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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
William E. Anderson was not your typical banker. He carried a clarinet in his car and played at events and gatherings without much prompting, illustrating his love for people and parties.
When not churning out tunes, Anderson was the top executive at The Central Trust Co., now PNC Bank. He was named the bank’s president in 1960 and became its board chairman in 1964. Under his watch, Central Trust realized steady, solid growth.
He will be remembered, however, principally as the prime mover in the establishing of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
William E. Anderson became know as the “leader and guiding spirit” of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. He played a major role in gathering support for a community foundation and getting the right people together to make it happen. “Andy,” as he was known to his friends, brought the community foundation idea with him from Cleveland, where he had been an attorney and bank trust officer before joining Cincinnati’s Central Trust Company in 1935. By the late 1950’s, he was senior vice president and trust officer there, and spreading the word about the benefits a community foundation could bring to Greater Cincinnati.
Anderson played a significant role in the GCF for 27 years. He was a trustee from 1963 to 1967 and then became Associate Director for two years to assist Mark Upson in the day-to-day administration. On Upson’s retirement in 1971 Andy became Director, and continued in that role for five years. As a step toward full withdrawal, in 1978 he again became an Associate Director, primarily helping to evaluate grant requests, and continued in this capacity until his death in 1980.
Anderson served as president of the Lloyd Library and Museum of Cincinnati, and was a member of the board of the L.B. Harrison Club and of the Finance Committee of Xavier University, a director of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross, The Community Chest, the Y.M.C.A., the Council of the Cincinnati Area, Inc. He was chairman of the 1963 campaign of the Greater Cincinnati United Appeal and of the University of Cincinnati corporate fund in 1965, and headed a committee of sixty civic leaders to support the Library Levy on the ballot November 8, 1966.
He was also a member of the Finance and Investment Committee of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, the Trust Policies Committee of the American Bankers’ Association, the Men’s Advisory Committee of the Greater Cincinnati Girl Scout Council, the Standing Committee on Conference of the Ohio Bankers’ Association, the Endowment Fund Association of the University of Cincinnati, the Finance Committee of Xavier University Endowment Fund, the Informal Committee of the Frank L. Weil Institute of Advanced Studies in Religion and the Humanities, the Editorial Advisory Board of Lloydia, the publication of Lloyd Library and Museum, and the Advisory Committee of Internal Medicine, General Hospital. He was a director of Union Sand & Gravel Co., Huntington, West Virginia, and Ohio Valley Real Estate, Inc. among others.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization