Charles H. Anderson ’43 and A. Joseph Schneider ’46: Linking Alumni with Their Alma Mater
Both Charles Anderson ’43 and A. Joseph Schneider ’46 were children during the Great Depression. Both served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. And both demonstrate the values and spirit of America’s so-called “Greatest Generation.”
Anderson followed in the footsteps of his uncle Eugene Quackenbush, Stevens Class of 1911, one-time secretary of the Stevens Alumni Association. Family ties could get him only so far, however. Scholarship support was absolutely necessary.
“It was the Great Depression,” he says. “Nobody had any money. I lived in the least expensive dorm on campus.”
He received the Leopold Schepp Scholarship and worked as a waiter to make ends meet. Anderson applied himself to his engineering studies but particularly enjoyed the humanities classes.
“We read Tolstoy, discussed drama. I also played lacrosse and was active in the Khoda Senior Honor Society,” he recalls.
Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Anderson volunteered his service to the U.S. Navy. He used his engineering expertise to help repair ship damage; after discharge, Anderson went to work for Esso and later for Shell International. It was a fascinating time to work in the oil industry.
“At the time,” Anderson says, “the oil companies were pioneering deep water drilling, particularly in the North Sea. Shell had invested in hyperbaric exploration in Milan. I happened to be fluent in Italian and offered to represent the company in Italy.”
Like Anderson, A. Joseph Schneider ’46 served in the Navy during WW II. He completed the Navy V-12 college training program and, encouraged by his high school guidance counselor, took the Stevens entrance examination . He scored so well that he won a scholarship, making his education possible.
While at Stevens, Schneider played trombone in the Navy band, played lacrosse and basketball, worked on The Link and participated in the Glee and Newman clubs.
In 1946, Schneider began working at the Guttenberg, New Jersey, embroidery shop his family had founded in 1917. He took ownership of it in 1953. The shop, in an area of Hudson County once known as the “Embroidery Capital of The World,” produced eyelet embroidery and lace that was then sold for use in clothing and textiles.
Although he recently retired, Schneider continued to work in the factory well into his 90s, operating machinery that dates to the company’s founding. When he eventually dismantles the company factory, he will donate machine plates of historical value to Stevens’ S.C. Williams Library.
Both gentlemen remain connected to their alma mater. Although travel is now more difficult for Anderson, he and several classmates participated in their 75th Reunion via teleconference. In addition to being a dedicated member of his class, he is a generous donor who contributes annually and has provided planned support for the university.
Schneider, who served as a Stevens Alumni Association decade representative for more than 40 years, attends campus events. He has donated generously to the DeBaun Auditorium, the Class of 1946 Term Scholarship and the Stevens Athletics Fund. He also funded the Schneider Baseball Bleachers at DeBaun Field.