ASU-Beebe honors past student body president

BEEBE — Arkansas State University-Beebe Student Government Association president Zayd Kelley and Dr. Jennifer Methvin, ASU-Beebe chancellor, signed a joint proclamation recognizing March 17, 2023, as SGA Presidents Day. The date honors the 100th birthday of the first student body president, James D. “Andy” Anderson, who died in 2013. 

Attending the event were faculty, staff and alumni, as well as Anderson’s son Tom Anderson, and grandson Derrick Anderson. Tom spoke briefly about his father’s service in the military, government and the community.  

Dr. Jennifer Methvin (from left), presents the ASU-Beebe Presidents Day proclamation to James D. Anderson’s son, Tom Anderson, and grandson, Derrick Anderson, along with current SGA president Zayd Kelley.

Andy was drafted into World War II, where he fought in the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he began college in 1947 at ASU-Beebe, formerly Junior Agricultural College. He served as student body president from 1948 to 1949, then transferred to the University of Central Arkansas. In the election of 1950, he became a representative for White County in January 1951. In February 1951, he enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard as an officer, where he remained until 1984, retiring as the assistant Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard.   

The proclamation also recognized Andy’s service over the years to the college and community. He was active in many civic and community organizations, which included serving as president on the White County Farm Bureau, White County Fair Board, El Paso Community Center Board, and the Grissard Cemetery Board. Andy was also a member of the Arkansas General Assembly and the Arkansas Good Roads Commission. In addition, he served on the ASU-Beebe Development Council in the early 2000s.    

Current SGA president Zayd Kelley is the 74th student body president to serve since Andy. In attendance were four former student body presidents: Catherine Burton, Emily Fisher, Stew Prosser and Grant “Reid” Dunivan. Grayson Griggs, former student body vice president, also attended.