Robust Response for Henry “Hank” Anderson Memorial Scholarship

The Henry B. Hank Anderson Memorial Scholarship is being awarded to New Milford High School seniors in honor of Cramer & Anderson's Founding Partner.
Cramer & Anderson Founding Partner Henry B. “Hank” Anderson in 2018.

Nearly 40 New Milford High School seniors have applied for the inaugural Henry “Hank” Anderson Memorial Scholarship, created by Cramer & Anderson to honor the firm’s Founding Partner, who died in June 2019 at age 101. 

“We’re delighted with the response,” said Partner Jennifer Collins, who is coordinating the scholarship effort. “Of course we knew students would apply, given the need to offset the cost of attending college, but the robust level of participation feels like a sign of respect and affirmation for Hank Anderson’s legacy in both the law and providing leadership in difficult times like the ones we face now.”

Cramer & Anderson will award scholarships of $500 each to two graduating New Milford High School students. Senior Scholarship Night, scheduled for May 27, has not yet been canceled or modified.

Applications were due by March 20, along with a copy of students’ transcripts, and an essay describing how the applicants demonstrated leadership attributes to overcome one or more obstacles in school, the community, or family life.

Hank Anderson overcame different types of obstacles on his journey to becoming a highly revered attorney who influenced the practice of law in Connecticut and beyond, winning a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, among many other prestigious accolades.

The son of a dentist from outside Pittsburgh, he came to Connecticut to attend Wesleyan University. Anderson was studying for a Master’s Degree, coaching, and aiding Wesleyan Director of Admissions Victor L. Butterfield in the early 1940s when World War II intervened. He entered the Navy as a midshipman in June 1941, and was commissioned an ensign that September.

Anderson quickly ascended the ranks and was posted to the USS Bunker Hill in the South Pacific. On May 11, 1945, as the aircraft carrier supported the attack on Okinawa, it was struck by two kamikaze pilots, killing nearly 400 sailors. Only days later, Anderson was on the USS Enterprise when it was attacked by a kamikaze pilot, killing 14.

Following the war, when Anderson returned to his studies, he juggled work on his Master’s Degree at Wesleyan and a law degree at the University of Connecticut. He received the degrees on the same day in June 1948, beginning at UConn in Storrs and then making haste to get to Middletown for the ceremony at Wesleyan.

Returning to western Connecticut, where he had put down roots, Anderson then navigated the post-war economy. “There wasn’t any attorney in New Milford who had enough work to be in a position to take on a subordinate,” he recalled in 2018. A fellow Wesleyan graduate, Attorney Harry Bradbury, told Anderson, ‘Pay me $10 a week and you can have any office.”

Anderson recalled getting “all the cases nobody wanted” before joining with Attorney Francis S. Ferriss to create the firm Ferriss and Anderson in 1950, putting him on the path to create Cramer & Anderson in 1962.

If Senior Scholarship Night is held in May, the first Henry “Hank” Anderson Memorial Scholarships will be presented by Cramer & Anderson Partners Art Weinshank and Randy DiBella

Both spoke at a memorial service for Anderson in September 2019 at the First Congregational Church of New Milford, remembering his professionalism, devotion to the law, heroism in World War II, and broad range of interests.

Hank Anderson died at age 101 on June 22, 2019, at home in Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod, where he lived with his wife “Bunny” (Theresa Virginia). To learn more about Hank Anderson, see a story about his life published in the Greater New Milford Spectrum, and his obituary published in The News-Times.

About Cramer & Anderson

The firm serves clients from six offices in western Connecticut with a hometown sensibility and a worldly outlook in nearly 20 practice areas.

Our attorneys are currently working remotely amid the coronavirus and connecting with clients using technology such as Zoom, as well as by phone and email. To learn more, see our website at www.crameranderson.com or call the New Milford office at (860) 355-2631.