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Nancy Anderson delighted with retirement

By Kay S. Pedrotti She has a skylighted atrium and a sunny screen porch at her house, but the best light in Nancy Anderson’s home emanates from her personality. Recently retired after 26 years as head librarian at Gordon State College’s Hightower Library, Anderson is truly excited about the many things she hopes to do: ‘I keep saying, ‘˜I’m retired! I can do that!” The 74-year-old says she ‘has a bucket list a mile long, and while I have good health I am going to do as much as possible.’ The list starts right here in Georgia. Some plans are to visit the state parks she has not seen, peruse back issues of Southern Living magazine to find restaurant recommendations in each area, spend some time at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, join the Daughters of the American Revolution ‘“ and get a cell phone. Anderson also plans ‘to eat no old food.’ She’ll shop every day for her meals and eat at the dining table with elegant place settings. Another ambition is to practice enough to revive her piano-playing skills. She says one of her favorite quotes for retirement comes from Emory University theology professor Dr. Walter Brueggemann: ‘The world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you by the grace of God.’ Anderson is determined never to be bored, because ‘a bored person is often a boring person.’ The best advice she gives her grandchildren, Anderson says, is Robert Louis Stevenson’s couplet, ‘The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.’ There are six delightful grands in the families of her three children, Wendy Martin, Laurie Shufeldt and Dave Anderson, she notes. Anderson earned two college degrees after she was 40, the first a degree in middle grades education at Brenau University, where she stayed to be a librarian and associate professor of humanities. Later she earned a master’s degree in educational media at the University of Georgia. In 1987 she took a great leap of faith and came to Gordon, responding to a compelling job offer, and served here 26 years before her retirement Nov. 30. ’I hope this euphoria lasts,’ she says. ‘I’ve walked a mile every day since I retired, I’ve taken naps, done things already I never got to do while I was working. It was a great career and I’ll miss being at Gordon. The library staff, Dr. (Max) Burns, Dr. (Ed) Wheeler and others made the retirement celebration really wonderful. I think I’ll miss working one-on-one with the students the most. ’My staff made a donation to Toys for Tots for books and educational toys, in my honor. That was on Wednesday. ’Then on Friday, my last day, Dr. James Wallace brought the entire chorale outside the front door of the library to sing for me. Tears just rolled down my face. What a great place to have been a part of for so many years.’

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