A major national award was presented to retiring Pamplin College of Business Dean Richard E. Sorensen and a portrait of him unveiled at a recent reception celebrating his service and leadership to the college, university, and business education worldwide.

Sorensen was presented with the Distinguished Leadership Award of AACSB International by its president and CEO, John Fernandes. AACSB, which stands for Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, seeks to promote quality management education through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services.

Sorensen, who has served AACSB in many senior leadership roles over the years, including chairing its board, will continue to be involved in the Tampa-based organization as its newly appointed special advisor for emerging economies.

The reception, where guests included Sorensen's wife Carol, senior university administrators, and Pamplin faculty, staff, and alumni, featured accolades by President Charles W. Steger and others.

Listing some of Sorensen’s numerous accomplishments as an administrator, fundraiser, donor, and teacher, Steger said, “I can personally attest that he also is a forceful voice and determined advocate for the college and what he sees as its needs.”

Steger also quoted others who lauded the dean’s guidance and mentorship and “magical ability to develop ideas and create solutions in the midst of impossibility.”

The dean, he said, will be fondly remembered for his “many substantial and lasting contributions to his field, to Virginia Tech, and to the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.”

Others who spoke included senior vice president and provost Mark McNamee, finance professor and department head Art Keown, and Pamplin’s Outstanding Graduating Senior William Jones of Blacksburg, Va.

Jones, who majored in finance, economics, and accounting and information systems and minored in history, said Sorensen’s contributions to the college go far beyond enrollment increases and improved national rankings. The career prospects of Pamplin’s seniors, he said, have been enhanced by the development of career services and advising for students.

The portrait, a 32-by-44-inch oil on linen by local portrait artist and Virginia Tech alumna Leslie Roberts Gregg, was commissioned by the Pamplin College and is displayed in the board room in Pamplin Hall. Sorensen, who will have served 31 years as Pamplin dean when he retires at the end of June, was presented with a 17-by-23-inch reproduction print.

The event included a short video, “Richard E. Sorensen: Decades of Leadership,” produced by Gabrielle Minnich and Jerry Scheeler, of Virginia Tech's University Relations. 

Read more about Sorensen’s achievements, and send your personal greetings to him on his retirement in an online guest book.