|2012 Hall of Fame - Jim Anderson|
Jim Anderson is a Vandal – through and through. A native of Rigby, Idaho, Anderson didn’t graduate from the University of Idaho but his dedication and devotion to the Vandals has been such that he was welcomed into the family as an honorary member of the Alumni Association a couple years ago.
Today, he is member of the Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame – an honor he lists as one of the greatest achievements in a lifetime of honors and awards bestowed on a man who has given selflessly over the years to his adopted school and hometown.
He is frank when he admits he first was enticed to service with Vandal Boosters, Inc., because he thought such a relationship would help foster business at Tri-State, where he was the general manager for a decade before buying Ambassador Auto on Moscow’s Third Street.
“The more I got involved with it,” Anderson said, “the more I realized how important it was to the economics of the community.”
A lifelong sportsman and sports fan, Anderson was drawn to the world of intercollegiate athletics. He was no stranger to athletics and physical endeavors after a youth spent as a multi-sport athlete at Rigby High School followed by serving as a paratrooper in World War II and during the Korean War.
By the time he moved to Moscow, he and his wife (the late Marian Anderson) were raising two daughters and he was well into a career in retail management. Always, though, there was a passion for sport.
“I love athletics,” said Anderson, whose service to Vandal Boosters ranges from helping put up the iconic I-Vandals signs around Moscow to serving as the National Vandal Booster Board president and, literally, everything in-between. He was instrumental in developing innovative fund-raising tools that included dividing volunteers into teams competing to raise the most money to the popular 50/50 drawings that over the years have added thousands to the Vandals’ coffers.
He’s been rewarded with numerous honors and accolades but none, he says, come close to two with their ties to Vandal Athletics. One is today’s honor. The other was when the first Jim and Marian Anderson Scholarship, with funds raised by the many fans of Anderson and his wife, was awarded at the 2011 football banquet.
“That is one of my fondest and most emotional memories,” said Anderson, recalling the presentation of the scholarship and the honor of having friends, business associates and boosters contribute to the honor.
After Anderson’s induction tonight, he can add Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame to this impressive list: 1979 National Vandal Booster of the Year, 2004 Elsbeth Bush Distinguished Service Award, 2005 Elsbeth Bush Distinguished Service Award, the 2008 Elsbeth Bush Distinguished Service Award, the 2004 Vandal Spirit Award, the 2005-06 President’s Special Service Award and 2009 Honorary Membership in the Idaho Alumni Association.
Hall of Famer Wayne Anderson said it best when describing his long-time friend: “He’s a peach of a guy.”