Joe Sanders standing with his arms crossed
Whether he knows it or not his voice is forever ingrained in the UTPB students who work hard to feel a sense of relief and pride when he calls their name.

Dr. Joe Sanders has worked at UTPB for almost 20 years, and that’s if you don’t count the two work-study jobs he held as a student. He began his first work-study position at UTPB as a weekend dispatcher for campus police on the graveyard shift. 

Despite his background in policing and a three-year stint in financial aid, Sanders has spent a majority of his time at UTPB working in the Registrars Office. He has been the registrar since 2013, but don’t be fooled, his favorite position he held was… assistant registrar. Yeah, we know he’s currently in charge of the office.  

 joe-sanders2.jpgHaving started school here in 1998 and returned in 2005 to work full time, Sanders has watched the University change over nearly two decades. The changes he’s seen, are drastic. 

Imagine getting excited over a secret empty computer lab in the back of the Mesa, giving you access to PC’s that back then, were hard to come by. Or, feeling thrilled by messaging your friends through a terminal on the Registrar’s Office PC, which took memorized commands and inputted codes only known to those who worked there. 

 When Sanders lived in student housing in the 90’s, which was actually single-wide trailers on campus, he describes the walls as so thin the slamming of your neighbor’s cabinet would open your own, dispelling all of the contents within. 

Despite the hardship, the biggest and best change Sanders says he has seen, is in the students. At 22-years-old Sanders was the youngest in his class filled with mostly working adults. He now sees a growing population of younger students. 

Upon his arrival in 2005, their dream was to grow the university to 4,000 students. Now he says if he were to have to tell the president they had 4,000 students registered for fall, he would call in sick. They register 4,000 students in early registration alone. 

 joe-sanders3.jpgAmongst the many important tasks Sanders completes, he’s most known for reading the names at Commencement. The previous reader left when Sanders became registrar, and the title fell to him. It’s a stressful endeavor, yet Sanders does it well. Practicing, but not too much. Whether he knows it or not his voice is forever ingrained in the UTPB students who work hard to feel a sense of relief and pride when he calls their name. 

Sanders is a first-generation college student. After dropping out of McMurry University he had his eye set on Texas Tech. But a two-hour drive later, a failed attempt to find the Admissions Office shattered his dreams. 

 “When I got home I told my parents ‘I guess I can’t finish college because I can’t even find the admission office,” said Sanders.  

Sanders’ father suggested UTPB. Thanks to the welcoming nature of the Dean of the School of Business at the time, who helped him find the Admissions Office, Sanders is here with us today. That helpful spirit is why he loves it here.