Homemaker and retired farmer’s wife
Alpha Beta, Purdue University, 1951
Maurine Anderson respects the bounty of the land and the blessings of family, and she is reaping the rewards. After raising three daughters and spending 38 years on a farm outside Noblesville, Indiana, Maurine and her husband Robert decided to sell their land and create a charitable remainder trust. Upon their deaths, the remaining assets will go to their favorite nonprofit organizations, including the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation.
“When you are granted a blessing, you in turn bless someone else,” says Maurine. Her gift is the Maurine Stump Anderson Alpha Chi Omega Sisters Assistance Fund, a member assistance fund that will provide need-based grants to Alpha Chi Omega members who come from single-parent homes.
The decision Maurine made to create a fund for young women from single-parent homes is both practical and sentimental. “Expenses for college are higher than ever, and with the incomes single mothers make, they need help,” she says. “But also, it is because I was an Alpha Chi girl who was raised by a single mother.”
A mother's labor and love
Maurine’s mother, Mary Kathryne (Page) Stump, divorced when her daughter was four, and moved back home to raise her daughter and son with the help of her parents. Mary Kathryne was a college graduate, a career woman, and a single mother at a time when few women bore even one of those descriptors.
“Back then, in the 1930s, my grandparents were the daycare providers. They took care of my brother and me when our mother went to work. Then, when I was eight, my mother decided to go back to school to get a graduate degree in social work from the University of Chicago. Occasionally, my grandparents would put us on the train from Lafayette to Chicago so we could visit her on the weekends. We would have the run of the campus while she went to class, and we came back to her with stories of things we had discovered that she hadn’t had the time to find on her own because of her studies,” says Maurine.
After Mary Kathryne finished her graduate degree, she worked as probation and parole officer for women and children in Tippecanoe County for 37 years. “She was very devoted to her work and to the welfare of women and children,” recalls Maurine.
“Sometimes, she would bring home little girls who were my age and whose families were in turmoil. In those emergency situations, my mother found it was easier to bring the child to her home for a night or two while the situation was sorted out. And I loved having a girl my age around.”
By the time Maurine and her brother, who was three years older, were ready for college, Mary Kathryne had saved money to send them to Purdue University, her alma mater. Both became involved in Greek organizations, and Maurine chose Alpha Chi Omega because she was friends with several local girls from that sorority.
“I was a town girl, so I never lived in the sorority house, but I was glad to have those friends to relate to while I was at Purdue. I think it is very important to be a part of a small group.”
A new life, a new chapter
After two years at Purdue, Maurine married Robert Anderson and they moved to the Indianapolis area and eventually to Noblesville. Wherever she lived, she sought out new friends through Alpha Chi Omega and eventually became one of the founding members of Noblesville’s Theta Omega Theta alumnae chapter.
“Alpha Chi Omega is a bond we have with our sisters. We share the same values, so the friendships come easily. It’s important in life to have people you can relate to and rely on,” she says.
She is pleased that her granddaughter, Mary Kathryne Skelley—named for her great-grandmother—is a 2004 initiate of Epsilon Omicron chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at Indiana State University.
For the welfare of others
The work of Maurine’s mother piqued her interest in the welfare of others and it has blossomed through her volunteer work. One of her alumnae chapter’s causes is Prevail, Hamilton County’s domestic violence shelter to help women and children in crisis. Maurine has taught a women’s Bible-study class for more than 20 years and has delivered Meals on Wheels in Hamilton County for 35 years.
It’s easy to imagine how proud Maurine’s mother would be of her daughter’s family and good works—and for the gift made in her name.
“My mother spent her entire career helping others, and this fund is my way of honoring her memory and her lifetime commitment to helping women and children.”