Violet and Donald (Don) Anderson '60: 'Pennies from Heaven' Spark Desire to Give Back
Donald (Don) Anderson '60 has always been committed to hard work, solid Christian and family values and giving to others. Now he and his wife, Violet, are giving back to the college that helped shape those attributes by designating Augsburg as a beneficiary through their respective revocable trusts.
Don, who was born and raised in Nordeast, decided to attend Augsburg after serving in the U.S. Army. As he studied by day and worked nights to help support Violet and their three children, Don graduated with a B.A. degree in history and business administration. He recalls, "It was a good Christian school. I was able to meet often with the professors and learn so much from them. I really loved going there."
Don went on to become a successful grocery store owner. He served as a two-term state senator, worked in leadership roles in the Minnesota Department of Transportation and then as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Arne Carlson before retiring in 1995. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Augsburg in 2005.
The Andersons now split their time between Arizona and Minnesota, and remain very active in numerous church activities, community efforts and fraternal organizations at both residences. Yet it was a sermon Don heard that reminded him of the importance of giving back. He recalls, "The message was focused on, 'God has been good to you-now what can you do for God?' This compelled me to re-evaluate some things, and I realized I could leave a portion of my estate to the school that helped mold me into who I am. This option was a new approach for us, but now I am encouraging others to do the same."
The Andersons also give to the Augsburg Fund as well as other charitable efforts. While their planned gifts are not currently designated to any particular fund at Augsburg, Don knows they will benefit future students. He adds, "It's a privilege for us to give back, and we always felt we should help the school that helped us."
We are recruiting new members of the Sven Oftedal Society, a group of supporters who have committed a gift of future support to the college. We lift up these donors because they will provide for the possibility that Augsburg's mission lives in future generations.
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