Anderson honored with MMI Endowment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MARION &8212; When Paul Anderson&8217;s infantry unit was activated 67 years ago, he had no idea that his name would someday be heavily associated with the military academy he attended here. But the two-time Bronze Star winner now has an educational program named after him thanks to a gift of $50,000 from his daughter, Beverly Hollister and her husband Gary to Marion Military Institute.

The honor was bestowed upon him during a large seated dinner and danceparty at Marion&8217;s Gate-Way Inn on Saturday, Dec. 1,

to celebrate his upcoming 90th birthday, an event Anderson said &8220;he didn&8217;t deserve or expect.&8221;

With his own experience in the military, Colonel Jim Benson, president of MMI, can tell a leader when he sees one and said Anderson is the definition of what leadership and commitment really is.

Anderson&8217;s daughter said the birthday party and the endowment to MMI is small in comparison to what her father has meant to her family and Marion.

Her husband agreed, adding &8220;This event was a celebration honoring a man&8217;s dedication to his family, community and country. The event of the year in Marion was a reflection of a daughter&8217;s love of her father in appreciation of his love, guidance and support.&8221;

This is not the first time something at the school has been named after Anderson. The Hollisters also donated funds to construct tennis courts at the school, which bear Anderson&8217;s name.

The program that will bear Anderson&8217;s name, the Paul B. Anderson Honor and Respect Education Program, is built around teaching cadets the meaning of what moral character and integrity is, and how important it is not only in advancing their military career, but in living their daily lives.

As for Anderson, even at 90 years old, he&8217;s stays busy as he ever was.

According to its Web site, Marion Military Institute is the nation&8217;s oldest two-year military college with its origin dating back to 1842. The school has among its graduatestouts 204 generals and admirals who began their military training at MMI. The college currently enrolls approximately 348 students, which the school&8217;s highest enrollment since the mid-1980s.