Sorenson remembered at USC memorial

Photo Credit: FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- Faculty, students and staff at the University of South Carolina gathered to pay tribute to the college's former president Andrew Sorensen, who died early this month in Ohio at age 72.

The university held a memorial service Tuesday morning at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia. Sorensen was USC's 27th president and served from 2002 through 2008. He was a professor with the USC School of Medicine until the fall of last year, when he became the chief fundraiser for Ohio State University.

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Current university president Harris Pastides participated in the memorial service as well former Columbia mayor Bob Coble and USC board member Herbert Adams.

He was vigorous up until the very end, says current USC President Harris Pastides, who spoke to Sorensen on the phone the week before he died. Although we are looking forward to celebrating the man and the life of Andrew Sorensen, there is no doubt that we are all very saddened by the shocking news, Pastides adds.

Students remember Sorensen as energetic and approachable, impacting the lives of hundreds of Gamecocks.

In a way, he was kind of like Cocky, says student Aaron Wallace, he would actually come out, take pictures and shake hands with students.

He really wanted students to feel welcome here and he did that for me, says student Nick Riley.

Sorensen's wife, Donna, and son Ben attended the service.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)