Dr. Ron E. Anderson

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Dr. Ron E. Anderson, professor of music at Stephen F. Austin State University, will offer the commencement address during the university's summer graduation ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 9.

Anderson, a resident of Nacogdoches, earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia College and a Master of Arts and doctoral degree from the University of Iowa. He has been a member of the SFA music faculty and administration since 1970.

During his 44-year tenure, Anderson served as director of choral activities for 13 years before serving as director of the School of Music from 1986 to 2009. Enrollment of music majors more than doubled during his directorship, and he helped oversee the expansion and renovation of the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building and the naming of the Ed and Gwen Cole Concert Hall.

"I have been fortunate to work with a wonderful and highly-gifted faculty and enjoyed working with the Friends of Music to support student opportunities and scholarships," he said. Anderson will retire Aug. 31.

He is a past president of the Texas Association of Music Schools, a former chair of the University's Chairs Forum and former co-chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Field of Study Committee for Music. In addition, the Alumni Association established the Ron Anderson Voice Scholarship to benefit music majors studying vocal performance or pursing certification in choral music education at SFA.

Anderson said he is very honored and humbled to be asked to give the commencement address, considering the university often brings in important public figures to offer the commencement address. "I think it is a validation of our faculty members that they are included in this important opportunity.

"Obtaining a university degree is vital for enhancing the U.S. economy and is becoming more and more necessary to meet the need for a highly skilled professional workforce," Anderson said.

He added that very few people remember anything from a commencement address. Therefore, his speech will be "sprinkled with some simple suggestions for living a more rewarding and healthy life."

SFA's summer commencement ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. at William R. Johnson Coliseum. About 517 degrees will be awarded, including 369 bachelor's degrees, 138 master's degrees and 10 doctoral degrees. More than 41 students will graduate with honors, including 19 cum laude, 14 magna cum laude and eight summa cum laude.