Terry Alexander, a retired forester whose career in forestry spanned four decades and multiple states, has been named the 59th Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

“I see this honor as a crowning achievement of a journey that began four and a half decades ago,” Alexander said upon accepting the award from UAM Chancellor, Dr. Peggy Doss at UAM’s 110th commencement exercises on May 7.

Alexander, of Texarkana, was the first African American student to enroll in the UAM forestry program and the first UAM football player to balance the demanding schedule of a student-athlete with the academic rigor of the forestry program.

The standout running back, originally from Louann, was twice inducted into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame, first for his individual achievements on the field, including setting records for game, season, and career rushing yards. He was named to the second team NAIA All-American, first Team All-AIC, and was All-NAIA for district 17. Alexander was again inducted to the Hall of Fame with the 1979 AIC Conference champion team, for which he served as a graduate assistant.

After graduating from UAM in December 1980, Alexander worked with International Paper for more than a decade, rising from associate forester to senior staff forester to supervisor. After years with the company in Camden, he moved to Georgia to develop and launch their OMNI wood products operations from the ground up.

Alexander later joined the Weyerhaeuser Corporation working in the Pacific Northwest and Canada in operations management and regional environmental health and safety. He grew with the company in progressive leadership roles and managed a portion of the Mt. St. Helens Tree Farm, where he was heavily involved with the reclamation of the area devastated by the eruption in 1980.

Alexander’s numerous board appointments in Washington and Arkansas, as well as significant community and university involvement, further distinguish him in the forestry industry and among his alumni peers.

Alexander retired in 2019 and lives with his wife Marian in Texarkana.