The McKendrean Magazine for McKendree Univeristy - Winter 2023

Where Are They Now?

Ornithologist Ted Anderson searching diligently but unsuccessfully for the endangered but elusive Florida Scrub Jay. Photo taken in Venice, Fla.Have you ever wondered what your favorite retired faculty and staff members are up to these days? Now you can read up on how the people who formed your life at McKendree are doing in our “Where Are They Now?” feature! In this edition, we caught up with Dr. Ted Anderson, retired professor of biology, to see what he has been up to lately!


Dr. Ted Anderson:

Emeritus Professor of Biology (2004)

Previous students of Ted’s more than likely remember the dynamic biology courses that this professor taught at McKendree, including General Biology, General Zoology, Ornithology and more. Ted has continued pursuing his love for biology, particularly in the field of ornithology, in his retirement. In May 2005, he completed the manuscript for Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Population, completing nine years of work. His book was published by Oxford University Press in July 2006. “The house sparrow is my favorite bird,” Ted said. “It took me around the world.” He also published his second book, a biography of the English ornithologist and ecologist David Lack titled The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology in 2013.

His work continued in 2014 when he wrote 53 weekly articles for the Bainbridge Islander, describing a bird species that could be observed that week in the world-famous Bloedel Reserve. The series was called “A Year of Birding in Bloedel.” Ted has also served as the In Memoriam editor of the American Ornithologist Society since 2016. In this position, he has edited or written nearly 70 memorial essays for outstanding ornithologists.

Ted and his wife Carol have enjoyed traveling in recent years as well. They have been on cruises to Alaska (including Denali), the western Caribbean, the Baltic and the Mediterranean. They also enjoyed a great trip to China including a four-day cruise on the Yangzi River. While the couple has retired to a wonderful home on Puget Sound with a gorgeous 180-degree panoramic view of the Sound and the Cascade Mountains, Ted and Carol have also spent upwards of three months in nine of the last 11 years in Venice, Fla. “We escaped some of the worst overcast, rainy days in the Pacific Northwest!” Ted said.

Perhaps the greatest change in Ted’s priorities since he retired in 2004 has been his commitment to developing and maintaining the couple’s perennial flower gardens. “With nearly an acre of land on which to garden, this requires a more intensive commitment than our garden on Schutz Street in Lebanon did!” he said. He also built a chicken coop and ran and raised four batches of egg laying chickens. “At 80, I have given up chicken farming!” Ted said.

Ted still fondly remembers his time as a professor at McKendree. “Serving at McKendree for 32 years was a wonderfully rewarding experience,” he said. “I was blessed with the opportunity to help shape the lives of many students, some of whom I still remain in contact with. It was also a joy and a challenge to work with many outstanding colleagues. I believe that McKendree provides a great educational opportunity for many students. Keep that dynamic and formative environment alive!”