UALR honors Chancellor Anderson at commencement

Chancellor Joel E. Anderson walks to the stage during the 2016 spring commencement at Jack Stephens Center.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock gave a tribute to retiring Chancellor Joel E. Anderson during his final commencement ceremony as chancellor May 14 at the Jack Stephens Center.

About 1,000 students participated in one of three UALR ceremonies that Saturday.

“His patience, his vision, and his compassion for those around him exemplifies the dignified professionalism that those who know him well understand comes from a core set of values that cannot be shaken or compromised,” said Dr. Donald R. Bobbit, president of the University of Arkansas System.

Anderson began his 45-year career at UALR as an assistant professor of political science in 1971 and will retire on June 30 after 13 years as chancellor.

“Chancellor Anderson has made a profound difference in the lives of students he taught, the careers of the faculty and staff he has mentored and supported, and the development of this university into a world-class institution,” Bobbit said.

Upon addressing the graduating students, Anderson congratulated them on their hard work and pointed to UALR’s student diversity as one of its most remarkable characteristics.

“To the graduates, this ceremony is for you, and it’s about you,” he said. “We have people seated on the floor here today who are probably 40 or 45 years away from applying for Social Security. We also have graduates seated on the floor today who have been receiving Social Security for some time. And then we have students all in between. It’s one of the remarkable characteristics of this university.”

Anderson also gave new graduates a “chancellor’s charge” to “reach back down and give a hand” to others who are climbing the ladder of success.

In the upper right photo, Chancellor Joel E. Anderson walks to the stage during the 2016 spring commencement ceremony at Jack Stephens Center. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III.

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