Andersons Thankful for Answered Prayers Philanthropic Couple Named Honorary Alumni
As OC alumni, we have commonality. It crosses decades, majors, clubs and backgrounds.
We were “#OCisHome” before it was cool. We share Chapel experiences, 8 a.m. class struggles … and Stafford North stories. He’s been around THAT long!
But do we give back? Is that part of our commonality? A lot of us do, and it all boils down to this: giving to OC is worth it.
So fellow grads, just wait until you meet the couple who will join us as “honorary alumni” at Homecoming. They can teach us about a million things about giving back.
Mo and Richard Anderson of Edmond and Austin, Texas.
Richard is a real estate developer, a successful businessman and a quiet champion of causes like Oklahoma Christian. His wife, Mo, is the co-owner of Keller-Williams Realty.
She didn’t join KW until 20 years ago when she was 57 years old. We don’t typically talk about a lady’s age, but let’s do the math and marvel that new chapters can begin throughout our lives – fortified by our drive, opportunities and faith.
There is a beautiful sense of community. And the people there treat us like we’re part of the family.
Earlier in Mo’s business career, she became friends with Marty (Mitchell 71) Johnson, OC’s first lady from 1974 to 1995. They served together on a bank board and President Terry Johnson (64) began asking Mo to speak to business students.
As the years went along and Richard and Mo were active in Edmond and Oklahoma City civic, non-profit and chamber life, they met more and more OC people in the community.
“That’s when we first started really appreciating the school,” Mo said. “Number one: We share common values. Number two: There is a beautiful sense of community. And the people there treat us like we’re part of the family. I mean we’re Presbyterians. And they’re nice to us.”
The third thing Mo and Richard, graduates of the University of Oklahoma, value about OC is the close connection professors have with students – in and out of the classroom – on matters academic and spiritual.
Impressed, Richard began to pray that his granddaughter, Andee (Wayne 14) Gower, would attend OC. Richard, a former basketball player for the Sooners, had his prayers answered when Andee earned a basketball scholarship to play for the Lady Eagles. She graduated from OC in the spring and currently studies at the OU College of Medicine.
With Andee thriving at OC, Richard and Mo had the means, desire and vision to establish a lasting gift for their adopted university. In 2012, they established the Anderson Endowment for Academic Excellence in Athletics with a $1 million gift.
The endowment provides athletic academic advisors for student-athletes in OC’s 12 varsity sports, and enables podcasting of classes for athletic-related travel.
Mo and Richard are champions of our school. When one of the world’s leading Bible scholars, Dr. N.T. Wright, came to campus earlier this year, the Andersons helped provide the connection and funding for the event.
Then, it was Mo’s connection serving on the board of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry that led to Dr. Zacharias’ acceptance of an invitation to come to OC on March 30, 2015.
Dr. Zacharias, an engaging speaker who understands global culture, has shared the beauty and credibility of the gospel to audiences all over the world, including Harvard University, Oxford University and the United Nations. This is a big deal for OC. (Mark your calendar!)
It’s also a big deal to have friends like Mo and Richard who love us – for who we are and what we do and what we have in common. It’s on us now to accept the challenge to support our alma mater in every way we can.
View more stories from the Fall 2014 issue of Vision magazine.