Robert G. Anderson Jr., a native of Greenville, South Carolina, began his college career at Clark College in Atlanta.On Sept. 11, 1963, Mr. Anderson joined Monteith Treadwell and James L. Solomon Jr., in taking heroic steps on the University of South Carolina’s campus to enroll as students.In an article written after Anderson’s death in 2009, fellow student James Solomon remembered the harassment Anderson suffered on campus. “Guys would bang on his dorm door late at night,” Solomon said. “When he would go to the door, they would run and he’d never know who it was.” Anderson’s return to the university in 1988, as part of the 25th anniversary festivities helped with his healing process. “We were walking across campus that day and he said that he was glad he came back, that it had changed his perception of the university,” Solomon said.
Anderson’s life and career became a testament to public service, beginning with his bravery at the University of South Carolina. He later served a combat tour in Vietnam, and after leaving military service, earned a professional social work degree from Hunter College and became a social worker in New York City. He strove to help Cuban refugees, worked with mothers and children in the Bureau of Child Welfare and ran an alcohol counseling program. After retirement from social work Anderson worked in the Veterans Administration for 12 years.