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William Anderson Jr, retired Church Foundation president, dies at 71

10/23/2006
[Episcopal News Service]  William G. Andersen, Jr., former executive director of the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF), died peacefully at home on October 20, following a battle with cancer.

Andersen joined the Foundation in 1987 and served as its executive director from 1992 until 2005.

During his tenure, the Foundation focused on issues of leadership formation, education and philanthropy. Major research efforts included the Zacchaeus Project and the Global Anglicanism Project. Its Cornerstone Project results contributed to clergy health and wellness programs, including Fresh Start, and helped develop the Clergy Reflection, Education, Discernment Opportunity known as CREDO. The Foundation also upgraded gift-planning and investment-management services for the church and added capital campaign services to its program.

Since 1949, ECF has served the Episcopal Church and its members through a wide array of services. Currently, it focuses on providing financial, leadership, research and informational resources to Episcopal congregations, dioceses and other entities. Approximately $50 million is under management by the foundation for future work in parishes, dioceses and Episcopal agencies.

Previously, Andersen served as assistant director of the National Civic League, senior researcher at Rutgers University's former Urban Studies Center, and as a senior planner with New York's Regional Plan Association.

Following his retirement from ECF, Andersen acted as a resource person for non-profit organizations interested in program and fund development and organization management issues, working with the Society for the Increase of Ministry on its Funding Future Leaders campaign and continuing to consult with ECF.

Born January 25, 1935 and raised on City Island, Bronx, Andersen earned a B.S. in outdoor management from Cornell University (1957) and a degree in public management at New York University (1965), and served in the Marine Corps as an officer (1957-61). He also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in 2005. In addition to serving the church through his work with ECF, Andersen was also a member and leader at St. George's Church in Maplewood, New Jersey, and the Diocese of Newark.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at St. George's Church, 550 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, on October 28, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. George's Church, or to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry, 924 Farmington Avenue, #100, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107.

"The Episcopal Church Foundation was truly fortunate to have been led by Bill's faith, wisdom, and experience," said Donald V. Romanik, president of ECF. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his wife Lydia E. Andersen, his daughter, Susan Andersen-Earley, his son, John Eric Andersen, his daughter Kristin Chamorro, and his seven grandchildren."