Author keynote speaker at Lilly Colloquium

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2011

Educator and author Ruth Anderson, who serves as executive director of The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro, will be the keynote speaker for Catawba College’s eighth annual Lilly Colloquium on Tuesday, February 22. Anderson’s visit to campus is sponsored by Catawba’s Lilly Center for Vocation and Values and Catawba’s School of Education.
While on campus Feb. 22, Anderson will make two presentations, both of which are free and open to the public. She will speak at 11 a.m. in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel and again at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Little Theatre of the Robertson College-Community Center during Catawba’s Community Forum for February. Her remarks will focus on concepts expounded in her book, “Hairpin Turn: Trusting Your Heart’s Direction in Leadership and Life.”
According to the website, Anderson’s book “Hairpin Turn: Trusting Your Heart’s Direction in Leadership and Life” tells “a story about how one hairpin slipped loose and mysteriously facilitated a turn from one way of being to another.” The book also charts a course to make a dramatic change in one’s leadership style and life.
Anderson, who earned a master’s degree from Kent State University and a doctorate in communication from the University of Oregon, served as a tenured faculty member at N.C. State University for 15 years. While on the faculty, she taught and wrote in the field of interpersonal and organizational communication and directed one of the campus’ largest service-learning programs. She departed NCSU to apply her understanding of organizational communication theory to Kindermusik International, and then later directed a fledgling nonprofit in Greensboro, N.C., The Servant Leadership School.
Servant leadership principles have infused her work and volunteer activities. While serving as vice president of education at Kindermusik, she created and managed a scholarship program that distributed more than $100,000 to children at risk. Since her departure, the company has renamed the program, the Ruth D. Anderson Children’s Fund. As director of The Servant Leadership School, Anderson writes grants, teaches, manages and markets a program of classes, trainings and workshops. She also works to build collaborative partnerships between the school and other area organizations. The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium honored Anderson in November 2009 with its first annual Service Award in honor of her work “above and beyond what is required in service to the Guilford County Nonprofit Consortium, and for inspiring others to support a significant cause for the betterment of life in Guilford County.”
An accomplished and acclaimed presenter, Anderson has served as keynote speaker for organizations ranging from colleges and universities to corporate and nonprofit organizations. She has also authored several other books, including “Ruthie Stories: Recapturing the Girl Left Behind” and “Connecting with Your Aging Parents through Story: 7 Steps toward a Last Chance at Love.” She and husband, Phil Pratt, a videographer and massage therapist, have a college-age daughter and make their home in Greensboro, N.C.
Catawba’s Lilly Center for Vocation and Values is directed by Dr. Kenneth W. Clapp, senior vice president and chaplain. The Center was established in 2003 and funded with a $2 million grant the College received from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Previous notable speakers who have participated in annual Lilly Colloquia include Leonard Pitts, Martin Marty, David Bornstein, Sharon Parks, Mackey Austin, Joe Ehrmann and Sarah Susanka.
The Lilly Center seeks to help students and members of the larger community determine values for their lives and allow those values to guide decisions relative to the vocations they choose and the priorities they set. Critical to this process is the recognition that as the children of God all are called to use the talents and gifts that have been provided not only for the realization of their own capabilities, but in service to others and in making the world a better place.
For more details on Ruth Anderson’s appearance at Catawba, contact Dr. Clapp at 704-637-4446.