Judge Anderson to get honorary doctorate at Clemson graduation

December 9, 2009

CLEMSON, SC – December 9, 2009 – Clemson University will recognize Judge Joseph Fletcher Anderson Jr. with an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree during the winter graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, at Littlejohn Coliseum.

At the ceremony, 1,300 candidates for graduation are to receive their degrees, according to the Clemson registrar’s office.

As a student at Clemson, Anderson was awarded the Norris Medal for best all-around student and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for service to the university. He also was named the top second lieutenant in the U.S. Army commissioned through the ROTC program.

After graduating from Clemson in 1972, Anderson entered the University of South Carolina School of Law. He then returned to his home of Edgefield to join his father’s law firm. In 1980, he was elected to the S.C. General Assembly representing Edgefield and Aiken counties.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Anderson to the federal bench. At 36 years old, Anderson was the youngest federal judge in South Carolina history. He still holds the position.

He completed a term as chief judge for the District of South Carolina, serving from 2000 to 2008. During this time, he drafted South Carolina’s first-in-the-nation rule regarding court-ordered secrecy agreements on matters affecting public safety. His proposal drew national attention, and he was featured on the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes,” where anchor Dan Rather referred to him as “one of the country’s most influential and respected judges.”

Anderson’s father and three brothers are Clemson alumni. Two of his three children graduated from Clemson, and his son, Fletcher, was undergraduate student body president. The Anderson family also made significant contributions to the university, most notably the Joseph Anderson Moot Court Trial Room named in honor of Judge Anderson’s father.

The ceremony will be streamed live online. Click on the live video link http://www.clemson.edu to view the ceremony.