Alumna Shares Attitude of Gratitude with A-Z Urbana List

Cinda Anderton ’73 sprung to action when a post last week on the Urbana Alumni Facebook page prompted fans to share what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving.  Her “I Am Thankful For All That I Learned at Urbana College (University)” A-Z list is a thoughtful and marvelous reflection of the Urbana experience.  Depending on your graduation year, the names of people and faculty may have changed, but we think the sentiments completely embrace the now and then of it all.

Anderton, a retiree living in Arizona after thirty years of teaching elementary education for Westerville schools in Ohio, was motivated to write the list because of the special place Urbana holds in her heart.  “Urbana is who I am.  I think about it, with gratitude,  on a daily basis. I didn’t even know who I was until I came to Urbana.  There, I found myself.” she says.

She especially values the friendships established on campus that have lasted for more than 30 years.  With fondness, she recalls her dearest connections with alumni Diana Reidt, Susie Davis, Eric Allison, Tom Gallagher, and Kristi  Payne.  They are just a few of the Urbana friends she stays in touch with over the years.  Thanks to Facebook, she has also reconnected with many alumni.  Bob Harrison (Red Beard),  John Titus,  Dean Hoke, Ron Brugler, Laura Ellingston and Pat Roby are among those.

Like Anderton, the Office of Alumni Relations is grateful for Urbana University and all of our Blue Knights representing what it means to be an Urbana graduate. Alumni wanting to express gratitude to Urbana University can still send an email to

I Am Thankful For All That I Learned at Urbana College (University)
By Cinda Anderton ‘73

A- Academics- In so many areas, thanks to a Liberal Arts education.
B- Bravery- Until I signed up for my first sociology class, I wanted to “fit in”….Dr. Bill Gorse issued a challenge…if anyone would come dressed in a toga the next day, they would get an “A” in the class. I did…and he kept his word. I never missed a day of class, and learned more about myself and society in that one class than in my entire prior years.
C- Creativity- Ann Entorf’s final exam in my language arts for teachers class challenged me and forced me to allow my creative juices to flow. She handed us each a magazine. She said… this is your text book- design your curriculum. I had a blast! I wrote for the full two hours and wasn’t ready to quit! I covered everything from phonics to creative writing… but more than that, I realized I had what it takes to teach... and to teach in a creative fun way!
D- Decisiveness- Somewhere along the line at Urbana, I learned that there is NO real right or wrong when making decisions, but that any decision…or even lack of a decision, has consequences.
E- Education- Was one of my two majors. I will ALWAYS be a lifelong learner. As a teacher, I had 45 hours past my master’s degree when I retired with 30 years. I just completed a horticulture class this past summer at ASU and am now enrolled in our local Community College taking something I always wanted to try… POTTERY! It has been said that people go into education for one of three reasons: They love power (being “in charge” in a classroom setting)…. Or they love to watch others learn, or they love to learn. I love to learn!
F- Friendship- The single most important thing I am thankful for ….the friendships I developed at UU, and the many friendships that have remained through the years. I am blessed to have such a shared history with these people!
G- Gratitude- Dr. Dorthea Harvey taught the importance of being grateful, and modeled that each morning as she would feed the birds and give thanks to the universe for a new day with new opportunities.
H- Heaven– My childhood fear of dying was laid to rest after learning about Emanuel Swedenborg’s HEAVEN. Peace of mind is worth everything.
I- Independence- I came to Urbana a rather spoiled child. I left independent and confident.
J- Justice– Not just the 60’s raised my awareness of JUSTICE. The killings at Kent State occurred during my time at UU. One of my suitemates was the Governor’s daughter. Very trying times….
K- Karma- Over and over I learned that you get out of life what you put into it. Karma is even more powerful and faster as I age. I am happy I learned about it early on… at Urbana! Some people aren’t fortunate to discover the power of karma EVER!
L- Leadership- Sue Davis and I petitioned for and got NO HOURS in the dorms. I saw then what being a leader can do! From that positive experience came my ability and willingness to lead.
M- Mathematics- Until I had Dr. Dickerscheid for math, I never really “got it”. I remember the day my light bulb lit! He was a true mathematician.
N- Normal- Doesn’t exist! And I learned to embrace that at Urbana.
O- Opportunities- Recognize them and SEIZE them!
P- Peace- Not only being a child of the 60’s, but later in life embracing peaceful ways to resolve issues as shown by people like John and Bev Titus.
Q- Question- It is ok to question any and everything. UU encouraged that.
R- Respect- Must be earned.
S- Swedenborg- Thank you Dr. Gutfeldt. You brought religion into my life. If it works for Johnny Appleseed and Helen Keller, it works for me!
T- Theories and Philosophies- Thanks to Dr. O’Brien, I learned that there are no perfect answers…just many theories and differing philosophies, and that each has value.
U- Useful- The value of being useful to society and the promise made to Bill Gorse to ALWAYS take a survey if presented with one. Give input. You have my word, Dr. Gorse, I have never turned down the “opportunity” to take a survey. I wish I had a nickel for each one I have taken over the years. I am sure, though, that had I not made that promise back in about 1971, I would say “NO”, “too busy”….or any number of excuses.
V- Volunteer- Part of the curriculum at the time had volunteering commitments. I chose to be in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and soon learned the value of helping others. Dr. Harvey had a program where once a week we volunteered at Columbus State (Mental) Hospital. The idea of helping others felt “right” and to this day, I volunteer at our local Literacy Council and our Visitor Center. Such a win/win!
W- Writing- I learned to value the written word, and the creative aspects of writing. Still, I love to read the wonderful writing of people from Urbana such as Dr. Vivian Blevins, a truly gifted writer.
X- X- I met my eX at UU and we were married for 29 years. Without Bill Blackburn, I would not have had our daughter, Abbey. And, I am MOST thankful for her! Thank you, Bill!
Y- Yummy- The one word memory of the food served in the Commons during my time at Urbana. I remember the company was SAGA Foods. I remember also the steak and shrimp on Sundays, the delicious taco type casserole made with Fritos, and the hot chocolate machine. I really loved all the food… and my freshman 15 was worth every donut, turkey tetrazzini, and seconds I went back for! YUMMY!
Z- Zest! Urbana’s expectations were that I do my personal best.. and a bit more. It is with that zest that I live life each day. I am grateful.

Cinda retired after a robust 30 year career in education.  In addition to her dedication to elementary education, Cinda had unique opportunities to travel with 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students to France and to accompany middle school students’ educational visits to Japan. She has hosted more than a dozen Japanese teachers and relishes her international experiences. She is married to Jan Kassies, a former educator from The Netherlands.  They have been married since 2/2/02. When she is not traveling or taking pottery classes, she  embraces the role of grandma or, as her grandkids Bayler (7) and Poppy (4) affectionately call  her, “Err”.  



Final Day to Register for Traditional Summer Term
Read More
Events Calendar


Urbana University: What's going on with the washers outside? Some exciting residence hall improvements are happening this summer!