Springtime gives life! After spending a leisurely 19 hours traversing the birth canal and already two weeks later than expected, Nathan Losel Anderson grudgingly presented himself to the world on April 29, 1984 at 11:45 p.m. at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.
Yes, Nathan was a native Washingtonian, which explained his fierce loyalty and undying affection for the Washington Redskins football team. After finally being nudged out with forceps, he weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs, 9 oz. However, shortly after that, he seemed to have shifted into high gear and lived his all-too-brief life at a fast and ever busy pace. At 9 months, he was walking through the house with a growing sense of confidence.
A loving, likable, fast-growing child, at age 2 years 4 months he achieved big-brother status when his sister Nicole (Nikki) arrived on the scene. He loved that role and eagerly took the responsibility with an amazing sense of seriousness. He really thought that he had hit the Big Time when 2 years and 2 months later, a second sister, Nichelle, made her appearance. Now, he knew he had a fan club of two!!
Because of devoted efforts by his maternal grandmother, at age 5 years, Nathan had mastered reading, writing, and arithmetic at such a level that he just blew through Kindergarten in two weeks time and was advanced to 1st grade at the George E. Peters Seventh-Day Adventist Elementary School. At the same time, he began formal music training at his Aunt Nevi’s Ottley Music Studio.
He was a gracious, industrious child, who developed an entrepreneurial spirit very early in life. At age 7, after requesting an allowance and being turned down by his father, Nathan came back an hour later with a list of proposed chores he could do and the prices he felt was fair to charge. After extensive negotiations with his father, he signed a contract to vacuum the entire house, top-to-bottom each Friday afternoon. By age 9, he proposed a contract renegotiation to include cutting the lawn. At age 10 he moved up to cutting the neighbors’ lawns, while employing his two sisters, Nicole and Nichelle to do light raking and running the grass blower. Later, during his teenage years he spent summers working for a neighborhood contractor, helping paint houses and build fencing.
Meanwhile, the music acuity that he had exhibited early in his life grew. Before age 3, Nathan knew how to turn on the stereo, select his favorite album featuring the orchestral works of Adrian T. Westney, Jr., put it on the turntable, arrange the kitchen pots and metal mixing bowls. When the music began, he simultaneously conducted the orchestra, and then switched to play the pots and bowls whenever the real orchestra’s kettle drums were featured within the score of “Lo, He Comes”. By age 10, Nathan’s piano skills had developed to the level where he passed the National Piano Audition and earned him an opportunity to perform during a program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
During Nathan’s four years at Takoma Academy (TA), he excelled academically, earning a spot in the National Honor Society, sought and found increasingly lucrative summer employment, including employment the summer after his senior year at the University of the District of Columbia, teaching rudimentary computer skills to younger high school students enrolled in a summer enrichment program.
As an athlete, he excelled in basketball, soccer, and track. (In later years -2008, he successfully completed the Annual Marine Corps Marathon and was already preparing to run the 2010 Marathon.)
While at TA, he burnished his musical talent by leading the student band that accompanied the Gospel Choir, Shabach, directed by his cousin, Anwar Ottley. With guidance from his Aunt, coupled with stylistic coaching and mentoring by his father, Nathan also expanded his role as a church musician, accompanying various soloists, groups, and choirs, at his home church, the Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Ever the entrepreneur, he soon discovered that his skill level propelled him to be a sought after well-compensated part-time pianist/organist at churches throughout the Washington/Baltimore area.
Nathan’s four years at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, AL proved to be a personally satisfying journey of academic achievement, spiritual growth, social networking, professional development, and musical excellence. His work as a key member of the band for the Dynamic Praise Choir, composer/arranger/accompanist for numerous vocalists, placed Nathan in a category with some of the most sought-after musicians. And the easy part of it was, he loved making music.
During the summers of Nathan’s college years, because of his course of study (Computer Science) he was selected to participate with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in its Junior Commissioned Officer Student and Extern Program (COSTEP). During his first summer (2002) in the program, Ensign Anderson worked for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Rockville, MD and later summers worked for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Oklahoma City, OK.
Immediately upon graduation from Oakwood, Ensign (ENS) Anderson was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) and assigned to Oklahoma City as a Computer Systems Analyst for the IHS. While stationed in Oklahoma, LTJG Anderson was deployed to Baton Rouge, LA to support rescue and recovery efforts needed because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina upon the city of New Orleans. After returning to Oklahoma, during the summer of 2006, he deployed for a short time to New Orleans again to support preparations, in case of another heavy hurricane strike.
In October 2006, LTJG Anderson was assigned to the Washington DC Headquarters to serve as Aide-de-Camp to former Assistant Secretary for Health, ADMIRAL John Agwunobi. After completing that tour, he was assigned to the Office of the Secretary, Office of Security and Strategic Information. In June of 2009, he was promoted to the rank of full Lieutenant (LT).
Being a holistic thinker, Nathan eagerly pursued two primary hobbies. His first love was flying as a Private Pilot. His first flight in small aircraft occurred at age 2, when his father packed a lunch bag for Nathan, transferred Nathan’s car seat to the co-pilot seat of a Piper Cherokee 181, strapped him in, and took off for a short flight from Laurel, MD over the Chesapeake Bay to Ocean City, MD. After that flight, Nathan rarely allowed his father to fly without him. And at age 19, he successfully completed all requirements and became a Private Pilot in his own right. He made his last flight on the evening of March 20, 2010 to Easton, MD.
His second hobby was riding motorcycles. Nathan, his cousins, and friends wasted no opportunity to ride. Though he spent a lot of time riding his Yamaha, Nathan had recently acquired an additional motorcycle, the ultimate – a Harley Davidson.
A couple of years ago, Nathan decided that he wanted to begin a pursuit to join the ranks of physicians that serve this nation. So he began the arduous task of working full-time while completing the necessary pre-med coursework during evening classes that would allow him to qualify for entry into medical school. At the time of his death, he was more than halfway there. Nathan was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident on March 25, 2010 when a young driver failed to yield the right of way and pulled directly into the path of Nathan’s vehicle.
During his nearly 26 years of life, Nathan touched a multitude of lives in positive ways, directly and indirectly, in many different venues. Because he was a voluntary self-designated tissue donor, even after death he continues to unselfishly help and touch many lives in a positive manner. In order to continue the legacy of helping others, the Nathan L. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc was created.
Purpose and Focus of the Nathan L. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
(an IRS-sanctioned 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt charitable organization)
The purpose of this Foundation is to provide scholarship assistance to undergraduate college students who pursue undergraduate training in one of these four disciplines: 1) Computer Science; 2) Aviation; 3) Nursing; and 4) Music. Successful completion of a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Computer Science or Nursing qualifies the graduate for consideration to become a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, as well as in one of five other Uniformed Services of the United States.
Those five other services are United States Air Force (USAF), United States Army (USA), United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Marine Corps (USMC), and the United States Navy (USN). A Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation would also be a qualifying degree for the USAF, USA, USCG, USMC, and the USN.
The Foundation will focus on supporting those four disciplines because the life and interests of Lieutenant (LT) Nathan L. Anderson, USPHS encompassed each of those areas. By professional training, he was a Computer Scientist; he was a licensed Private Pilot; and he was a formally trained, highly gifted musician. Since his mother and one of his sisters are in the nursing profession, that was an area that he truly supported, although he was on a path that would have lead him into medical school to become a physician.
Mentioned above is how three of the disciplines would be a qualifier for commissioning in one of the Uniformed Services of the United States. Although Nathan was a member of one the Uniformed Services, as are both his parents and many of his extended family, there will be no expectation or requirement by the Foundation that scholarship recipients pursue careers in the Uniformed Services.
All four of the disciplines produce fully qualified professionals who provide needed and positive services to society in general, which is consistent with the way that Nathan lived his life and took definitive actions to be a contributing asset to society. The Foundation’s focus is on assisting others to travel similar paths that benefit society in general.
Also consistent with the way that, while alive, Nathan directed his personal charitable contributions, the Foundation will allow consideration for contributory support to educational institutions, at the primary and secondary levels, that establish feeder pre-training for any of the four disciplines that reflected Nathan’s areas of interest.
Specifically, the schools that Nathan attended will be given consideration:
• George E. Peters Seventh-Day Adventist Elementary School, Hyattsville, Maryland
• Takoma Academy, Takoma Park, Maryland
• Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama is the college that Nathan graduated from. Funding may be directed to specifically support aspects of the Computer Science, Nursing, and Music programs.
Those organizations will be required to present a grant proposal which will specify use of the funds and obligate the grantee to use the funds only for the purposes that the funding will be provided. They will be required to provide periodic written reports on the use of the funds, as well as a final written report and an accounting of how the grant funds were used. They will also be required to agree to the authority of the foundation to withhold and/or recover grants funds, in the event that funds are, or appear to be misused. Site visits by members of the Executive Board to locations receiving grant funds will be sporadically employed to assure that funding is used for the purposes that it was given.
As part of Nathan’s work as a musician, he recorded a number of pieces of music and unique arrangements. The Foundation has compiled some of his work and produced CDs that are being sold, with any profits going directly into the Foundation fund, to provide additional monies for grants and scholarships.
Officers of the Foundation include Nathan’s father and mother. However, all officers and Governing Board of the Foundation will work gratis, and no funds or scholarship funds will inure to them, or any of their family members.