A woman sits at a laboratory bench and works with lab equipment.
Ann Anderson [Historical Collections & Archives, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library, Augusta University]

Former medical technology chair creates endowment for laboratory sciences

Ann Anderson has always had a heart for students who face economic challenges. A proud triple alumna and retiree of the Medical College of Georgia, her compassion is one of the reasons Anderson established a fund to assist students pursuing degrees in clinical laboratory sciences many years ago and later endowed the fund to ensure student funding in perpetuity.

Recently, Anderson committed an estate gift to enhance her existing endowment with half of it establishing a new fund, the Ann Stuart Anderson Scholarship Endowment, for qualifying students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences.

Ann Anderson [Historical Collections &
Archives, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D.
Library, Augusta University]

“I really appreciated my time at the Medical College of Georgia and appreciated the students,” said Anderson, who spent 31 years at MCG from the time she first set foot on campus as a student to when she retired in 1989.

An Augusta native who attended the Academy of Richmond County and the Junior College of Augusta (one of AU’s legacy institutions), Anderson graduated from what was then the School of Medical Technology at the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in 1960. At that time, medical technology students attended UGA’s Athens campus for three years and transferred to MCG for their final year. She began working in the Microbiology Lab at MCG shortly after she graduated.

A year after starting in the Microbiology Lab at MCG, she became the education coordinator for medical technology.

Anderson said she remembers vividly the economic challenges some students faced in completing their education; thus she continues to address this pressing need.

“As a working college student, I understood the economic struggles during my day, and I am acutely aware that students today have the same, or even greater, challenges,” Anderson said.

Ann Anderson (left) working in MCG’s Microbiology Lab. [Historical Collections & Archives, Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library, Augusta University]

It was not long before Walter L. Shepeard, MD, then chair of the Department of Medical Technology, learned of Anderson’s esteemed job performance and dedicated work ethic. In 1965, he had an opening in his department and asked her to teach medical technology, giving her the flexibility to pursue her master’s degree at MCG simultaneously.

Shepeard quickly became Anderson’s mentor. Anderson explained, “Dr. Shepeard and his wife never had children, so he treated his faculty like they were his family.”

His leadership style deeply impressed Anderson.

At that early juncture, the program only had two students. Anderson and Shepeard recruited vigorously across the entire state of Georgia – growing the program’s enrollment. Today enrollment stands at 23 students – a number that clearly pleases Anderson.

In 1976, she was appointed acting chair of the department and became the full-time department chair the following year. Anderson modeled professional leadership for her students through her service on the Georgia Society of Medical Technology, where she served two terms each in the roles of vice president, president and convention chair.

“I really appreciated my time at the Medical College of Georgia and appreciated the students.”

Ann Anderson

She was also an active member of the National Accrediting Commission for Clinical Lab Sciences as a committee member and then as chair of its board, evaluating more than 700 schools over a six-year period. She brought knowledge gleaned through her involvement at the state and national levels back home to benefit the program in Augusta and its students.

While serving as a faculty member, student recruiter and professional leader, Anderson found time to spearhead the fundraising effort for the Walter L. Shepeard Building, which stands on the Health Sciences Campus and bears the name of her friend, colleague and mentor. She understood the importance of engaging others in giving to a good cause.

Through Anderson’s generosity, countless students have benefitted and will continue to benefit from her generous commitment to her profession and its students. She also encourages others to give back to MCG and Augusta University.

For information about how you can make a lasting impact at MCG and Augusta University, please contact Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement via email or call 706-721-4001.

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Written by
Betty Meehan
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Written by Betty Meehan

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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