Lees-McRae College honored Sam H. Anderson, Jr., and DeLois H. Anderson, of Kingsport, TN, on Sept. 25 by presenting them with the Rev. Edgar Tufts Founder’s Medal, the most prestigious non-academic award given by the College, as part of the annual Founder’s Day celebrations.
The medal reads, “Individuals selected to receive the Founder’s Medal reflect the ideals of our founder and have made extraordinary contributions of time, talent and treasure to the College”.
Sam and DeLois Anderson are part of a legacy family that has been in service to Lees-McRae College for over half a century. Three generations of Andersons have served on the College’s Board of Trustees – Sam H. Anderson, Sr.; Sam H. Anderson, Jr.; DeLois H. Anderson; and the couple’s daughter DeLois “Dee Dee” Anderson Dietrich currently serves as a Trustee of the College.
“I am genuinely pleased that we can honor Sam and DeLois as Founder’s Medal recipients. Without question they represent the best ideals of Lees-McRae’s founder, the Rev. Edgar Tufts. The Anderson family has been deeply connected to Lees-McRae for three generations, supporting us with gifts of time, talent and treasure. Sam and DeLois continue to demonstrate the joy of serving others through their commitment to church, civic, and education causes. They embody the very core of our educational mission as they model for our students a life of meaning and purpose,” said Dr. David W. Bushman, President of Lees-McRae College.
Celebrated on the last Tuesday of September, the Founder’s Medal dinner and recognition ceremony is one of many ways the College honors its founder, the Rev. Edgar Tufts. Earlier on that Tuesday morning, the college community convened in Evans Auditorium for the weekly community hour and learned about the life of Rev. Tufts, his service to Banner Elk and Avery County and the legacy of service that endures through the institutions of The Edgar Tufts Memorial Association: Grandfather Home for Children, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Lees-McRae College and the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church.
Following the educational session, the group reconvened at Rev. Tufts’ grave at the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church for a service led by the student group Order of the Tower. Students, faculty and staff honored Rev. Tufts by placing a wreath at his grave and remembering the great works of his life and service.