Belmont recognized Nashville Chief of Police and Belmont alumnus Steve Anderson during Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. spring commencement ceremony with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree. Honorary degrees have been presented by American colleges and universities since 1962 in recognition of meritorious humanitarian service, as well as scholarly and creative attainments. Belmont has bestowed this award selectively as the highest honor conferred by the University.
Chief Anderson graduated from Belmont in 1979 with a degree in criminal justice, went on to graduate from Nashville School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree, served in the United States Air Force and ultimately went on to serve the Nashville community as a public servant. A 40-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Chief Anderson served in a number of roles prior to his 2010 appointment as Chief of Police. He was an administrative assistant to three former chiefs, led the Administrative Service Bureau, Investigative Service Bureau and Field Operations Bureau, served as a law instructor at the MNPD Training Academy and provided on-site legal advice to the SWAT Team.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said the University is proud of the impact Chief Anderson has made on the greater Nashville community and is honored to provide him with a second Belmont degree.
“The strong relationships Chief Anderson has built with neighborhood and communities, his commitment to protecting those who are threatened by domestic violence and his voice of reconciliation to people who feel disenfranchised are clear demonstrations of his remarkable concern for others,” Dr. Fisher said. “The high standard of professional excellence and emphasis on education in the Metro Police culture, along with the dramatic reduction of crime in Nashville, speak to the strong leadership Chief Anderson has provided within the department and the Nashville community.”
“I am sincerely humbled that the great school I attended as Belmont College in the 1970s, and from where I graduated 36 years ago while a police officer, has chosen to honor me at the 2015 spring commencement,” Chief Anderson said. “Just as Nashville and the police department have significantly grown and evolved over the past four decades, so, too, has Belmont. The education I received here helped prepare me for the constant challenges of a law enforcement career. I am proud to be a Belmont graduate, and I am proud of what this university means to Nashville.”
Chief Anderson’s contributions to Nashville are plentiful as he has overseen unprecedented growth in Metro’s police department, forged strong and lasting partnerships with key members of the community and significantly reduced the city’s crime statistics since beginning his position as Chief in 2010. Additionally, Chief Anderson has been honored with a number of awards including the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TCAP) President’s Award, TCAP’s Middle Tennessee Chief of the Year and the Statewide Voice for Victims Award during National Crime Victim’s Week.