Eric Anderson

Committed to Campus Life


Hired as the resident director of West Hall and the Courtyard Village in 1996, Eric Anderson has also served as an assistant soccer coach, adjunct instructor for the business department, and director of residence life. For the last six years, he’s been Northwestern’s director of financial aid.

What first brought you to Northwestern?
While earning my bachelor’s degree at Taylor University in Indiana, a staff member who knew I was looking for a resident director (RD) position after graduation recommended Northwestern. I think I was the third Taylor grad to become an RD at NWC, and there have been seven more since. Before I moved here, I knew nothing about Northwestern or Orange City. In fact, when I came for my interview, I looked all over the Iowa map trying to find the Sioux Falls (S.D.) airport.

What is your favorite memory from your time in residence life?
Watching a freshman who was on the verge of getting kicked out for behavior give his life fully to Christ and later become the hall chaplain. My years in West Hall were rich, and I still keep in touch with a number of former students. Having a front-row seat to spiritual transformation in so many lives displayed the power of a residential Christian college setting.

What are some of your hobbies?
Fishing and hunting pheasant and deer top the list, but I love anything outdoors. My favorite place is the Boundary Waters, which was introduced to me by Dave Nonnemacher while I was an RD. I also like to read, garden and play with my kids. And I enjoy athletics, with baseball at the top of that list.

You’re a big fan of the television show Survivor. When did the obsession begin?
I used to gather with fellow RDs to watch the show ER. I believe it was Emily (Gosselink ’00) Ford who introduced me to Survivor in season two, and since then, 30 seasons and 15 years later, our family still watches every episode with a group of current RDs. In fact, I proposed to my wife (Carrie Odell ’01) during a Survivor-themed evening. The show has been a weekly highlight for our family, and it helps us stay connected to some of the residence life staff.

What’s the most rewarding part of working in financial aid?
I enjoy helping students make the NWC experience a reality from the financial end, and I also find it rewarding to serve families in crisis. I’ve had many meaningful conversations and opportunities to pray with families and help them as they walk through death, divorce, job losses and other tough situations. I’m thankful to be in a place where we can often do something to help.

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