Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Todd and Tim Anson possess a deep appreciation for the lifelong benefit an education provides.
On Sunday, the brothers shared that appreciation with their alma mater, Central Michigan University, by lending their generous support to the Events Center atrium. The area, now known as the Jack and Patricia Anson Family Atrium, was dedicated Sunday and is named in honor of their parents.
"My parents are living proof that 'Going to school is like walking through a magic door to your dreams,'" Todd Anson said in borrowing a quote from Nobel Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai. "That's exactly what happened to our family."
Central Michigan University ties run very deep in the Anson family. Jack enrolled at CMU on the GI bill after serving in the Navy in World War II. It was at CMU that he met Patricia, who passed away in 2011. Jack graduated in 1950, Patricia in '47. They settled in Mount Pleasant and raised their family.
All three of their sons, Todd, Tim and Steve, are CMU alums. Todd is an attorney and venture investor living near San Diego and Tim is a certified public accountant in Washington, D.C. Both Todd's wife Terri and Tim's wife Kristi are also CMU graduates.
"We celebrate one of Central Michigan University's most distinguished families as we officially dedicate the Jack and Patricia Anson Family Atrium," said CMU President, Dr. George E. Ross. "I would like to thank the Anson Family for establishing a legacy of dedication to Central Michigan University.
"We sincerely appreciate your unwavering generosity and leadership which has made the Anson Family Atrium, and so much more, possible here at CMU."
One of CMU's most famous and high-profile alums, Dick Enberg, partook in Sunday's ceremony. A bust of Enberg, one of the greats of American sports broadcasting who has earned 13 Sports Emmy Awards as well as the Lifetime Achievement Emmy, was dedicated in the atrium in 2012, a gift from Todd Anson.
"I feel very good about giving back," Enberg said. "It's my way of saying thank you, it's the Ansons way of saying thank you to this great university and making it even better for the next generation."
"The atrium dedication is indicative of the continued support the Anson family has displayed to the academic mission of Central Michigan University," said Dave Heeke, Associate Vice President/Athletics Director. "The Anson Family has a long and valued place in the Mount Pleasant Community and Central Michigan University."
After graduating from CMU, Jack Anson was an assistant superintendent of schools in Mt. Pleasant, retiring in 1982, and he was recognized as the Mount Pleasant Citizen of the Year.
"Earning a well-rounded education was at the center of their family values, as demonstrated by the endowed scholarship named in their honor, and established in 2005, designed to assist a graduating senior from Mount Pleasant High School to further their education here at CMU.
"Today, we thank the Anson Family for their continued commitment to the academic mission of Central Michigan University. The events center serves the academic, athletic, and cultural needs of the university and our surrounding region.
"On behalf of over 450 student-athletes, and the university at-large, I want to thank the Anson Family for their continued passion and commitment to the academic mission of Central Michigan University."
Both Todd and Tim Anson spoke during Sunday's ceremony, which was attended by approximately 50 guests.
"Education is the difference-maker on everything and that's kind of the fundamental underpinning of what our family's all about," Todd Anson said. "Because of dad's and mom's education the arch of their lives was elevated, and because of our education the arch of our lives was and our childrens' have been."
"It all started at this place."