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Former director of AAP, 63, dies

By Michelle Ouaknine

July 17, 2005 9:00 p.m.

Edward “Chip” Anderson, former director of the UCLA
Academic Advancement Program and professor of educational
leadership in the Graduate School of Education who worked at UCLA
for 28 years, died July 5 after battling with lung cancer. He was
63.

While Anderson was in the hospital receiving treatment, he would
tell his students to come to the hospital to work on their
dissertations.

Anderson had even asked the hospital why it didn’t have a
business center where he could go to work with students on their
dissertations, said Laurie Schreiner, a friend and colleague of
Anderson’s at Azusa Pacific University, where he taught after
leaving UCLA in 1999.

“He was an advocate of raising awareness of the strengths
students bring with them to college,” Schreiner said.

Peter Fong, a friend, colleague and former student of
Anderson’s, said this “strength-based approach”
was evident in many of the things Anderson did.

“Chip always felt humbled that in education, we always
focus on people’s weaknesses. He believed in building on
people’s strengths, which would in turn build up their
weaknesses,” Fong said.

Through his involvement with AAP, an organization in the UCLA
College that provides programs like tutoring and scholarships for
some students based on their personal background, Anderson helped
develop it into what it is today, Fong said.

Joan Nelson, the associate dean of students, praised
Anderson’s leadership of the program.

“I felt that his heart and his mind were in the right
place and he really knew what students needed, and that is the
direction in which he led AAP,” Nelson said.

Aside from his work with AAP, Anderson was a professor of
educational leadership in the Graduate School of Education.

Fong recalled a class Anderson was teaching on Valentine’s
Day during which he asked the students who did not have a valentine
to raise their hands, and gave each a chocolate heart.

“He was the first UCLA instructor I had who showed
heart,” Fong said.

In addition to the formal positions he held, Anderson worked
with UCLA athletes through tutorial and counseling services and
helped develop the freshman summer orientation program, Fong
said.

Anderson also consulted with more than 100 colleges and
universities across the nation and was honored with the
“Uncommon Citizens Award” at Azusa Pacific for the
awareness he raised of students’ strengths.

“He inspired many of us to go and stay in education. He
was an educator’s educator,” Fong said.

Anderson was born on Feb. 15, 1942, to Grace and Eddie
Anderson.

During his early high school years, he moved with his family to
Riverside. He graduated from Pasadena Nazarene College, now known
as Point Loma University, and went on to earn his doctorate in
counseling psychology from UCLA.

He was hired after graduation to work for AAP and later became a
professor.

After working for 28 years at UCLA, Anderson went to Azusa
Pacific in 1999 as a professor in the Doctoral Studies in Education
program, where he worked until his death.

Schreiner said Anderson always had the best interests of others
at heart.

He often had students in his home and acted as a mentor to
countless students over the years. Sometimes he would call people
he knew at weird hours of the day or night simply because he had
thought about them.

“He was always concerned about students’ lives
outside the classroom because it would affect them inside the
classroom,” Schreiner said.

Schreiner also said everyone who spoke at the memorial, held
last week at Azusa Pacific, mentioned they had a special
relationship with him.

“There was enough room in his heart for lots of
people,” Schreiner said.

An award has been established at Azusa Pacific to honor
Anderson’s legacy, called the Chip Anderson Strengths Legacy,
to continue the work in strengths-based education that he
stressed.

“He was a great educator whose influence changed the lives
of many UCLA students. He helped them to understand themselves and
their commitment to society. Those students whose lives he impacted
will always be his legacy,” Nelson said.

Anderson is survived by his wife Irma, son Michael and two
grandchildren.

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Michelle Ouaknine
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