Approach the Light, The Becky Anderson Scholarship Endowment
The “Approach the Light” Becky Anderson Scholarship Endowment has been established in honor and memory of Rebecca (Becky) Danielle Anderson, a beloved daughter, sister, and friend of so many.
Becky was born on June 22, 1988 at the Cookeville General Hospital as the daughter of Roger and Debi Anderson and the little sister of Beth. Just before the delivery of their new baby girl, Roger prayed that Becky would have a quiet and gentle spirit. And throughout her eighteen years, Becky exuded such a sweet and loving personality that anyone who met her seemed to instantly fall in love with her.
As a youth, Becky was a “tomboy” and played several sports, including golf, softball, and basketball. She was a good athlete and a great team player. She also played guitar and loved music. Music and art were central to her personhood and are two things she is remembered for most. She was full of creative wit and expressed much of that through drawing, painting, and photography.
In her eighteen years, Becky probably had more true friends than most people have in their lifetimes. She truly was a fun-loving, creative, sweet, adorable, and funny person. In a word, she was simply lovable.
Becky left us on August 20, 2006, after suffering severe head trauma from a car wreck, involving four other individuals. She was life-flighted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga where she was pronounced dead the next day. She had just graduated in May and had turned eighteen in June. Her college career at Tennessee Tech would have begun in just one week.
The wreck caused a ripple effect within the Cookeville community that was overwhelming. Over 2,000 individuals were present for her visitation and funeral. Every year on or around her birthday, her family and close friends make an effort to gather to celebrate Becky’s life. As the fifth-year anniversary of her passing approaches, her family has decided to create a more permanent memorial in honor of her. One that is both representative of her as an individual and that can exist to benefit others. A scholarship to Tennessee Technological University, where she was to attend, and more specifically, to the Appalachian Center for Craft where she most likely would have been a student, was decided upon.
The name “Approach the Light” comes from several sketches found in Becky’s drawing pad. The actual significance of the phrase to her is unknown, but the name itself seemed fitting to the effort that was being made in her memory. To “approach” means to “move towards,” while “light” is often associated with “goodness,” “beauty” and “truth.” It is in this effort to honor and celebrate Becky for who she was and her place in the world that, instead of dwelling upon our loss and the circumstantial tragedy surrounding her death, we choose to “approach the light.”
On June 3, 2011, friends and family gathered to support this effort by holding an event featuring live music, an art sale with pieces donated by local artists and craftsmen, and a silent auction with gifts donated by local Cookeville businesses, all the proceeds of which went towards the scholarship fund. T-shirts screen-printed with images of or by Becky, as well as copies of her original artwork, were also sold. As a community, we felt the shock of the wreck and resulting deaths. It seems only fitting that, as a community, we come together to establish such a memorial in her honor. And we hope to continue to “approach the light.”
Scholarships associated with Approach the Light, The Becky Anderson Scholarship Endowment