Dr. Joel Anderson to receive 16th annual Vision Award

 Photo courtesy ualr.

Photo courtesy ualr.


The World Services for the Blind Foundation is proud to announce that it will honor Dr. Joel E. Anderson with the 16th annual Vision Award on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

The Vision Award was designed to honor an individual who has demonstrated far-reaching vision to successfully orchestrate events through business enterprise and community involvement to help better our society for all citizens, both with and without sight. Previous honorees include Dr. Jonathan Bates, Bill Clark, Claiborne Deming, Maria Luisa Haley, Dr. Fitz Hill, Walter Hussman, Dr. Dean Kumpuris, Jo Luck, Charles Morgan, Jimmy Moses, Dr. Bobby Roberts, Doyle Rogers, Reese Rowland, Bob Shell and Warren Stephens.

Dr. Anderson served as chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 2003 to 2016. He first joined UALR in 1971 as a faculty member in political science. Prior to his appointment as chancellor he served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and as founding dean of the graduate school.

During his time as dean and then provost, Dr. Anderson led in the initiation of numerous master’s and doctoral programs. In 2000, UALR was classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University.

When Dr. Anderson became chancellor, he said he wanted “UALR” and “partnership with the community” to be synonymous, and in 2010 UALR gained the Carnegie elective Community Engagement classification based on the university’s extensive and close relationship with the greater metropolitan community.

Among his recognitions for community service are the Humanitarian of the Year Award of Just Communities of Arkansas (formerly NCCJ); the La Esperanza Award of the League of United Latin American Citizens; Portrait of Service Medallion at the 30th anniversary celebration of Watershed; and the District Director’s Special Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership from the U.S. Small Business Administration Arkansas Office.

Dr. Anderson’s non-profit board service has included the following: Arkansas Research Alliance, the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Mathematics and Science, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, the Heart of Arkansas United Way, Fifty for the Future and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. He served as board member and president or chair of the Arkansas 4-H Foundation, the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, and the KLRE-KUAR Public Radio Board of Overseers.

Among the highlights of his years as chancellor were the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which topped $103 million. Campus grounds were expanded with the purchase of the University Shopping Center and enhanced through the Coleman Creek Greenway Project. New or expanded facilities were built for student housing, student services, engineering, nanotechnology research and development, energy conservation and the arts. The Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center was established.  

As chancellor, Dr. Anderson led the university in establishing the Institute on Race and Ethnicity to move Arkansas forward on the broad front of racial and ethnic justice through education, research, dialogue, community events, and reconciliation initiatives. Upon his retirement, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees named the Institute on Race and Ethnicity for Dr. Anderson. In May 2016 the University District Development Corporation announced the establishment of the Joel E. Anderson University District Scholarship to recognize his leadership in launching the University District Partnership. Students who live within the University District are eligible to apply.

Dr. Anderson is a graduate of Harding University (BA in political science), American University, (MA in international relations), and the University of Michigan (PhD in political science). He also completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.

He and his wife, Ann, are members of the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Little Rock. Dr. and Mrs. Anderson have three sons, three daughters-in-law, two granddaughters, and three grandsons.







Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Agreement

Please join us on Thursday, October 27, at the Little Rock Marriott from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tickets are $120 each, and tables of 10 are $1,200. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

Please send your check made payable to World Services for the Blind Foundation, ATTN: Mel Jones, 2811 Fair Park Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72204.

For more information, please contact Mel Jones, director of communications & development.