UNA Pressroom

Una Alum Charles Anderson To Receive Horatio Alger Award

Dec. 04, 2014

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Bryan Rachal, Public Affairs and Media Relations FLORENCE, Ala. - Entrepreneur, philanthropist and University of North Alabama alumnus Charles C. Anderson Sr., will soon receive the 2015 Horatio Alger Award. These annual awards from the Horatio Alger Association recognize exceptional leaders who have a commitment to philanthropy and higher education, and who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. Anderson joins an esteemed group of just over 200 living members. Dr. Dan Hendricks, UNA vice president for advancement, said that Anderson is a shining example of what a graduate of UNA can become with hard work and determination. "We are so proud of Mr. Anderson and his accomplishments. He has always been a great ambassador, friend and supporter of this institution, and we know his achievements will continue to bring recognition to Alabama, the Shoals and of course, the University of North Alabama." Anderson was born in Florence and graduated from UNA with a degree in marketing. He currently serves as the chairman emeritus of Anderson Companies, a family-founded portfolio of companies, which includes Anderson Media, TNT Fireworks, Books-A-Million and Anderson Press. Below is a full copy of the press release from the Horatio Alger Association: Alabama Entrepreneur and Generous Philanthropist Charles C. Anderson Sr. to Receive 2015 Horatio Alger Award Horatio Alger Association names 12 exceptional leaders, each of whom has overcome significant adversities in achieving personal and professional success, to its Member Class of 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 4, 2014) - Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Charles C. Anderson Sr., chairman emeritus, Anderson Companies, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Mr. Anderson joins eleven other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2015. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon renowned leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education. Mr. Anderson was born in Florence, Alabama to hard-working, middle-class parents. His father built a newsstand made from piano boxes and sold newspapers to support his family, eventually becoming successful enough to move the stand into a small storefront. Mr. Anderson grew up learning his father's business and after graduating from the University of North Alabama with a marketing degree, he entered the family business full-time. The company continued to experience success and quickly expanded to wider distribution beyond the single storefront. In addition to newspapers and books, the business also began selling fireworks during the holiday season. The rapid growth of the fireworks business triggered Mr. Anderson to start a new company focused on importing fireworks and other merchandise. In 1964, he formed a sourcing company in Hong Kong that today is one of the largest exporters of fireworks in China. Each of Mr. Anderson's businesses, including the core media business, grew rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s and under his influential and visionary leadership, four separate companies emerged - Anderson Media, TNT Fireworks, Books-A-Million and Anderson Press. Today, Mr. Anderson serves as chairman emeritus of the Anderson family-founded portfolio of companies. "Mr. Anderson's accomplishments, work ethic and vision for his family's business deeply reflect the principles of Horatio Alger," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "We speak often of the American Dream and Mr. Anderson's life truly captures the power of that dream as he has achieved incomparable professional success while also becoming a role model for the power of philanthropy in this nation." Given the nature of his family's first business, Mr. Anderson and his wife, Hilda, are dedicated to improving literacy in the United States. A compassionate leader in his own community and beyond, Mr. Anderson has served on the boards of numerous organizations including the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, First United Bancorp and Heritage Trust Fund. A longtime supporter of the Salvation Army, he was a member of its National Advisory Board, and he previously served as a charter member of the Shoals Economic Development Authority Board. Mr. Anderson is also a member of the President's Cabinet at the University of North Alabama, his alma mater, and was named Alumni of the Year in 1979. He was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2011. In accepting this honor, Mr. Anderson commented, "I am very grateful to be selected for this prestigious award and I am deeply humbled to join such an extraordinary list of Horatio Alger Association Members. To be welcomed into an Association that supports the pursuit of education, which I feel so strongly about, is a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to supporting this vital mission of the Association and helping outstanding and deserving students to pursue their own American Dreams." In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for students in the United States and Canada. These students, like the Members, have faced significant adversities, but have persevered and are determined to overcome life's challenges. Scholarships are wholly funded through private donations from Members, Life Partners and friends, and since 1984, the Association has provided more than $100 million to promising students in need. Mr. Anderson and the Member Class of 2015 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 68th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. April 9-11, 2015. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2015 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another. For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2015, please visit www.horatioalger.org. ### About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans: Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., fulfills its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Horatio Alger Association supports students through annual undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships and mentoring programs across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $100 millionin college scholarships to deserving young people. For more information, please visitwww.horatioalger.org.