Distinguished Academy Alumni Award 2010
Judy (Ericson) Anderson A'65 C'69
The Distinguished Academy Alumni Award is a newly established honor that recognizes alumni of North Park Academy, the private high school that existed from 1892–1969. This award is given to an Academy alumnus or alumna who has achieved significant accomplishments professionally and has lived a life that resonates with the core values and mission of North Park University. This year, the award was presented to Judy (Ericson) Anderson A’65 C’69, executive director of HEAL Africa. The following remarks were delivered by Mary K. Surridge, vice president of development and alumni relations, in recognition of Judy at the Homecoming Reunion and Awards Breakfast on Saturday, October 2, 2010.
Just over 45 years ago, Judy Anderson had a decision to make. Having grown up the daughter of Covenant missionaries to Congo, Judy found herself back in Chicago during her father’s furlough, living in the North Park neighborhood. She had begun her high school years in Congo, with only three other classmates in her entire school, so attending any high school in Chicago may have posed a bit of a culture shock. The logical choice was North Park Academy.
Judy graduated in 1965, then went on to complete her undergraduate degree here and embark on a life and ministry that would take her around the world and into the hearts and lives of people of deep need and profound faith.
Judy met and married her husband, Dick, in 1973 and together they have studied, worked, and lived in North America, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, serving a variety of peoples and ministries that help to transform communities, through the teaching and training of the local populations. Judy believes that the greatest creativity and resource for change comes from the very individuals that have those needs and will be served by the change.
This belief led Judy and Dick to found HEAL Africa, a program with the goal of improving health care in Congo by training local doctors, health care workers, and activists in the areas of physical, spiritual and community–based healing. Quite notably, HEAL Africa has developed a teaching hospital in Goma, Congo, staffed by more than 80 Congolese doctors, surgeons, nurses, and staff. Hundreds of essential surgeries and services are conducted there every year for the people of Congo by the health professionals of Congo.
Judy says, “I know that the key to change is the people involved. Having worked in Congo before, we both knew that having a well– designed program means nothing if it comes from the outside. We strongly believe that it is important for Congolese to be able to see and work with other Congolese who are professionals, who are doing great work in difficult circumstances.”
When you talk to Judy, she speaks of North Park as a launching ground for sending individuals into the community and across the world to serve and to grow. Her significant life of service is grand example of this truth.
Having witnessed the range of great suffering and pain and great triumph and growth in the African people, Judy has been aware of God’s presence through it all. “Individual stories of faith, heroism and courage continue to inspire us and other workers,” she says. “We see it in so many of the people we work with. We know God is there, and nothing can separate us from His love, leading and guidance . . . and there is nothing God cannot redeem.”
Judy Anderson, for your significant life of mission and service, North Park University is delighted to honor you, and the alumni of the North Park Academy, as 2010 Distinguished Academy Alumna of the Year.