The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Homes

May 4, 2013

AU’s Boyes house

President’s home reflects the lives of Anderson University presidents

ANDERSON, Ind. — Walk into the average person’s home and you quickly gain a sense of their personality and style. Walk into the home of the president of Anderson University and the picture is a little cloudy.

While James and Deanna Edwards are clearly at home in the residence they’ve shared for 23 years, much of the furniture and décor actually belong to someone else — previous presidents and their families.

Enjoying the role of caretakers of the university’s property, the couple recites with pleasure the prior ownership of each donated piece. Speaking of the previous presidents as family members, they take pleasure in the rich history the home offers.

“Dr. (Robert) Reardon loved this house,” said James. Reardon was president of Anderson University from 1958-1983 and was the first to live in the home. “It is an extraordinarily well built house. This used to be cemetery property and was surrounded by farm fence when we first moved here. We used to take night-time walks in the cemetery with students.”

Built in 1968 with a donation from Donald Boyes, then general manager of General Motors, the house on University Avenue is named Boyes House on the campus map.

Constructed with entertaining in mind, the spacious rooms invite large gatherings — and are often used for such.

“The university has this wonderful house and it’s great to share it,” said Deanna, who is on the board of Alternatives, the Minnetrista Center, Silent Blessings and the Committee for the Children’s Center at Park Place. “We often have meetings here or parties or showers or practice recitals.”

“We have this lovely piano that was already here, but neither of us play,” added James. “Sometimes students come here to have a practice recital to get ready for a performance. Any time we have events here, it tends to be the centerpiece.”

Not only did the piano come with the house, but so did a great deal of the furniture and décor on the first floor. Rather than appearing dated, however, the pieces look classic and timeless.

Paintings on the walls and sculptures on the end tables were crafted by Anderson University artists. In the dining room are three lovely built-in corner cabinets featuring a china set donated by the Reardons, another donated by Phil and Phyllis Kinley (missionaries to Japan) and another that belonged to Deanna’s mother. Deanna’s own china is hidden away in the lower cupboards.

Piling into the kitchen

On display along the sideboards and buffet are a tea set from Reardon and a second tea set from Nicholson,  who was AU president from 1983-1990. The beautiful inlaid wood furniture was purchased at an estate sale.

Nearby hangs a painting by Ruthven Byrum, the widely known artist who began the art department in the late ’20s and chaired it for 22 years. Adding to the value of the painting is the rarity of the form. Known for painting cities and buildings, Byrum fashioned few works featuring a natural element. This one is of a cherry blossom in bloom.

The home’s only hindrance to gatherings was the layout of the kitchen. Built during an era when hosts liked to be able to shut the working food area off from guests, the kitchen did not allow people to flow through the space. Approximately five years ago, the couple addressed this issue.

“It was a beautiful kitchen, but we found it helpful to renovate it for the times,” said Deanna. “We removed as much of a wall as possible and took out the cupboards that were over the island. We turned the windows into French doors and built a deck on the back. The cooktop was taken out of the island so that we can use it for serving.”

“When students come over, we’ve often served them in the kitchen area from the counters,” agreed James. “Students will pile in there.”

As students wander through the house, they will notice an example set by lifetime learners. Not only are the shelves of the library full but artistically stacked piles of books decorate the floor around the desk.

“One time I read that Jacqueline Kennedy had stacks of books on her floor,” said Deanna. “I figured if it’s good enough for Jacqueline Kennedy, then it’s good enough for me.”

Books are also ready to be perused in the bedroom. James is quick to recommend reading based on author and topic. Several on the top of his stacks are written by AU faculty.

While some would shudder at living so close to work — and so close to scores of college students — James and Deanna wouldn’t want life any other way.

“I love walking across the street to the office,” said James. “We have just loved it here. And the students feel comfortable coming and going but are always respectful. They don’t just knock on the door — very often.”

“The students are so nice to us,” agreed Deanna, recalling a recent wintry visitor to their lawn. “That snowman outside was a surprise. Students brought it over for us to enjoy.”

Together James and Deanna have excelled at melding their own tastes with the style left to them from former caretakers.

1
Text Only
Homes
  • FEA - HB0413 - 0959 Starting over

    Ryan and Janae Ledbetter may not have moved far geographically, but the differences in their lifestyle and surroundings are huge. A new style of house has called for new décor and furnishings, which is suiting the family well.

    April 12, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0406 homes photo 0861 Home of a Thousand Transformations in Edgewood Kevin Miles carefully chose an Edgewood home, and then carefully chose a wife. Upon wedding Stephanie, he freely relinquished the reigns of decorating his home.

    April 5, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0330 0485 Crafting a headboard Since the headboard of a bed is often the focal point of a bedroom, crafty people are resourcefully using a number of unusual items to create an original piece with flair.

    March 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0323 Homes_0798 Sold at the view When Ryan and Sarah Smith moved from Little Rock, Ark., to the land of cornfields, they thought they were leaving fun-filled woods and hills behind. After touring an old home in Forest Hills, they discovered a wonderland that reminded them of home.

    March 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0316 Homes 0757 Topping off the kitchen Countertops can make or break a kitchen remodel. No matter how beautiful the cabinets, the eye will always be drawn to the surface area of the smooth, glossy top that will provide workspace for meal preparations.

    March 15, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0309 Homes56 Re-entering society Transitional housing for women re-entering society after incarceration has been available through the faith-based Sister 2 Sister program since December 2009, but the facility has only been able to house four women at a time. The ministry recently purchased a house that will service three times as many women.

    March 8, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEAHB03020701.JPG Oriental flair

    Trish Janutolo may have only spent 3 1/2 years in Japan, but the experience touched her life in such a way that she remains surrounded by the culture through her home accents and furnishings.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0223 Homes 0662 Time for a change — again Shortly after their marriage 14 years ago, Phil and Catrina Cooper moved into a new home near Killbuck Lake. Two babies arrived and kept their itch for something new at bay for a while, but the need to shake things up resulted in a total remodel of the interior in 2011.

    February 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA - HB0209 Homes 0557 Dressing the panes Many clients have been stepping into Grace Place, the new home décor shop in Anderson, and asking owners the same question: "How can I change the look of a room without a lot of expense?"

    February 8, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA HB0202 0456 Travel treasures Sue Taylor began her life in Anderson and is enjoying her retirement years in Anderson, but traveled the world in the meantime. Remnants of her voyages fill her home, especially from her three years in Japan.

    February 1, 2014 7 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

What do you think of Anderson's decision to have an Independence Day parade and other festivities on July 3?

That's great!
Should be OK
What a waste of money!
     View Results