Brad Anderson, AB'05

Volunteer, regular donor & event attendee

Brad Anderson, AB'05, who is seven feet tall, was recruited to play basketball at a small college in Pennsylvania, but by his second year he transferred to the University of Chicago to concentrate on academics. "It was such an amazing experience to be surrounded by people who weren't afraid to challenge each other," says Anderson. His first math course, an honors calculus sequence with Diane Herrmann, "taught me to think like a mathematician."

Right after graduation, Anderson enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, expecting to pursue a PhD in mathematics. He left with a master's instead and moved to Washington, DC, to work for a software company. Consulting jobs led him to New York City, where he joined the finance division at AIG in 2012 and is creating a technology system to manage the insurance company's investments.

Changes aside, Anderson has kept his Chicago ties strong. He's come back to campus for Alumni Weekend every year - that's seven reunions - to connect with friends from his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and attend LGBT Alumni Network events. In New York, he often meets up with friends Ben Steverman, AB'99, AM'99, and Zach Schwartz, AB'06, who work at Bloomberg; and Tim Stewart-Winter, PhD'09, an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University-Newark. Although his job keeps him busy, Anderson has organized and attended events with the DC and New York chapters of the LGBT Alumni Network.

As a student, Anderson volunteered for the Chicago Initiative, the capital campaign that raised $2.2 billion for the University. Like many fourth years, he made a modest donation - $20.05 - to his senior-class gift campaign. Since then, he says, "I've given something every year. It's obviously increasing as I get older."

College alumni who graduated in the last decade have played a critical role in helping the College reach the 40-percent participation mark for annual giving. That measure of alumni support contributes to UChicago's position in national rankings, but Anderson is even more motivated by a desire to return the support he received from the College. "They were really generous in their financial aid and made so much available to me, from the LGBT mentoring program to fraternity and Alumni Weekend programs," he says. "The University has given me a lot, so it's important to give back as much as I can."

-Elizabeth Station, Inspirit (Winter 2013)