About the David C. Anchin Center

Anchin Founders

David C. Anchin

David C. Anchin - portrait

As the middle child of five in a poor, Russian immigrant family, David C. Anchin learned early the value of education. His father encouraged him to invest in his mind, because education could never be taken away – the way material things could. Thus began a reverence and a hunger for learning that would guide David Anchin for the rest of his life.

It wasn't to be easy. During high school, he delivered papers before classes and worked after-school jobs to help support his family. He continued this pace throughout college, eventually earning three degrees – a graduate of accountancy from City College of New York, a bachelor of laws from Fordham, and a master of law from New York University – by working days and attending school at night.

His determination and tenacity paid off. By the mid-1920's, he had founded the New York CPA firm of Anchin, Block, and Anchin. David Anchin was building his own reputation as an enterprising young accountant. The little boy who was denied an education in his native Russia became a tremendous success in his adopted home.

David Anchin spent the rest of his life giving back. His wife, Anne, who established the Center in memory of her husband said, "He wanted to give something back to this country because he felt so privileged that he was able to go to school." In 1986, David Anchin himself told a newspaper reporter, "As long as I live I will continue to repay that debt, and I can think of no better way than through the education of children."

After David and Anne moved to Sarasota, the couple turned much of their creative energies and talents toward the Sarasota Public Schools, prompting the superintendent at the time, Charles Fowler, to call David Anchin an "angel of the school system."

He became a strong and able mentor of student, teacher, and administrator alike, introducing new programs which had visible and immediate results. He and Anne established several programs aimed largely at giving at-risk children a better chance for educational success. A concern for the changing structure of the family in today's society and the resulting need for schools to educate the "whole child" led to David Anchin's Life Skills Program, which was use in all Sarasota public schools.

As an innovator, motivator, educator, and friend, David Anchin left his mark on many. His honors and awards are legion, but family members say this is not the legacy he would have wanted. He would, they say, want to know he made a difference, and that others would keep up the fight.

To remember the man, honor his accomplishments, and continue the fight, Anne Anchin established the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching at the University of South Florida. The mission of the Anchin Center is educational reform as the Center works with teachers and administrators toward "reinventing" the schools of the future.

First USF David C. Anchin Center Director- William "Bill" Katzenmeyer

William "Bill" Katzenmeyer portrait

The history of the David C. Anchin Center began in the late 1980s with an unannounced visit by David Anchin to Dean William Katzenmeyer, the Dean of the College of Education. During his oral history, Dean Katzenmeyer told of how Mr. Anchin simply stated, "I am David Anchin and I am here to help you." Mr. Anchin told his story of his modest beginnings as a Russian immigrant and how his college education made a significant difference in his life.

At the time, Dean Katzenmeyer was engaged in two important projects. The first project was a white paper that outlined the creation of a "special place" in the college that would honor and support the work of teachers. Simultaneously, he also was looking for feedback from the College's teacher candidates that would be used to enhance their educational experiences. Dean Katzenmeyer recognized the importance of preparing the next generation of teachers. Together Dean Katzenmeyer and David C. Anchin worked together to develop an essay contest for students to write about what they believed to be the successes as well as the areas of improvement for the College of Education. The winners of the contest were awarded small scholarships and assisted other students with financial needs.

Upon David Anchin's death in 1990, his wife, Anne Sterlight Anchin, collaborated with Dean Katzenmeyer and made a bequest that resulted in the establishment of the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching. The state of Florida provided matching funds for the construction of the Anchin Center Building as part of the College's new facilities. When the Center was dedicated in June 1997, the David C. Anchin Endowed Chair of Education was established through the Florida Eminent Scholars Act. The Center continues to be grateful for the continued support of David's two daughters, Ruth Hochman and Isabel Becker as well as his eight grandchildren.