Jerry Anderson, a Kinsley rancher who also crafts handmade furniture, is the 2005 recipient of the Nita M. Landrum Award from Fort Hays State University.
Anderson graduated from FHSU with a B.S. in biology in 1959. The Landrum Award is given to alumni or friends who have provided sustained volunteer service for the betterment of the Alumni Association, or the university, in their communities.
The awards will be presented at the annual Alumni and Endowment Awards Reception and Banquet Friday, Sept. 30, during Homecoming celebrations at FHSU.
"Jerry is one of the most loyal and active alumni from FHSU that I know," wrote Ron Pflughoft, a 1970 graduate of FHSU and a former executive director of the FHSU Alumni Association, supporting Anderson's nomination for the award.
"He has served on both the Alumni and Endowment boards. He worked with the admissions staff in recruiting prospective students from the Kinsley area. He and his wife have set up a trust that will eventually award scholarships to young people from his community. Besides supporting and attending concerts and athletic events, he and his wife are always ready to serve the university. Jerry's a real doer," Pflughoft wrote.
Anderson has been self-employed for 45 years as the owner-operator of a ranch in Kinsley. For the last 20 years, he has also been building, selling and donating hand-made furniture from boards (100-year-old yellow pine) salvaged from a two-story barn
that sat on the original Anderson homestead. The barn was destroyed by a tornado in 1984. He has exhibited and sold furniture in Taos, NM, Denver and Green Mountain Falls, CO, as well as in Kansas.
He and his family were featured in FarMarCo magazine and his furniture has been widely publicized.
At the university, he was president of his freshman and sophomore classes and was vice president of the student body in his senior year. He served on the Student Council for three years and on the Interfraternal Council. He served as president and secretary treasurer of Delta Sigma Phi. He also served on the FHSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a trustee of the FHSU Endowment Association. He has also served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the university's Farm Management Committee.
Anderson was director and president of the Kinsley Co-op, director of Investors Savings and Loan and an advisory director of Farmers Bank and Trust. He is also an active member of the Kansas Livestock Association.
For years, he presented awards at the annual awards assembly for Kinsley High School students who would be attending FHSU. He has served the Methodist Church as a lay leader and Sunday School teacher and has been a member of most of the church’s committees.
Anderson and his wife, Dianne, have two children, Lisa Gales and Scott Anderson.
The FHSU Alumni Association, established in 1916, is dedicated to identifying and serving the needs of more than 37,000 graduates living throughout the United States and 61 foreign countries.