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USC police lead bicycle brigade from Horseshoe to Koger Center as a tribute to Sorensen, an avid cyclist.
USC police lead bicycle brigade from Horseshoe to Koger Center as a tribute to Sorensen, an avid cyclist.

University pays tribute to former president Sorensen

The University of South Carolina family remembered former president Andrew A. Sorensen with poignant stories and words of appreciation Tuesday (April 26) at a tribute service for the man who led the university from 2002 - 2008.

Sorensen, USC’s 27th president, died April 17 at his home in Ohio.

At Tuesday’s service at the Koger Center, about 400 members of the university and the Columbia communities came together to honor Sorensen’s legacy. He was remembered for improving the relationship between the university and the city of Columbia, his visionary leadership in developing the Innovista research campus and understanding the importance of creating a knowledge economy, and his commitment to inclusiveness and service to others.

Tommy Preston, former student-body president and a third-year law student, spoke of Sorensen’s love of students, even showing off an “Andy is my homeboy” T-shirt designed by students during Sorensen’s tenure.

“His greatest legacy in my eyes is his relationships with students. He loved his students,” said Preston, describing Sorensen sitting in the student section at basketball games or playing trumpet in the band at Carolina football games.

Preston, who worked for Sorensen the year before he started law school, said Sorensen taught him many lessons but admitted he never learned the art of tying a bow tie, Sorensen’s signature item of apparel.

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