Duane E. Anderson Excellence in Masonic Education Award

Minnesota Masonic Code, Section S1.21 – Duane E. Anderson Excellence in Masonic Education Award
This lectureship award requires the recipient to come to Minnesota to receive the award; only one award may be given in any Grand Lodge year, even if an award has not been given in a previous year; the award recipient shall be chosen by the Grand Master or those whom he appoints for that purpose and the award shall be given in recognition for excellence in Masonic Education on a national or international level.

Past Recipients of the Duane E. Anderson Excellence in Masonic Education Awards:

National Awards

2016 Russell E. Charvonia, civility proponent
2015 No award presented
2014 John Nagy, leadership author
2013 Michael Halleran, historian and author
2012 Rex Hutchens, author
2011 Arturo de Hoyos, historian and author
2010 No award presented
2009 Robert G. Davis, author
2008 Edward R. Halpaus, Grand Lodge Education Officer of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota
2007 Akram Elias, Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia
2006 Christopher Hodapp, author Freemasons for Dummies
2005 James Tresner, author
2004 Robert Conley, Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Michigan
2003 S. Brent Morris, author
2003 Nelson King, Philalethes Society
2003 Forrest Haggard, author and Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Kansas

Minnesota Awards

2016 No award presented
2015 No award presented
2014 Michael S. Hill, Forest Lake Lodge No. 344
2013 Stanley Shapiro, Albert Pike Lodge No.  237
2012 No award presented
2011 Mark A. Campbell, Cataract Lodge No. 2 & Cass Lodge No. 243
2010 No award presented
2009 John A. Freeburg – Anoka Lodge No. 30
2008 Bruce L. Sherman – Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 5, Olaf Kuhlke – Palestine Lodge No. 79
2007 Roger M. Firestone – Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 5,
2006 J. Kenneth  Allsen – Rochester Lodge No. 21
2005 – Neil E. Neddermeyer – Wayzata Lodge No. 205
2004 Dexter Pehle – Minnehaha Lodge No. 165, Terry L. Tilton – Eveleth Lodge No. 239, James R. Billig – Clearwater Lodge No. 28, David A. Rahm – Helios Lodge No. 273
2003 John Worlein – Fidelity Lodge No. 39, Thomas Evans – Bloomington Lodge No. 340, Edward R. Halpaus – Mora Lodge No. 223, Anthony P. Keane, Lake Superior Lodge No. 349

Who was Duane E. Anderson and why does the Grand Lodge of Minnesota choose to memorialize him with the annual presentation of the Duane E. Anderson Excellence in Masonic Education Award?

An excellent way to get to know Duane is by reading some of his writings. One favorite is his essay on the Value of the Ritual. Another way to answer that question is to quote R. W. Brother Duane’s obituary from 2000:

Right Worshipful Brother Duane E. Anderson November 22, 1940 – March 8, 2000
A Giant has Gone to Rest by Rodney Larson, Past Grand Master
On Wednesday morning Duane was teaching a 10:00 o’clock math class when he was stricken by a massive heart attack that he did not survive. By mid-afternoon Masons around the world were mourning the loss of their friend, advisor, mentor, and brother.
At the time of his death Duane was carrying the following closing prayer in his billfold:
As we complete our deliberations and prepare to leave, perhaps the following can assist us in the days ahead – Slow us down, Lord! Ease the pounding of our hearts by the quieting of our minds. Steady our hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give us, amidst the confusion of our day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tension of our nerves and muscles with the soothing music of Thy singing streams that live in our memories. Help us to know the magical, restoring power of sleep. Teach us the art of taking minute vacations, of slowing down to look at a flower, to breathe a prayer, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to look up at the sky. Help us to take time to love people and appreciate them; to thank them, to compliment them; to remember that today is the only day we shall ever have, and to live in the Eternal now. Remind us each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise, that we may know that the race is not always to the swift and that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Slow us down, Lord, and let us begin living. Amen.
Sunday, March 12th was not typical for Duluth in March — a sunny, warm day when outer coats were not needed. Mourners began arriving at Duluth’s Lake Street Masonic Temple at 11:30 a.m. to pay their respects to a Mason and Mathematician known, admired, respected, and loved by thousands.
Nancyelaine, Duane’s beloved wife and companion of 36 years, had gathered many items of memorabilia to display in the lobby. One table was filled with Masonic medals. An easel displayed a number of Masonic magazines and group photographs with Duane’s image. Here and there were family photos showing Duane as an athletic, crew-cut high schooler; a dashing, black haired young college man; a handsome, confident mature man; and finally the beautiful, open, kind face of the man we all knew in recent years.
The Masonic service was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in the Scottish Rite Auditorium. This beautiful room, lighted through stained glass windows and with its 30-foot high ceiling and walls adorned by Egyptian columns and icons was further adorned for the occasion by the stage backdrop depicting the peaceful valley framed by marble columns that is used in the conclusion of the Knight Rose Croix degree.
At about 1:00 p.m. the hearse arrived from the mortuary. Twelve men shared the honor of carrying the coffin into the Temple and to the auditorium. The coffin, covered by colorful aprons of many of the organizations that Duane had served, was opened to reveal our brother wearing the Grand Lodge apron and jewel of the Junior Grand Warden. The traditional Knights Templar Honor Guard stood watch while many of those present took a last opportunity to be present with our friend.
Shortly before 2:00 p.m., the 33rd° members of the Duluth Valley of the Scottish Rite escorted the Grand Lodge officers and their wives into the auditorium. Then came the Grand officers of the Knights Templar, Cryptic Masons, and Royal Arch Masons, all in traditional attire. The four eulogists, Dr. Harlan Stech, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Ill. William R. Newell, Grand Master of Cryptic Masons, M.W. Eric J. Neetenbeek, P.G.M, and M.W. Jeffry N. Lewis, Grand Master of Masons of Minnesota, were the last to be seated. By 2:00 p.m. the balcony, main floor, and folding seats had been filled by about 450 people representing Masonry, University, family, and friends.
The coffin was closed and the head turned toward the symbolic East. Illustrious Daniel F. Levenduski, 33rd° S.G.I.G. for the Orient of Minnesota and Past Master of Ionic Lodge #186, and acting Master of Glen Avon Lodge #306 assumed his position at the head of the coffin as Master of the Lodge of Sorrow, the Senior Warden to his left and the Junior Warden to his right.
The officers of the Lodge of Sorrow recited nine passages of scripture reminding of us the duties we have to our God and our family.
In an all-too-short hour we were not able to hear more than a brief summary of our Brother’s accomplishments and contributions. Duane had received an appointment to West Point but had chosen to attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota because of its high academic ratings. After receiving a B.A. degree with Distinction in Mathematics in 1962, he moved on to Kansas where he received his M.A. degree in Mathematics from the University of Kansas in 1964.
After six years teaching mathematics in Kansas Duane obtained a position in the Mathematics Department at the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus, where he devoted thirty-two more years to teaching mathematics. Duane was so busy teaching that he never completed his Ph.D., but as Professor Stech told us, “Although he never actually finished his doctorate, all of his students commonly referred to him as ‘Dr. Anderson,’ and I wonder if he ever really appreciated the significance of this. His students, one by one, had bestowed on him hundreds of honorary degrees. All well deserved.”
Duane and Nancyelaine arrived in Duluth in 1968. In his eulogy, Professor Stech related the following:
“In 1968 UMD had one computer. It filled a remodeled classroom, but had the power typical of today’s video cassette recorders. The UMD campus taught two classes about computers. All engineering freshmen were required to take a one credit course on how to use a slide rule. There were three permanent faculty in the Math Department, and five temporary faculty.
“Today there are robust separate departments of Computer Science and Mathematics and Statistics. Technology is in curriculum and research everywhere. The Math & Stat Department alone has seventeen tenured faculty, eight temporary faculty, four staff members, and twenty graduate research and teaching assistants. Duane played a huge role in this evolution, much of which occurred during his unprecedented twelve years as Department Head.
“Duane had that rare ability to understand the big picture, and get others to, as well. He had a gift for articulating a vision, communicating this to his colleagues, and then maintaining the academic climate that made these changes possible. The UMD Graduate Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics is an enduring example of that vision. The program, now over ten years old, attracts an ever increasing number of quality graduate students.
“And, of course there is his Campus Center. A building that he fought for for almost fifteen years. If there are any here today that think that this was an average accomplishment, then I suspect that they have never really dealt with the University of Minnesota. Upon its opening in 1996, the Campus Center became the long awaited home of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, finally collecting together its faculty, staff and graduate students from buildings all over campus.
“I want to tell you what it was like to be one of Duane’s students. You see, I was a sophomore Physics major at UMD in 1968. Within two years, he had me converted to mathematics. I can’t really explain how Duane was able to do this. It was surely different in every instance. But let me try with an example: Once I turned in a final exam, and I apologized on the cover page for perhaps being a little long-winded in my solutions. When he returned it graded, he wrote on the front that I was simply being thorough, and that no apology was necessary. Then he wrote this quote of Buddha. A quote that I think so well describes his philosophy of teaching. Rereading it today, it also seems to capture the spirit of those turbulent times. The quote reads:
‘believe nothing merely because you have been told it, or because it is tradition, or because you yourself have imagined it. Do not believe in anything on the mere authority of myself, or any other teacher.’
On Friday, an unknown student posted a large sheet of paper on Duane’s office door, and students have been writing their touching, personal comments on it. A simple phrase taken from one contribution sums it up: ‘Dr. Anderson, you inspired us all. I will always admire you.’
Shortly after arriving at the University of Kansas, Duane met, courted and on December 22, 1963 married Nancyelaine Rusk. They have a daughter, Mary Ella, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren who all live in Oklahoma. Nancyelaine was a Job’s Daughter, and legend tells that a condition of their marriage was that her husband must become a Master Mason. Duane knew nothing about Masonry so this did not happen for a number of years. When they moved to Duluth Nancyelaine joined the Eastern Star and became the Chapter’s organist, spending many evenings at meetings. Duane once confided to me (with a happy smile on his face) that the reason he finally asked for a petition was so he could join the OES and spend some evenings with his wife. We all know what happened after that!
Duane was raised in Glen Avon Lodge #306 in Duluth in 1971 and served as Worshipful Master in 1976. He joined the Duluth York Rite Bodies in 1972 and became presiding officer and life member in all of them. He also joined the Duluth Scottish Rite Bodies in 1972 and in due time served as Wise Master of Rose Croix and Commander of the Council of Kadosh. He did attend the Eastern Star with Nancyelaine in Star-Zenith Chapter #25 and they added to their mutual enjoyment by joining the Order of Amaranth, St. Paul Council #12 and the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, Mizpah #1. With his appetite for things Masonic thus kindled, Duane became an active force in Minnesota Masonry! He soon became a recognized Masonic expert and resource. His phenomenal memory and concentration enabled him to read a ritual one or two times and then perform any of the parts with the poise of a Shakespearean actor. Research papers, essays and speeches on Masonic history, interpretation of Masonic symbolism and philosophy, Masonic music, etc. flowed from his mind and he was in constant demand as a speaker throughout the state.
Of course his interest in teaching carried into Masonry. For many years he was in charge of lecture hours and class instruction at the Duluth Valley of the Scottish Rite. He presided over the “after Lodge round table” sessions at Glen Avon Lodge. He served on and became Chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research and Education and in 1980 he was President of the Midwest Conference on Masonic Education.
Educating our families and friends about Masonry was also of concern to Duane and in this vein he wrote Minnesota’s “Ceremonial Explanation of the Entered Apprentice Degree.” In its prolog he says: “We have encouraged Masons to share certain publications and video tapes with their families and to invite friends to open-house presentations. However, these instruction methods do not give an awareness of the ceremonial aspects of Masonry, or of the ritualistic experiences that a candidate must encounter . While we cannot show the Entered Apprentice Degree work or discuss its secret parts, this short “Presentation in Ceremonial Form” gives an experience that is similar to what a candidate for Masonry goes through.” All of the material in this presentation is constructed from information which, for more than one hundred years, has been considered non-secret by Grand Lodges in the United States.
However, not everything was serious. Duane was able to apply his talents to having fun. He was instrumental in resurrecting the Synthetic Order of Scotsmen in Duluth and he founded and wrote the ritual for the Antediluvian Order of Masophers, in which he served as Supreme Epopt for many years. The latter Order was conferred upon many men and women during many enjoyable champagne breakfast meetings of Duluth Cave #1, AOM.
In recognition of his contributions to Blue Lodge Masonry in Minnesota he was named Minnesota Mason of the Year in 1980, and was the first recipient of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota’s “Masonic Light Award” in 1993. He served as Grand Orator in 1983 and 1994 and at the time of his death was serving as Junior Grand Warden of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
If the above activities were all that a man accomplished during a lifetime of work in Masonry, it would be remarkable indeed. But the results described above were only a small part of Duane’s achievements. He was active at the state and national levels in the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, and many other appendant bodies.
In the York Rite he was a past presiding officer in Minnesota York Rite College #39; North Star York Rite College #18; North Star Council #271, Allied Masonic Degrees; Knight Crusaders of the Cross, Minnesota Priory #24; Knights of the York Cross of Honor. He was a line officer of Good Samaritan Tabernacle #36 HRAKTP; Minnesota Council #34-Knight Masons, Universal Craftsmen Council of Engineers #79. He received the Order of the Purple Cross and was Associate Regent of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. He receive the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International “Columbian Medal” in 1999. At the time of his demise Duane was serving as the Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Minnesota.
In the Scottish Rite he was awarded the 33rd°, was a member of the National Board of Directors of the Scottish Rite Research Society, and was serving on the S.M.J. Supreme Council Ritual committee.
Duane was the first vice president of the Philalethes Society and would have been president in 2003, the same year he would have been serving as Grand Master of Masons of Minnesota. He was a Past Grand officer of the Grand Guardian Council of Job’s Daughters and he was awarded the DeMolay Legion of Honor.
The inventory of his current dues cards revealed the following additional memberships:
Red Cross of Constantine, Recorder
Minnesota Chapter #25 of the National Sojourners
Aad Temple of the Shrine
Past Monarch of Ela Ala Grotto
Order of the Bath
Ye Ancient Order of Corks
The Grand College of Rite of the U.S.A.
Arizona Research Lodge #1, Life Member
Iowa Research Lodge #2
Texas Lodge of Research
INRI Commandery #4, Knights Templar (Wash. D.C.)
North Star College MSRICF-VIIIs
Colorado College MSRICF
Royal Order of Scotland, Life Member
Minnesota Masonic Historical Society and Museum, Life Member
St. Louis County Historical Society
The Mathematical Association of America
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Sigma Xi (a national honorary scientific research society)
Pi Mu Epsilon (a national honorary mathematics society)
President of the Head-of-the-Lakes Council of the Teachers of Mathematics
Minnesota and National Councils of Teachers of Mathematics
Minnesota and National Education Associations
The eulogies of this day could only begin to extol the depth and breadth and leave us in awe of our Brother’s life. The timeless “Lord’s Prayer” by Malotte and the traditional hymn “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere” both sung by William Bastian of St. Scholastica College, reflected the vast scope of our Brother’s interests. And the beautiful Masonic funeral service with its concluding presentation of the evergreens and spotless white apron, followed by the symbolic committal to the earth, reminded us all that we had shared the life we were commemorating and now it was our duty to complete the work .
As the casket was carried from the Lodge of Sorrow, Most Worshipful Brother David Sinclair Bouschor, in full Scottish attire, led the procession playing “Flowers of the Forest” on his pipes.
When I come to the end of the road and the sun has set for me.
I want no rites in a gloom filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little-but not too long. And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared. Miss me – but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take. And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan.
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart, go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds. Miss me – but let me go.