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