Ira L. Andrews III '59
Honorary Degree Recipient
Professor Ira L. Andrews III ’59 received the Honorary Doctor of
Humanities Degree during Randolph-Macon College’s Commencement on Saturday, May
29, 2010. Andrews is an ordained Methodist minister, Randolph-Macon College professor
emeritus of religious studies and retired dean of students.
During the awarding of Andrews’ Honorary Degree, Randolph-Macon President Robert
R. Lindgren announced that as the result of very generous gifts from two valued
members of the R-MC Community, Frank E. “Pepper” Laughon Jr. ’59 and his wife Stuart,
“we intend to name our new freshman residence hall, scheduled for completion in
August 2011, in honor of Ira Andrews.”
Andrews’ contributions to Randolph-Macon were also celebrated at a dedication and
ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, May 28 to commemorate a new seating area established
in his name, positioned along the Janet Harvey Trivette ’78 Alumni Walkway.
Andrews’ experience at R-MC spans more than 50 years. As a student, he was inducted
into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and was a member of Omicron
Delta Kappa, Clericus and the R-MC Glee Club. After graduating and earning a master
of divinity degree from Emory University, he returned to R-MC as a professor of
religious studies and was later appointed to serve as dean of students, a role that
he held for 35 years. Andrews was instrumental in leading students through difficult
times such as the Vietnam War and economic turmoil. He also worked admirably through
historic milestones such as the college’s change from an all-male campus to a co-educational
one, and served under five R-MC presidents.
A celebrated educator, Andrews earned a reputation for being organized and enthusiastic.
He was the recipient of the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award, the
United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award, the Nöe-Kilgore Award and the R-MC Society
of Alumni Faculty Service Certificate of Appreciation. In retirement, Andrews continues
to cheerfully serve the college as mentor, advisor and supportive friend. He is
also a member of the R-MC Board of Trustees Subcommittee on Church Relations.
Andrews has been active in civic and religious organizations. He served as president
and state director for the Virginia and National Association of Student Personnel
Administrators. He also served on the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist
Church Conference Board of Higher Education Ministries, Global Ministries, Ordained
Ministries, the Council of Ministries and as secretary of the Patrick Henry Family
YMCA. Andrews is also a proud member of the Duncan Memorial UMC choir, a Sunday
school teacher, and a member of the Hanover County Council of PTAs and the Board
of Directors for Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad.
Andrews and his wife Anne live in Ashland, Virginia. They have two grown children
and three grandchildren.