Former USC president known for personal style dies unexpectedly

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A former University of South Carolina president passed away Sunday. Ohio State University officials reported that Dr. Andrew Sorensen died unexpectedly.

Dr. Sorensen served as president of the University of Alabama for six years before coming to USC in April 2002.

He was USC's 27th president and quickly became known for a personal style that included bow ties and bicycle rides. But he also oversaw dramatic changes, spearheading plans for the Innovista research campus and a new emphasis on partnerships with other schools and the private sector. Sorensen has also been instrumental in trying to position USC on the cutting edge in the fields of hydrogen fuel cell research and nanotechnology.

Dr. Sorensen stepped down as USC president back in July 2008. He said it was time for he and his wife to enter another phase of their lives.

Ohio State University welcomed Dr. Sorensen in September of 2010. The university's president, E. Gorden Gee, had the following statement that he released to the university:

It is with great sadness that I write to inform our University community of the unexpected death today of Andrew Sorensen, senior vice president for development, president of The Ohio State University Foundation, and special assistant to the president for advancement. One of the country's most distinguished leaders in higher education, Dr. Sorensen joined Ohio State last September. He brought enormous energy, wisdom, and wit to his work, and his passion for public higher education made him an uncommonly effective advocate for the University. Dr. Sorensen's leadership of our advancement effort was particularly strong, aligning the interests of our alumni and friends with the work of our students, faculty, and staff.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Dr. Sorensen served as president of the University of South Carolina and the University of Alabama. He was provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Florida, executive director of the AIDS Institute at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Dr. Sorensen is survived by his wife, two sons, and his grandson - Art.

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