Ben Roberts entered Sacramento State in 1974 as an exchange student from the University of Liberia, the same university that he now serves as President. While at Sac State, he both studied and played soccer. With a bachelor's degree in geography from his home university, and on the advice of his economics professor, Dr. Roberts remained at Sac State to purse the M.A. in Social Science with an emphasis on development economics. Following his M.A. Studies in 1978 and two semesters at the University of California, Riverside, he entered Arizona State University where he earned the Ph.D. in geography, awarded in 1986.
At the University of Liberia, Dr. Roberts rapidly rose through the academic ranks from Professor of Geography, to Chair of the Department of Geography, to Director of Continuing Education. The University closed for two years when civil war broke out in Liberia. Once it reopened, Dr. Roberts was named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He preceded from there to the position of Vice President of Administration. He left the campus for a term as Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare System. In 1999, he was named President of the University of Liberia, a post he continues to hold.
Dr. Roberts is committed to helping rebuild his country after years of political unrest and civil conflict. He stresses the importance of community work and education. He spends his vacations as part of the Liberian National Educational and Social Services Group and Associates which brings teacher training workshops to rural areas. His proposal to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees merited major funding for schools in Liberia.
In 2001, Dr. Roberts received the Knight Grand Band of the Humane Order of the Star of Africa. In the spring of 2003, he traveled again to Sacramento where he received the Sac State Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award.
"I very much enjoyed my time at CSUS. I was inspired by excellent professors like Robert Curry and Preston Stegenga who encouraged me to remain here for a graduate degree. The degree was the beginning of my career in academia and in helping the people of Liberia."