Major General Marcia M. Anderson has said that joining the ROTC during her time at Creighton University was one of the best things she has done in her life, for it challenged her to be a leader and role model. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Creighton and a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers University. She also holds a Master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
In 2011, Major General Anderson became the first African-American woman to achieve the rank of major general in the United States Army.
Her military career spans more than three decades and includes service as a traditional member of the Army Reserve and on active duty. From her promotion in 2011 until September 2014, she served as the senior advisor to the Chief of Army Reserve on policies and programs, including budget and appropriations, personnel policies, force structure and manpower, as well as the Department of the Army and Department of Defense Matters.
Major General Anderson has helped to influence military policy while striving for a more diverse and inclusive military. She spends time encouraging young women of all backgrounds to seek careers with the Army, whether it be the Active Army or the Army Reserve. Her understanding of the impact of deployments on service members and their families helps her when offering counsel to young service members who are finding their path.
Major General Anderson exemplifies Jesuit ideals through her commitment to service, the development of the whole person and by seeking the magis in all things.
As a citizen-soldier, Major General Anderson serves as Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, located in Madison, and has been active in numerous community organizations in the area. For several years, she was a member of Women In Focus, Inc., a group of professional women who raise funds for scholarships for minority youth. She is a longtime member and has served as a co-chair of the Madison Civics Club, and is a member of the board of the United Way of Dane County.
She is a frequent public speaker, preferring to focus on high school and college populations because they are, in her view, the future of America. Major General Anderson regularly returns to Creighton to speak to young cadets and their families about her career path. She speaks about the importance of sound leadership, education, diversity and technical proficiency in the workforce, Army and the nation.
For having provided distinguished service to Creighton and to her community with a way of life that clearly exemplifies the Credo of Creighton, and for having a personal quality that marks her as cultured and of high moral principles guided by the Jesuit ideals of being men and women for others, Major General Anderson was honored with the 2015 Creighton University Alumni Merit Award.
Her military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Parachutist Badge, and the Physical Fitness Badge.