This month’s Alumni Spotlight is Howie Anderson ’70, who was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award by the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Association.
When deciding where to attend college, Howie Anderson ’70 followed his heart and based part of his decision on the fact that his high school sweetheart was attending Concordia University, St. Paul. They were married forty-five years ago while in college and paid for it using the stipend that went with winning the Allan T. Bluhm Outstanding Junior Award.
At Hamline, Howie felt that the personal interest his professors and mentors paid him made his experience as a first-generation student remarkable. Garvin Davenport, at that time a freshly minted PhD in American Studies, instilled in Howie a thirst for learning that has spanned more than forty years. He was an active athlete in football and track. His coaches pushed him to succeed in the classroom as well, supporting studying over practice. Howie was successful in both pursuits, leading to his induction into the Kappa Phi honor society for high academic achievement. Kappa Phi was later replaced at Hamline by the national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, and during Honor’s Week 2014 Howie was recognized as an alumni inductee.
Howie received his BA and majored in American Studies at Hamline University before starting his extraordinary life journey. His doctoral research, at the University of Hawaii, on Native American and Hawaiian education was used by Senator Walter Mondale in the Senate Select Committee on Indian Education. Howie returned to Minnesota as founding director of the Native American Theological Association. He joined the faculty at United Theological Seminary and invited Native students to enter seminary studies, integrating their cultural identity and their faith.
Next, Howie became the founding director of the Minnesota and North Dakota
Committees on Indian Work of the Episcopal Diocese in both states and served on several standing commissions of the National Church, two of which he chaired. Seeking ordination, he entered seminary in Winnipeg, Manitoba, while working full time.
Howie led stewardship efforts at the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota before a call as the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Duluth where he served for ten years. He then became the founding president of the Cathedral College at Washington National Cathedral, and expanded its programs to include centers for Global Justice and Reconciliation, Interfaith Dialogue, Prayer and Spirituality, and Christian Formation. Howie was called as Rector of the Parish of St. Matthew, in Pacific Palisades, California before retiring in 2013. Howie and Linda’s daughter continues the family tradition as an Episcopal priest.
Howie had this to say to the 2014 inductees of Phi Beta Kappa about how Hamline prepares today’s students for their careers:
“Hamline is the culture of innovation and creativity. The greatest generation could expect to work at one place their whole career, but since then the number of careers a person will have is increasing. What you learn at Hamline is how to think of the next great idea. An entrepreneurial spirit is needed. Learning to think, how to step back and discern other ways of doing things, and putting yourself in the position of most opportunity, those are the hallmarks of what to take with you into the career search and your life. You may not know today what you will do in the future. People have to be flexible and nimble as they search for what they should do, and not be afraid to take risks.”
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