Andersen Foundation: Helping Students Build Windows to a Better Future

Andersen Foundation:  Helping Students Build Windows to a Better Future

By Bill Wax

Donor Profile:  Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation

The support of thousands of individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations has helped make Bellevue University Nebraska’s largest private college or university. As the University celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look at a few of the key individuals and organizations whose financial support helped make it happen. The generosity of the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation has enabled Bellevue University to move forward on its educational mission by providing funds for a broad range of University program and project initiatives.  The University owes a great deal of thanks and appreciation to the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation Board of Directors for their continued and loyal support for more than a quarter century.

Andersen Foundation:  Helping Students Build Windows to a Better Future

andersen-lumberThe Andersen Corporation is a leading international manufacturer of windows and doors headquartered in the St. Paul suburb of Bayport, Minnesota, and is an American success story.  Founded in 1903 as Andersen Lumber Company in Hudson, Wisconsin, by Danish immigrant Hans Andersen, it quickly outgrew its original plant site, and in 1913, a new factory was built in South Stillwater (now Bayport) Minnesota, where corporate headquarters are now located. The company currently has more than 20 locations and 9,000 employees, and the 2.8 million square-foot Bayport plant covers 65 acres.

Philanthropy has long been part of the company’s identity, establishing the Bayport Foundation (now The Andersen Corporate Foundation) in 1941. One of five charitable foundations funded by the company, the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation was incorporated in 1959, and awards grants totaling $16 million to $18 million per year. The Foundation’s primary giving focus is “higher education organizations that do not receive federal funding” like Bellevue University.  It also supports local non-profits near company facilities in Wisconsin and Minnesota. And because the Foundation gives “undesignated” grants not restricted to a specific project or program, the recipients can invest the funds where they are needed. Giving priorities include academics, the poor and economically disadvantaged, the arts, and health.

fred-c-and-katherine-b-andersen
Katherine B. and Fred C. Andersen

Bellevue University’s relationship with the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation began in 1989, when then “Bellevue College” asked the Foundation for a grant to support its development agenda. A $50,000 check from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation arrived at year’s end. Since that initial gift, the Foundation has continued to support the University, and total contributions to date are approaching $6 million, enabling thousands of students and graduates to receive a quality, affordable college education. The support from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation has helped Bellevue University to quadruple its enrollment through a broad range of development initiatives, including new programs, new and renovated facilities, campus expansions, technology upgrades, enhanced student support services, and scholarships for needy students.

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