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UTPB Visual Arts Building Renamed in Honor of President Emeritus Sorber

by Travis Woodward, Director of Communication & Special Projects, 432-552-2547 | May 15, 2014

The University of Texas System Board of Regent’s has approved the renaming of the UTPB Visual Arts Studios in posthumous honor of President Emeritus Charles A. Sorber, Ph.D. Com-pleted in December of 1999 during Sorber’s tenure as president, the art studios will be called the Charles A. Sorber Visual Arts Studios.

“Renaming this building in honor of Dr. Sorber is a fitting tribute to his commitment to higher education and to The University,” said UTPB President David Watts, Ph.D. “Dr. Sorber’s name on this building will serve as a lasting legacy for this great man who epitomized excellence as an educator and leader.”

Dr. Sorber served as the fourth president of UT Permian Basin from 1992-2001. He was a profes-sor emeritus in the department of civil, architectural and environment engineering at The Uni-versity of Texas at Austin. Among his previous faculty and administrative posts were dean of the School of Engineering at The University of Pittsburgh; associate dean of UT Austin’s College of Engineering and; vice chancellor for special engineering programs in the UT System. He earned a B.S. and M.S. degree in Sanitary Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University held a engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

“It is enormously gratifying for all of us in the University of Texas family to name the Charles A. Sorber Visual Arts Studios in honor of a remarkable educator who served as president of three University of Texas academic institutions and other leadership positions over a 30-year career,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “As president of UT Permian Basin, Dr. Sorber secured the funds to build the impressive Visual Arts Studios, which house facilities for printmaking, painting, and sculpture, and an elegant gallery for exhibitions by students and professional artists. President Emeritus Chuck Sorber was an engineer who respected and sup-ported the visual arts as an integral part of an undergraduate education, and this facility will keep his legacy alive on this campus for many years to come.”

Sorber began his professional career with the U.S. Army, serving in a number of positions in Eu-rope with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. His service earned him the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters as well as other honors. He returned to The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 where he held a number of positions including interim president of The University of Texas at Arlington from 2003 to 2004. In 2009 he was asked to come out of retirement to serve as interim president of The University of Texas-Pan American.

“Universities are built in generations, not days or decades,” said President Watts. “Dr. Sorber’s accomplishments will have a lasting and far-reaching impact on UTPB and the West Texas community."