CEO of Psychologist Group to Address NCCU’s First Graduate and Professional School Commencement

Norman B. Anderson, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association and a North Carolina Central University alumnus, will deliver the commencement address at the university’s inaugural ceremony for graduate and professional students on May 13.

Anderson was named the association’s CEO in 2003. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional association for psychologists in the world.

This year for the first time, NCCU will hold separate commencements for undergraduates and for master’s and professional students. The upper-level degrees will be awarded at 3 p.m. in McDougald –McLendon Gymnasium on Lawson Street.

The speaker for the undergraduate ceremony — on May 14 at 8 a.m. in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium — will be announced later.

NCCU will confer about 590 undergraduate, 300 graduate and 160 law degrees during the two weekend ceremonies.

“Dr. Anderson has been in the forefront of behavioral and social science research in the United States for decades,” said NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms. “As a product of our university, he offers graduate and professional students an inspiring case study, combining success with service to society. We are deeply gratified that he will deliver our first graduate-level commencement address.”

Anderson earned his undergraduate degree in psychology at NCCU in 1977, and then master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He took additional clinical and research training at the schools of medicine at Brown and Duke universities, including postdoctoral fellowships in psychophysiology and aging at Duke.

He has been a professor at both Duke University Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

As CEO of the American Psychological Association, Anderson manages a $112 million annual budget and a central office staff of more than 550 professionals. The Association’s membership is over 154,000 including psychologists, psychology students and teachers.

Before his APA tenure, Anderson was the founding associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in charge of behavioral and social sciences research, and was the first director of the institutes’ Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. He oversaw behavioral and social research across all of the then-24 NIH institutes and centers, including those conducting research in areas such as cancer, heart disease, mental health, diabetes and aging.

His research and writing on the effects of stress on biology and risk for hypertension have received several awards from scientific societies and universities. He is editor in chief the American Psychological Association’s flagship journal, American Psychologist and of The Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior. With his wife, writer P. Elizabeth Anderson, he authored a health book for lay audiences titled Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live.