Edward "Chip" Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Doctoral Studies in Education
February 15, 1942 - July 5, 2005
On July 5, 2005, our beloved professor, mentor, colleague, and friend Chip went home to the Lord he loved, after spending his life "being where God wanted him to be and doing what God wanted him to do." Born in 1942 to Grace and Eddie Anderson, Chip and his family moved to Riverside, California during his early high school years. He graduated from Pasadena Nazarene College, now Point Loma University, then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of California - Los Angeles. Chip came to Azusa Pacific University in 1999 as a professor in the Doctoral Studies in Education program, after spending 28 years at UCLA in capacities as varied as veterans' services, retention, counseling psychology, and the Graduate School of Education.
A leading authority in retention and advising, Chip has been a passionate and committed advocate of a strengths-based approach to education, and his influence has been felt in hundreds of high schools, community colleges, universities, churches, and organizations. Co-author with Don Clifton of StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond, Chip was instrumental in igniting the "strengths revolution" -- the commitment to changing the paradigm in higher education from deficit-remediation to strengths development.
He believed that the key to student success was already within the student, and that by encouraging students to "become the persons God created them to be" they could achieve excellence and complete the work that God had designed them to do. Students responded to this call on their lives, hungry for the sense of meaning, purpose, and direction that an appreciation of their strengths gave them. Chip often spoke of seeing people through "strengths-colored glasses," and this is perhaps his most lasting legacy that inspires his students to continue his work: Chip tried to see people the way Jesus saw them-and he loved people the way he knew Jesus would love them.
As someone who lived his life around the strengths God gave him, perhaps the best tribute we could give Chip are to use his own words to create a visual image for you of this remarkable man who has impacted so many lives:
"I have Belief, Strategic, Activator, Achiever and Connectedness as my Signature Themes. My visual image of how my talents in these themes work together is of a rocket standing upright on a launch pad. My Belief talents form a giant foundational launch pad. The meaning, purpose and direction stemming from my core beliefs generate a tremendous amount of power that enables me to impact people. The fuselage of my rocket stands upright on the middle of the launch pad. This is my Activator theme that enables me to turn ideas into actions that generate revolutionary changes. On each side of the fuselage are two booster rockets. One I call Strategic and the other Achiever. The Strategic helps me see multiple alternatives to reaching a goal, and the Achiever means I am in constant motion to reach my goals-I have daily goals on pieces of paper stuck in my shirt pocket that keep me focused on what God wants me to do that day, but I also have ultimate goals, and those are always tied to excellence-to being the person God wants me to be. The nose cone on top of the main fuselage is Connectedness. With Connectedness, I realize there is a "Master plan" that brings each person into my life, and I know that what I do with my life will have a "ripple effect" long after I am gone."
In honor of Chip's desire for the "ripple effect" to continue long after he is gone, the Chip Anderson Strengths Legacy, a memorial fund to continue the work in strengths-based education that was so important to Chip, has been established at Azusa Pacific University through the Center for Strengths-Based Education. Donations can be made to Azusa Pacific University, Center for Strengths-Based Education, 901 E. Alosta Ave., Azusa, CA 91702-7000.
We covet your prayers for the Anderson family as they mourn their loss and we rejoice with them in the sure knowledge that Chip has completed the work God has called him to do and is now in the presence of the One whom he loved first and best.