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Ada Anderson

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Information about Ada Anderson

Profile image of Ada Anderson

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pastel
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
October
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Wiesbaden, Germany
Favorite Quote:
You Can Find Mediocrity Anyplace And Anytime, But Not On My Time.

Birthplace

Born:
10/2/1921
Birth Location:
Austin, Texas

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pastel
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
October
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Wiesbaden, Germany
Favorite Quote:
You Can Find Mediocrity Anyplace And Anytime, But Not On My Time.

Birthplace

Born:
10/2/1921
Birth Location:
Austin
See how Ada Anderson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader and philanthropist Ada Anderson has been highly acclaimed for her civil rights work. She was born October 2, 1921 in Austin, Texas to Cecilia and Walter Collins – the fourth of nine children. In 1937, Anderson graduated from L.C. Anderson High School which remained segregated until 1971. She went on to Tillotson College, graduating with her B.S. degree in home economics in 1941.

After college, Anderson worked for the Texas Employment Commission as an employment counselor creating workshops and seminars on dealing with finances, aimed particularly at women. She went on to teach for the Austin Independent School District and worked as a psychometrist. In 1951, she finished the coursework for a M.S. degree in library science. However, she could not complete the degree as the school would not allow her to attend the program’s required fieldwork at the state library. This experience enforced Anderson’s commitment to civil rights. In 1951, she gained co-ownership of the real estate and insurance firm Anderson-Wormley with her husband, Andy Anderson. Two years later she helped found the Austin chapter of Jack and Jill of America and worked as both a National corresponding secretary and its South Central regional director. In 1965, Anderson earned her M.S. degree in educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and completed graduate courses in business and finance at Northwestern University. A landmark election occurred in 1982 when Anderson was the first African American to win a countywide election in Travis County to serve on the Austin Community College Board.

Anderson is the recipient of many accolades including her entrance in the Texas Black Women’s Hall of Fame and the African American Women’s Hall of Fame both in 1986. In 1992 she was named Woman of the Year by the Women’s Symphony League of Austin and in 1999 she co-chaired the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Austin Independent School District. Her ties to the school board remained strong and in 2006 she was celebrated by the Austin School District Board of Trustees as an Outstanding Alumna in their Alumni Hall of Fame.

Ada Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 13 and 14, 2010.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ada Anderson's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson talks about her paternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal great-grandfather's land in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal great-grandfather's property in Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson talks about the founding of Pilot Knob Elementary School in Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson talks about her paternal family's land in Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal grandparents' home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson remembers her relationship with her paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson describes her paternal aunts' and uncles' duties on the farm
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson remembers her childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson describes the history of L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson lists her father's siblings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson lists her father's siblings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ada Anderson describes the geography of Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson lists her siblings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes her maternal grandfather's family background
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson talks about her maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson describes her family's emphasis on education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson lists her mother's siblings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson talks about the memorials to her family in Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson describes the history of education in Pilot Knob, Texas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson describes the history of education in Pilot Knob, Texas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ada Anderson describes her family's community involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ada Anderson describes her mother's personality and talents
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson describes her maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes her parents' education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson remembers her father's role in the community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson talks about her neighbors in Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson remembers the Great Depression
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson describes her parents' finances
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson describes the sounds of her childhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson describes the expectations of her as a young girl
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ada Anderson remembers a flood in Pilot Knob, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ada Anderson describes her earliest memory of school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ada Anderson remembers bird watching with her older brother
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Ada Anderson describes her family's holiday traditions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Ada Anderson describes her grandfather's first car
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Ada Anderson remembers her father's farmhands
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson describes her maternal aunts' occupations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes the geology of her family's land
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson remembers L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson recalls her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson remembers the faculty of L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson remembers Tillotson College in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson describes her teaching career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson remembers her wedding
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson talks about women's rights in Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes her access to her own finances
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson recalls the birth of her children
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson recalls her return to Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson recalls integrating the library program at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson recalls her experiences of discrimination at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson talks about her master's degree in educational psychology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson remembers working at the Texas Employment Commission
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ada Anderson describes the discrimination at the Texas Employment Commission
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson recalls investigating employment discrimination in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson remembers founding the Austin Human Relations Commission
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson describes her civil rights activism in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson remembers the disenfranchisement of African Americans in Texas
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson describes her master's thesis
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson recalls becoming a psychologist for Austin Independent School District
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson recalls conducting aptitude tests for the Austin Independent School District
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson remembers a student she diagnosed with a learning disability
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson recalls founding a real estate firm with her husband
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson remembers the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson recalls founding a life insurance company with her husband
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson remembers meeting Robert F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson describes her support of John Connally's gubernatorial campaign
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson remembers Texas Governor John Connally's inaugural ball
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson describes her friendship with President Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson recalls the integration of the Austin Independent School District
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes her children's experiences in integrated schools
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson recalls the closure of L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson remembers her election to the board of the Austin Community College District
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson describes her board service at the Austin Community College District
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson remembers founding the Leadership Enrichment Arts Program
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson describes the Leadership Enrichment Arts Program
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson recalls traveling with the Leadership Enrichment Arts Program
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson recalls organizing an exhibit at the LBJ Library
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Ada Anderson describes the discrimination against African American artists
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Ada Anderson recalls organizing the 'Our New Day Begun' exhibit, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Ada Anderson recalls organizing the 'Our New Day Begun' exhibit, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Ada Anderson talks about her inclusion in 'Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Ada Anderson recalls being honored by the University of Texas at Austin
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Ada Anderson recalls her role in the construction of the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Ada Anderson talks about the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Ada Anderson describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Ada Anderson reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 11 - Ada Anderson reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Ada Anderson narrates her photographs