Richard S. Melvin graduated from Indiana Law in 1934. After graduation, he returned to his home of Valparaiso and joined the firm of Davis & Eichhorn. His career intertwined first with the Anderson Company and later with the Anderson Foundation. He began his relationship with the Anderson Company as an outside attorney, and later became an officer in the company in its early years. In 1967, when the Anderson Foundation was established, he became one of its first board members. He was the chairman of the board until his death in 1997.
The Anderson Foundation was established by the late John W. Anderson, the founder and sole owner of the Anderson Company, a manufacturer of automobile accessories. The foundation contributes to Indiana and Purdue Universities and to community organizations and agencies in Lake and Porter Counties.
The Richard S. Melvin Professorship was established in 1995 by the Anderson Foundation in honor of Richard Melvin.