Join a “fireside chat” Feb. 18 with distinguished alumnus William Anderson, D.O.’56

Family physician, surgeon, osteopathic pioneer and civil rights movement leader William Anderson, D.O.’56, FACOS, will be the featured guest in a “fireside chat” on Feb. 18 beginning at 4:30 p.m. CST, hosted by Indian River State College (IRSC) as part of its Black History Month activities. The event will take place via Zoom (see below) and is open to the public.

Dr. Anderson became a civil rights leader in his hometown of Albany, GA, at the urging of his late wife, Norma. The couple led the Albany Movement, which fought to end segregation in the city. The organization’s marches were joined by the Andersons’ friends Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, civil rights heroes and co-founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. Anderson is one of the last living links to the “Big Six” leaders of the American civil rights movement – Dr. King, James Farmer, John Lewis, Phillip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young.

Dr. Anderson also was an ardent champion for osteopathic medicine. He was the first African American to be certified by the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and the first to serve as president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). He served as a member of the AOA Board of Directors for 20 years as well as on many other boards, including the DMU Board of Trustees.

Dr. Anderson (center) with Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy in the Andersons’ Albany, GA, home.

Early in his career, Dr. Anderson accepted an appointment as house physician at Art Centre Hospital in Detroit. In 1964, he became the first black surgical resident in Detroit’s history, and thereafter conducted a group surgical practice in the city until 1984. In the years that followed, he held a variety of administrative and educational positions, imcluding as the chair of the AOA Department of Education Affairs and as an advisor to the Michigan Health Care Education and Research Foundation. Dr. Anderson also served as a clinical professor of surgery at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (later Western University of Health Sciences) in California; as a a professor of surgical services, senior advisor to the dean and vice president in academic affairs at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine; and as associate dean of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri.

Named a DMU Pioneer in Osteopathic Medicine and Public Service in 2009, he’s received numerous other awards, including the Michigan State University’s Excellence in Diversity recognition and seven honorary degrees from colleges and universities across the country.

Below is information on accessing Dr. Anderson’s IRSC fireside chat:
Meeting ID: 919 2094 8531
One tap mobile: +13017158592,,91920948531#
Dial In #: +1 301 715 8592

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