Services in-person & online at 8:30 and 11:00am at Florida's Oldest United Methodist Church

Russell and Cecil Anderson Memorial Scholarship


Russell Anderson’s life might have been determined by the five generations of farmers before him. Instead he, his brother George Anderson of this church, and three other children forged new frontiers of professional and often urban careers. Education was the instrument of their dreams. The farm boy worked his way through college and then chose to expand his horizons in 1917 by teaching local children on a Hawaiian sugar plantation. Even a brief stint in the army in WWI did not deter him from raising his professional goals, for he went back to college and earned a doctorate in agricultural history. From that he rose to the rank of Curator of Agriculture and Forestry at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and then to being the director of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. Instead of being discouraged by losing that job when he was 58, he forged a new phase of his life by bringing his many talents to Pensacola Junior College when it was still on Palafox. He rose with that institution, and attained the position of Academic Dean before he retired.

The gentleman scholar served his school, community, and church in a variety of functions. He was best known for his work with the Camellia Club, the Navy League, and church boards. In addition to inspiring his students, he set standards for his own children who earned Ph.D and Master’s degrees, and for his grandchildren, who are a veterinarian, an aeronautical engineer, a computer programmer, and a C.P.A.

Cecil’s rise above the circumstances of her birth was even more remarkable. A farm girl, orphaned at the age of four, she was sent to live with farm relatives. Her aunt told her that she was going to have to make her own way in the world, so she did. As with Russell, schooling was to be her ticket to new horizions. In an era when farm girls had very limited opportunities, she chose to become a teacher. Her relatives allowed her to go to a nearby junior college ( a “normal” school that trained teachers). It was her good fortune to have come of age during the 1920’s as women achieved new levels of equality in professional and civic arenas. She was well known here for her service with the Garden Club, her book reviews for her Sunday School class, and judging floral arrangements throughout Florida. Both she and her sister-in-law, Donatta Anderson, served as role models for the young women of today as Russell and George did for young men. It is fitting that they be remembered for the cornerstone of their lives-education.


1992 Liz Thomas
1993 Kathy Anderson
1994 Jenny DeWitt
1995 Daniel Elder
1996 Virginia Butler
1998 Shannon Yost
1999 Drew Whitford
2000 Nicole Christopher
2001 Elizabeth Irvin
2002 Zack Butler (PJC)
2003 Brennan Peacock
2004 Brennan Peacock
2005 Kevin Hogan
2006 Samuel Rankin
2007 Molly Thompson


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