Anderson Athletic Center, a.k.a. “Rolla’s House,” was built in 1981 and became the central hub for Kalamazoo College’s athletics and physical education programs. Its name honors the legacy of Rolla Anderson, Kalamazoo College coach, physical education teacher, athletic director and longtime director of the United States Tennis Association Boys 18 & 16 National Tennis Championships.

To ensure Rolla’s legacy lives on beyond the name of a building, standout basketball star Charles Tucker ’56 commissioned a portrait of Rolla and presented this gift to Rolla’s family and the College on January 15, during halftime of the Hornets’ men’s basketball game. Tucker, a.k.a. “Mickey Charles,” is the founder and CEO of The Sports Network, the world’s largest independently owned supplier of sports scores and information.

The portrait hangs in the hallway leading to the weight and fitness room and overlooks the courts. It features images of Rolla from his playing days, his years coaching and leading the athletic department, as well as Rolla enjoying time with his family.

Tucker’s generous gift and tribute to Rolla is enjoyed by current students and alumni,
"[He is] one of Kalamazoo's most respected and beloved individuals."
and provides a lasting image of one of Kalamazoo’s most respected and beloved individuals.

Unfortunately, Rolla was ill at the time of the presentation. His daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Bill VanDis, accepted the gift on his behalf. Tucker was joined in the presentation by President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran and Athletic Director Kristen Smith.

Picture 1
Rolla in his “house” at the artwork commissioned in his honor
Picture 2
Charles Tucker ’56 and current Athletic Director Kristen Smith at the halftime ceremony dedicating Rolla’s portrait

Back to Front Page

Dan Metzger '58 on May 21, 2011 at 11:42 am
Having enjoyed playing football under Rolla in the mid 50's it's heart warming that he is so well remembered and highly respected.
Pat Wolf '74 on May 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm
I've always had fond memories of Rolla. The best comes from his badminton class. Who thought that badminton was athletic or strategic? To play well in this class meant that you might be able to be the student who got to play him on the last day of class. I learned enough and played hard enough to get to that spot. Of course, I was beaten, but by a gentleman who was and is a fine example of all my instructors at K.
freddy krueger dunks sb on September 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm
thank you for sharing it..nice
Add Your Comment

Please give us your name (required) and class year if applicable

Email (required but not shared)

Please enter the letters and/or numbers appearing below