William Alison Anders (born October 17, 1933) is a former United States Air Force officer and NASA astronaut. He is, along with Apollo 8 crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon (of only 24 people to date).
Anders was born to Arthur Anders and Muriel Adams Anders in Hong Kong and was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. Anders attended St. Martin's Academy and Grossmont High School in La Mesa, California. He was born and raised Roman Catholic. However his outlook on religion changed profoundly after his participation in the Apollo 8 mission. He found his experience of space made a mockery of his beliefs and he gave up religion.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1955 and a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1962. Anders completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in 1979.