Charles C. Anderson, Jr. (’76)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

Charles C. Anderson Jr. is CEO of Anderson Media Corporation, which operates, Media Solutions, B.A.S.S., Natural Healthy Concepts, KA Display Solutions, and Anderson Merchandisers—the nation’s largest merchandiser of entertainment products.

From the seeds Anderson’s grandfather, Clyde, sowed for Anderson Companies when he opened a newsstand in Florence, Alabama, in 1917, the now-national multimedia entertainment company continues to flourish with Anderson at the helm.

Anderson learned the business by watching his own father, Charles Anderson Sr., who transformed the retail newsstand into next-generation bookstores—first in malls and later into the supercenter chain Books-A-Million. Their wholesale book and magazine operations grew as they supplied their own retail ventures and expanded into fast-growing southern territories. At 14, Anderson worked in a warehouse loading trucks; at 16, he was making deliveries across the Southeast; by 19, he was on the road selling fireworks.

Recruited to play football at UT, Anderson received his degree in business administration with a major in marketing, and at 21 he joined the family business as a general manager with an annual salary of $14,000 and a promised bonus if certain goals were achieved. Anderson says UT provided him with the business insight to help change his company from a small magazine distributor to a national multimedia entertainment company with more than 4,000 employees.

Anderson has been an active leader for UT. He has served on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors for Athletics. He and his family have been incredibly generous in the establishment of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Moll Anderson Scholarship—an endowed scholarship for single parents. They have also provided a significant investment in the new state-of-the-art Anderson Training Center, home to the Volunteer football program.