An enduring legacy

Nov. 4, 2023

Susan Beeler Anderson and Keith Anderson invest in the red and blue as a tribute to their families’ innovative spirit.

students welding in the BE fabrication lab

Chris Richards

Sue and Keith Anderson pose for a portrait

Sue and Keith Anderson

The COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it brought inspired the Anderson’s to revisit their philanthropic plans and consider an estate gift to the University of Arizona to honor Sue’s family’s role in agricultural development and the value they place on education.

Even though Sue and Keith’s parents didn’t attend college, education was a cornerstone of their family’s traditions, one that was best exemplified by Sue’s mother who grew up with the resolve to graduate high school.

“This resolve manifested into a desire to see her children graduate and attend college. As an employee at Yuma High School, she saw firsthand the benefits of education,” Sue said.

Sue’s mother would be proud to know her family heeded her desire. “We’ve been connected to the University of Arizona for almost 100 years and we’re into the sixth generation of alumni now.”

Once Sue and Keith decided to support the University of Arizona through an estate gift, they visited with CALES faculty and toured labs and other facilities. When they toured the Department of Biosystems Engineering’s Fabrication Laboratory, and saw the creative problem solving taking place, they found the home for their estate gift.

“It was like we could see Sue’s father back there in the corner of the shop working on something. It tied everything together,” Keith said.

“From the Anderson’s multi-generational creative designs in the food and fitness industries to the Beelers’ history of problem-solving and redesigning equipment for harvesting new crops, the Department of Biosystems Engineering is a perfect match for our wish to support creative thinking and innovation in agriculture,” Sue said.

In addition to their planned estate gift, Sue and Keith make annual gifts to the Biosystems Engineering program through their IRA Required Minimum Distributions, providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and for equipment, technology and supplies in the Fabrication Lab.

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