John E. Anderson, acting president of Columbus College in 1979, died Aug. 26 in Newport News, Va., due to complications from Wegener’s Granulomatosis. He was 77.
Anderson served as acting president of the college, now Columbus State University, for about six months after President Thomas Y. Whitley retired.
The Akron, Ohio-native came to Columbus College in 1963 from Florida State University, where he was an associate professor of psychology. During his 17 years at Columbus College, Anderson served as dean, vice-president for academic affairs and finally, acting president.
While in Columbus, Anderson served on the committee that wrote the original guidelines for the University System of Georgia’s core curriculum.He was also a board member of the Department of Family and Children’s Services as well as one of the first members appointed to The Medical Center Hospital Authority, a nine-member autonomous authority established in 1975 that owns The Medical Center today.
Anderson was once considered a candidate to replace Whitley as Columbus College president, but withdrew his name after he took a position as president at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. Francis J. Brooke was eventually selected to succeed Whitley in 1980.Anderson was CNU president from 1980 to 1986. He then went back to teaching full-time as a psychology professor and served as department chair of CNU’s School of Business before retiring in 2003.
Anderson is survived by his wife Joyce, three children and three grandchildren.His funeral service was held Monday at CNU. Memorial donations may be made in Anderson’s memory to the Vasculitis Foundation, P.O. Box 28660, Kansas City, Mo, 64188-8660.
Wegener’s granulomatosis is a rare disorder that causes vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels. The inflammation restricts blood flow to different organs and can end up damaging them.