Rockford Register Star
Anderson ’Äòmade a real difference’Äô The
former presidential candidate returns to Lincoln Middle School to
receive an award.
By Corina Curry
John B. Anderson wove stories of election reform and
war crimes with those of meeting celebrities and former presidents
when addressing Lincoln Middle School students Thursday.
presidential candidate, U.S. congressman of two decades, former
Winnebago County State’Äôs Attorney and former Lincoln student was in
town to help the school celebrate its 75th anniversary and receive
the first Capstone Award for achievement by an alum.
On what might
have been Anderson’Äôs first visit back to the school since he
graduated in 1937, the lifelong politician got an opportunity to
speak with children, tour the building and reminisce about the days
when he first walked the hallways.
’ÄúI was very impressed with the
level and type of questions I was asked by the children,’Äù Anderson
said after speaking with an eighth-grade history class. ’ÄúI’Äôm very
favorably impressed with how they are not only refurbishing this
school but also having a tangible effect on the minds of these young
Students posted welcome signs in the school’Äôs hallways
greeting both Anderson and fellow Capstone recipient Dr. Timothy
’ÄúI thought it was really cool to see John B. Anderson and
hear what he had to say,’Äù said sixth-grader Renee Derr. ’ÄúWhen he
answered the questions, you could tell he was a good politician.’Äù
Other students thought Anderson was ’Äúcool’Äù because he’Äôs met a lot
of famous people such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Paul Newman
and international leaders. Most students said they identified with
Anderson because he attended their school.
’ÄúIt’Äôs kinda cool that we
got to meet someone who ran for president and that he was from our
school,’Äù said 12-year-old Ashley Cortinas.
Anderson, 80, now
teaches law at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and serves as
chair of the Center for Voting and Democracy and president of the
World Federalist Association. He’Äôs also a guest lecturer and remains
active in his support of several political issues from election and
campaign finance reform to monitoring the escalating conflicts in
the Middle East.
In John Gustafson’Äôs American History class,
inquisitive students asked Anderson about his family, why he ran for
president, why it’Äôs so hard for a woman to become president, what he
thinks of the current president and what he thinks about the crisis
And Gustafson, a teacher at Lincoln since 1983, finally
got to meet the guy he voted for for U.S. president in 1980.
totally enthused by his campaign back then,’Äù Gustafson said, proudly
wearing a John B. Anderson for President campaign button on his suit
jacket lapel. ’ÄúI had always thought that he would have made a
Gustafson said he was happy for the kids in
his class, too, who had a chance to speak with Anderson after the
’ÄúHere’Äôs a man who is a part of history and still is a
part of history in the making,’Äù he said. ’ÄúThis is a person who made
a real difference in the political process and international
affairs. We’Äôre always telling them that even one person can make a
difference. I think he’Äôs an example of that.’Äù