A 1938 graduate of the Adirondack Florida School, Harry Anderson joined the Board of Trustees in 1946, just as the trustees were wrestling with the logistics of reopening the school after World War II. He was part of the team that shifted the school permanently to Coconut Grove, renaming it the Ransom School. Over the years, he helped preserve the history of the school, ensured the renovation and preservation of the Pagoda, voted for the merger with the Everglades School for Girls, and through his generosity, made way for the gymnasium that now bears his name. He became a Lifetime Trustee in 1985. Thanks to his personal passion for life on the water, Harry also quietly ensured that the school maintained its unique commitment to sailing and watercraft over the decades.
Harry Anderson, who passed away on May 11, 2020, was Ransom Everglades’ most visionary and enthusiastic supporter since he traveled more than four hours by canoe to be interviewed for the Adirondack Florida School in 1930. He was also one of the school’s most generous leaders – and he made sure that his commitment would live beyond his lifetime, through a first-of-its-kind gift to Ransom Everglades.
In 1979, Harry set up a charitable remainder unitrust, naming Ransom Everglades as the remainder beneficiary. Over the years, the CRT provided him with a steady source of income, and as it was funded with appreciated securities, it allowed him to direct his support to the school in a tax-wise way.
As the longest serving trustee of the school, Harry understood the importance of increasing Ransom Everglades’ endowment to help meet the rising costs of faculty salaries, student financial aid and campus maintenance.
For Harry, Ransom Everglades was his “lifetime pursuit.” He once said, “It provided a foundation of experiences that have sustained me – encouraging my curiosity and love of learning. While I have seen the school evolve over the decades, it has never lost that unique quality of creating graduates who are creative and resourceful, dedicated to improving the world around them. It deeply influenced my life and I expect it will continue to shape young lives for good into the future.”