Julia Blanche Anderson, founding director of the Institute for Racial and Ethnic Health Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, died last month at her home in Pikesville. She was 66.

She had suffered from lymphedema, a disorder of the lymph nodes sometimes associated with cancer treatment.

Baltimore Educator, Health Care Advocate Julia B. Anderson. (Courtesy Photo)

Anderson was born in Baltimore, the daughter of Eugene and Rebecca Anderson. She was raised on Lauretta Avenue in West Baltimore and graduated from Edmondson High School in 1969. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Coppin State College, now Coppin State University, and taught briefly in the Baltimore City Public Schools in the early 1970s, before moving on to obtain two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. Subsequently, Anderson was appointed associate director of development at Talladega College in Alabama, before returning to Baltimore in the early 1980s.

Anderson earned her Ph.D. in policy studies at UMBC in 1995, just three years after Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the school’s longtime president, assumed his office. The two worked together closely as colleagues and became good friends. Anderson became research director for UMBC’s Center for Health Program Development and Management, and was later named the first director of the Institute for Racial and Ethnic Health Studies.

In 2009, Anderson was appointed to a post at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a position she retired from in 2011.

She was a member of Tabernacle of the Lord Church in West Baltimore, where funeral services were held for her earlier this month.

Anderson is survived by a sister, Carol Johnson of Randallstown, as well as four nephews, three nieces, and a special friend, William White of Baltimore.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor