Local residents support wellness areas

Wed, 2012-07-25 09:00 -- univcomm
Anderson University has recently announced that four specialized areas within the Kardatzke Wellness Center will honor four Madison County families. Each family being honored provided leading support for the construction of the 132,000 square foot center and expressed their interest in specific programs and activities.“Four families, along with many others, have made leadership gifts to enable us to create this state-of-the-art facility that will have a huge impact on the mission of the university,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “We are grateful for their generosity and are eager to honor them in the naming of the key components of the Kardatzke Wellness Center.”

Glenn and Berny Falls Fitness Center Dr. R. Glenn Falls began his relationship with Anderson University as a student in the 1940s. He was only the second student to graduate from Anderson University with a degree in business. He earned master’s and doctorate degrees in business administration from Indiana University and then returned to AU in 1952 to teach. As a new faculty member, networked with local business leaders and developed internships so students could gain practical experience.

He and his late wife, Ruth, set up funds for faculty development and student scholarships. In honor of his work, Anderson University named the business department the R. Glenn Falls School of Business in 2001. The business program now offers master’s and doctorate degrees and boasts an enrollment of more than 200 students.

Anderson University has recognized Dr. Falls’ support and loyalty with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the John H. Kane Loyalty Award and the Heritage Award. Dr. Falls’ wife, Berny, has had an extensive career in nursing—serving as both a private duty nurse and in hospice care across the country as she was needed. She was previously married to the late Dr. Maurice Berquist, a well-known pastor, evangelist, author, and national leader in the Church of God. In retirement Dr. and Mrs. Falls continue to be an active part of the campus community.

Bill and Gloria Gaither Sports Medicine Center Bill and Gloria Gaither began their relationship with Anderson University as students. After college, they launched a successful career in music ministry. Over the years, they have received many Dove and Grammy awards, and were honored as “Songwriters of the Century” in 2000. Despite their success and busy careers, the Gaithers have never lost touch with their alma mater. Bill has served on the university’s board of trustees for 28 years. Gloria taught songwriting classes at the university and served on the national board of directors for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

The Gaithers have provided significant leadership during the last two capital campaigns for Anderson University. They both received honorary doctorates from Anderson University — Bill an honorary doctor of music and Gloria an honorary doctor of humane letters. No couple has meant more to Anderson University in the last 30 years than Gloria and Bill. They have been among the university’s most generous supporters and most vocal supporters.

J. Willard and Virginia Reardon Wellness Education Center J. Willard “Bill” and Virginia Reardon consider Anderson University part of their family. Virginia served the campus community as secretary to the president for 23 years. Bill was one of the first students at Anderson Bible Training School. Virginia moved to Anderson from Birmingham, Ala., in 1960.

Anderson University President Robert Reardon hired her as his secretary and later introduced her to his brother, Bill. They were married Jan. 4, 1975. Bill enjoyed a successful career as an engineer, a vocation that interested him at an early age. He completed a degree in electrical engineering at Purdue University and began a long career with General Electric.

The Reardons have been friends and promoters of Anderson University and unfailing supporters of the institution for the last 40 years. And Bill’s former employer, General Electric, has matched every monetary gift the Reardons have shared with Anderson University.

Lester C. and Marguerite Hardacre Human Performance Center Lester C. and Marguerite Hardacre were longtime supporters of Anderson University. Lester’s relationship with the university began in the school’s early days with the family dairy. During the Great Depression, his father, Cliff Hardacre, made sure the school cafeteria was stocked with dairy products, and he hired cash-strapped students to work for him.

Marguerite was a student at Anderson University in the 1930s. She married Lester in 1936. The couple initially resided in New Castle, where Lester managed a branch of his family’s growing dairy business. They returned to Anderson in the 1960s. Lester and Marguerite died in 2001, after 65 years of marriage.

Lester and Marguerite were involved in every major building project on the Anderson University campus during the last 30 years. In honor of his wife and their first daughter, Eleanore, Lester established Anderson University’s largest individual scholarship fund. Their daughter, Martha (Hardacre) Carpenter, an alumna of Anderson University, also values the spiritual gifts and Christian examples she received from her parents.

The Kardatzke Wellness Center project located at the northeast end of the campus is designed to provide programming for health, recreation and wellness in all forms—spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. The facility is the largest building project in the university's 85-year history. The Kardatzke Wellness Center will be dedicated during Anderson University’s Homecoming weekend, Saturday, October 12, at 10 a.m., and will feature 1992 Olympic decathlon bronze medallist David Johnson as the guest speaker. The public is invited to attend the admission free event.