|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2015)|
|14th President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University|
|Preceded by||James D. McComas|
|Succeeded by||Charles W. Steger|
October 13, 1931|
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 29, 2015 (aged 83)|
|Alma mater||Lehigh University
Ohio State University
Paul Ernest Torgersen (October 13, 1931 – March 29, 2015) was the 14th President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
The Staten Island, New York-born Torgersen came to Virginia Tech as a professor and the head of the Department of Industrial Engineering. In 1970, he was appointed dean of the College of Engineering, a post he held for over 20 years. He led the College of Engineering to its place of national distinction – being ranked 17th in the nation among public and private institutions – and then served as president of the Corporate Research Center. He was interim vice president for development and university relations. He was named president of Tech in late 1993 and served until January 2000. He taught at least one three-hour course each semester for the past 43 years.
Torgersen was a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2001 he received the Institute’s highest recognition – the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Award and earlier, in 1991, had received ASEE’s Lamme Medal. He received Tech’s first Affirmative Action Award, its 1992 Sporn Award for Teaching Excellence and was named Virginia’s Engineering Educator of the Year in 1992. He served from 1979-81 as chairman of the engineering Deans’ Council (the national organization of engineering deans).
With graduate degrees from Ohio State University, he also received the Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal from that same institution in 1990. With an undergraduate degree from Lehigh University he received an honorary Doctor of Engineering from Lehigh in 1997.
On October 6, 2000, with the completion of the 28-million-dollar Communications and Information Technology facility, a dedication was held and the building was named Paul E. Torgersen Hall.
Torgersen gave his final lecture on May 7, 2014 to his Theory of Organization class. He died on March 30, 2015. His wife, Dorothea, to whom he was married for sixty years, died in October 2014.
- Chittum, Matt (March 30, 2015). "Former Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen dies". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- National Academy of Engineering member directories
- Torgersen among governor's appointments to Commission on Higher Education