By Ryan Hall
When the economy falters, contributions to even the most worthy causes may drop off.
However, Gary Anderson, who graduated in 1978 with an accounting degree from USU, is one alumnus who feels now is not the time to pull back support.
“I think this is when philanthropists need to step up,” said Anderson. “You try to look for more that you can do.”
Gary Anderson talks with students at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.
In December 2008, Anderson received the Heart and Hands Award for the third time. The award is sponsored by the Utah Nonprofits Association and the Utah Society of Fund Raisers. It recognizes people who make significant contributions through their volunteer or philanthropic service.
Anderson contributes to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business National Advisory Board Scholarship, the Big Blue Scholarship and the Huntsman School of Business Dean’s Fund.
Anderson came up with the idea to host an Entrepreneur Day or eDay each year and he has been a major supporter of the event since he founded it. This year eDay has become eWeek and, in addition to the Elevator Pitch competition, it will feature a new “Business Creation Event.” The event will give students the chance to compete in a 72-hour contest that will test each team’s ability to promote and sell a product or service based on a common item such as a water bottle. The Elevator Pitch competition gives students a chance to pitch their best ideas to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and win cash to help get their ventures off the ground.
The eDay event, which is organized by the USU Entrepreneur Club, exposes students to entrepreneurial experiences, opens them to new possibilities and helps them better understand the free enterprise system. The event also gives students an opportunity to interact with successful entrepreneurs, like Anderson, on a one-on-one basis.
Anderson also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Huntsman School of Business, the Advisory Board for the Athletic Department and is the chairman of the Entrepreneurial Founders’ Board.
“I got my degree and that got me a job,” Anderson said. “I just feel I owe something to those who have helped me along the way.”