The Anderson University Town and Gown association honored AU alumna Deanna (Monteith) Edwards with the 2012 Wanda Savage Award on October 25. This award is given on behalf of the AU Office of Development and the family of the late Wanda Savage to a person who exemplifies community spirit between Anderson University and the greater Anderson community.
Wanda Savage was a great friend of the university and exemplified community spirit. The Savage family established this award as a way to honor Wanda, her work on behalf of Anderson University and the larger community, and to recognize those who continue to lead in the university and community relationship.
Edwards, a 1965 graduate of Anderson University, has made a difference in the Anderson University community and the Anderson community at large. She has committed her life efforts to working on issues affecting women, children, and their families.
Raised in Springfield, Ohio, Edwards was an honors graduate of Springfield High School. After high school she worked in a Springfield law office and studied part time at Wittenburg College. She began her student days at Anderson University the same autumn as did her close friend, Jim Edwards, whom she married in 1964. Deanna graduated from Anderson University with a degree in elementary education. She earned her master’s degree from Ball State University. Her greatest joy has been nurturing her three, now grown, children, and enjoying her six grandchildren.
Edwards currently serves on the board of Alternatives Inc., where she previously held the position of Children’s Program Director. She worked with women and children in domestic crises and has come to know the city in a much different way. The work has deepened her care for the Anderson community. Edwards also serves on the Board of Directors at the Muncie located Minnetrista, a gathering place that focuses on the exploration of nature, history, gardens, and art; the American Association of University Women, that seeks to empower women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research; and Silent Blessings, a ministry serving the deaf community.
She also serves on the Guiding Committee of Park Place Children’s Center and facilitates the children’s program of Godly Play each Sunday morning at Park Place Church.
Edwrads has served the greater Anderson community with leadership on the Mayor’s Commission Against Domestic Violence and with the Anderson Community Schools Foundation.
Edwards’s professional experience includes work as a teacher in Indiana and Ohio, both in private and public school settings. She pioneered the after-school program at Park Place Church, guiding Anderson University students in working with neighborhood children, and served the Anderson Community Schools through coordination of the book-buddy program, CARE. Edwrads served as the leader of Kid’s Place beginning in 1983, focusing on mission education for children during the North American Convention of The Church of God for the national church.
In 1999, Edwards was the honored recipient of the Elizabeth McMahan service award presented on behalf of Alternatives, Inc.
Extensive community involvement coupled with the responsibilities that come with being the wife and partner of Dr. James Edwards, president of Anderson University, makes life very full, but Edwards believes her strength is renewed by the joy she finds in her work. She has said that, “No matter how much I’d love to do and be a part of, I try to limit myself to things that fit my personal mission: Does it affect the lives of women and children and their families?”
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.