Naming of the Engineering and Science Library

From provost Mark Kamlet:  I am very pleased to announce that the Engineering and Science Library has a new name—The Roger Sorrells Engineering and Science Library.

No doubt, many of you knew Roger Sorrells, the longtime partner of our Dean of Universities Libraries, Gloriana  St. Clair.  But, for those of you who did not get to know Roger, let me tell you a bit about this quiet, renaissance man from Louisiana who became a steadfast supporter of Carnegie Mellon.

Roger received his B.S. in physics and M.S. in mathematics from the University of Texas.  He served on the mathematics faculty at both San Antonio College and Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University).  His love of computing was sparked while he was at San Antonio College, which led him to become a computer scientist and work toward a Ph.D. in this area at Texas A&M University.  Ultimately leading the Help Desk there, Roger was renowned for his ability to troubleshoot computer programs.  In 1991, he received the President’s Meritorious Service Award from A&M before retiring the following year.  His intellectual curiosity and commitment to helping others flourished throughout his life as evidenced by his work with the World Shakespeare Bibliography, the Chautauqua Institute, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Compassionate Friends, and the Lions Club.  Roger’s adventurous nature was also reflected in his array of outdoor activities where he loved to bike, hike, spelunk, and snorkel.  After retiring and relocating to Pittsburgh, he became deeply involved in activities at Carnegie Mellon, including the Million Book project.  He was also founding member of the Highlands Circle donor society at CMU.

Roger lost his courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease in September of this year.  In memory of his never-ending thirst for learning and love of computation, Gloriana made a gift of $900,000 to name our engineering and science library for him.

A formal ceremony to commemorate the renaming of the library will take place later this year.  In the meantime, I hope you will join me in both thanking Gloriana for her incredible generosity and to take a few minutes to quietly reflect on the life of a man who became a proud Pittsburgher and member of the CMU community.


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