One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
Dr. Lyle Anderson and Professor Connie Anderson

Family Ties: Connie and Lyle Anderson Scholarship

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by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Searching for a way to honor the lifelong service to Cedarville University by his sister and brother-in-law, Randy Clark turned to some contemporary communication methods —  Cedarville emails and a podcast — for motivation.

This motivation led him to contribute $100,000 from his aunt’s, Bernice Schrenk, trust to fully fund the Connie and Lyle Anderson Endowed Music Scholarship. The scholarship will help fund expenses for future music students pursuing programs in keyboard pedagogy or voice as primary performance disciplines.

Clark, a 1974 Cedarville alumnus and the interim CEO of private equity companies and a trustee for the trust, had not been as connected to Cedarville University as he would like due to extensive travel for work. However, when he opened a November email that included the Cedarville Stories Podcast interview with Dr. Lyle and Connie Anderson — his sister and brother-in-law — Clark was moved by their investment in the lives of college students and decided to help future Cedarville music students.

“Although I have not been able to follow Cedarville as closely as I would desire, I have watched from a distance how Cedarville has ‘held the torch’ for Christian education when so many other schools have drifted away from the truth,” said Clark. “Being able to help future students receive an education from a biblical worldview is important to me, and I know my aunt would love to see Connie and Lyle recognized in this way. It was a perfect fit.”

Connie and Lyle have served at Cedarville University for a combined 72 years. Lyle currently holds key roles as the coordinator of choral studies and conducts the Concert Chorale, Men’s Glee Club, and Vocal Arts Ensemble. He has also led 13 overseas mission ministries and 60 concert tours. In 1999, Dr. Anderson was honored as Cedarville University’s Faculty Member of the Year.

Likewise, Connie has been a steadfast faculty member at the university. She now serves as the director of the keyboard pedagogy program and is a long-time member of the Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA). In 2004, she was honored as the Certified Teacher of the Year for the OMTA Western District.

“Connie and Lyle have impacted many college students during their years of teaching at Cedarville University, and this endowed scholarship is a great way to honor them for their faithful service,” said Clark.  “The music program may not be at the forefront of people’s minds in higher education, but the way Connie and Lyle have devoted their careers to mentoring students is significant and worthy of this recognition.”

The scholarship will be given to students who display exemplary character and who are pursuing programs that have been heavily influenced by the Andersons. The recipient must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.

“We are very humbled to have our names associated with this ongoing scholarship fund that will encourage gifted, dedicated Cedarville music students,” said Lyle Anderson. “To know the students’ financial burdens will be lessened as they prepare to enter musical professions and ministries for the glory of God, will bring us much joy through the years to come.”

Helping students pursue their dreams, and knowing her family played a role in future student successes encourages Connie.

“We were speechless when Randy presented the news of the endowment scholarship to us. Randy and his daughter, Cristal Brown, co-executors of the Schrenk Trust, knew my aunt wanted her remaining funds to be used to benefit Christian organizations, and we’re just honored that they selected to benefit future music students at Cedarville University,” said Connie Anderson. “This act of generosity on Randy's part means the world to Lyle and me.”

Clark and Connie Anderson’s father, Ed Clark, once served as the head of human resources at Cedarville University for 20 years. Their mother, Amy Clark, now resides in Spokane, Washington, and is the sister of the late Bernice Schrenk.

"I am thrilled at the addition of the Lyle and Connie Anderson Endowed Music Scholarship to our department slate of named scholarships,” said Beth Cram Porter, chair of the department of music. “The Andersons have given their professional lives to our music and worship department. With 72 years of combined service to Cedarville University, they have poured into the lives of hundreds of students and invested into the musical and spiritual lives of every student that crossed their path.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Music program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.