Anderson to receive honorary doctorate at December commencement

Charles Anderson Sr.

FLORENCE, Ala. – University of North Alabama alumnus and Chairman Emeritus of Anderson Companies, Charles Anderson Sr., ’56, will be the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from UNA, which will be conferred at the December 2018 commencement ceremonies.

Charles is the first son of Clyde Anderson, who built a newsstand from piano boxes and began selling newspapers in downtown Florence.  The newsstand became successful and Clyde moved to a storefront. The younger Anderson began learning his father’s business as a paper carrier at age 9 and later worked in the newsstand during high school.

Charles Anderson graduated from Florence State Teachers College (now the University of North Alabama) in 1956 with a B.S. degree in marketing and a minor in economics.

In 1956, he began working full time in the family business, which today consists of four merged companies: Anderson Media, one of the leading in-store merchandisers in Walmart; TNT Fireworks, the largest distributor and merchandiser of fireworks in the U.S.; Books-A-Million, the second largest bookstore chain in the nation; and Anderson Press, a book publisher focusing on the numismatic and sports market.

Anderson now serves as chairman emeritus of the companies founded by the Anderson family.  His many honors include receipt of UNA’s Alumni of the Year Award in 1979, induction into the Horatio Alger Association in 2015, and recognition as the Shoals Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2016.

UNA President Ken Kitts praised Anderson for his strong support of the University.

“His success and international reputation add to the luster of the UNA brand,” Kitts said.  “He cares deeply about his alma mater, leads by example through his generous giving, and encourages all of us to set high goals and strive for excellence in all that we do.”

Anderson and his wife, Hilda, have four sons, Charles Jr., Terry, Clyde and Harold

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