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A Letter Dedicated to Dr. Arliss Roaden


Dr. Arliss L. Roaden, age 85, of Nashville, a member of the STARS Board of Directors, recently passed away. As his obituary stated, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Dr. Roaden was an educator, at all times. He had a long and distinguished career, formally serving as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, as well as President of Tennessee Technological University.

His list of accomplishments is far too long to list in this space.
Arliss meant so much to all of us at STARS. He was a former Chair of the Board and member of the Executive Committee several times. He was a voice of calm, reasoned approaches to issues, and a brilliant problem solver. He was always extremely optimistic, pleasant even in his dissents. Arliss was a master of conflict management.

I had the privilege of attending his celebration of life service last week. What I heard from all those that served with him in educational institutions, those who worshipped with him and served as his pastor, reminded me what a mentor, dedicated and faithful man this gentleman, Arliss Roaden, really was to all he encountered

Most importantly, it was priceless to hear from his granddaughter about what kind of granddad and man he really was. He was deeply loved and always took the time to do things that are really important, such as spend time with those he loved, enjoy the moments with his family and treasure the most important thing in life -relationships.

Arliss loved rocks and stones. References were made by those that spoke of him as a “rock”. Arliss was indeed a “rock” to his family. He was the same for all of us at STARS. Our thoughts will be with Mary Etta, his loving wife of 65 years, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will miss you, Arliss!


P. Rodger Dinwiddie

STARS is deeply committed to creating a culture and work space that centers on the power of relationships, that values diversity of perspective and experience, and that honors the dignity, worth, and contributions of all.