Tom and Jade Anderson of Columbia, Tenn., were the Masters of the Bell for Freed-Hardeman University’s 13th annual Tolling of the Bell Aug. 22. A ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Anderson Science Center followed the ceremony. The Andersons are the naming donors of the new building.
Dr. C.J. Vires, FHU vice president for academics, called the opening of the science center “a new day for the study of science at Freed-Hardeman.” The center, he said, provides a “synergistic environment for learning to think scientifically from a Christian perspective.”
Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics LeAnn Self-Davis expressed her gratitude to the Andersons and all of the other donors who made the building possible. “One thing remains constant,” she said. “God is the creator of the universe and the center of what our teachers teach and our students learn.”
Tom Anderson, a member of the FHU Board of Trustees, is the co-founder and vice chairman of Capella Healthcare. Anderson has more than thirty years of experience in healthcare, serving as the senior vice president of acquisitions and development for Province Healthcare and the vice president and group director for Community Health Systems.
Both of the Andersons are 1973 graduates of Freed-Hardeman College. They have four children and four grandchildren. The Andersons are active members of the West Seventh Church of Christ in Columbia; Tom serves as an elder, while Jade teaches Bible class and leads the food ministry.
A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of Anderson Science Center, named in memory of James R. Anderson and in honor of Rubye Anderson, parents of Tom Anderson. Mrs. Anderson cut the ribbon to the science center. The 22,000 square foot facility, located on the corner of Main Street and Hamlett Avenue, cost approximately $8 million and houses labs for chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology; faculty offices and a conference room are also a part of the building.
Anderson paid tribute to his parents, who insisted that all of their children attend Freed-Hardeman. “They understood the value of Christian education,” he said. “This day my parents become a part of the school they have loved for so long.”
The Tolling of the Bell ceremony officially began the 2012-13 school year. The masters rang the bell once for each decade of Freed-Hardeman and her predecessors’ existence. The bell, made of an iron alloy, was manufactured circa 1900 and brought to FHU’s campus from the Southern Tennessee Normal and Business Institute in Essary’s Springs, Tenn., where A.G. Freed once had a school.