift between the Interlochen Annual Fund and Interlochen Public Radio. By splitting his gift, Robert could support the day-to-day operations of the institution, scholarships and his favorite radio station. He became a dedicated IPR listener in the summers and was delighted when he was finally able to stream the station online in North Carolina.

In addition, he has supported CREATE AMAZING: The Campaign for Interlochen with a generous gift to the new Music Building and established Interlochen as a beneficiary in his estate plans.

Nearly 20 years after Robert reconnected with Interlochen, his gifts are still shaping the campus that helped shape him. And through his planned gift, his legacy will continue to live on. In the meantime, you can find him every Sunday in the summer, faithfully attending the 5 p.m. organ concert in Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall.