Deaths: Albert Schorsch III

Albert J. Schorsch IIIAlbert Schorsch III was a Renaissance man, says Michael Pagano, dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

“Al could bring manifold lens to the most simple and mundane of life’s experiences, as well as to the most complex. Mozart and Drucker, Kant and St. Augustine,” Pagano said. “Al was fluent in the affairs of the world, ancient and modern.”

Schorsch, former associate dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, died Oct. 28 in Chicago after a lengthy illness. He was 66.

Schorsch held a variety of positions during his career, from constructional laborer and mental health counselor to singer/songwriter and choir director.

He received psychology degrees from Loyola University, and later took professional education courses at MIT’s Center for Real Estate, Harvard’s Institutes for Higher Education, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Business Innovation Services of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He received his doctorate in public policy analysis at UIC in 1992, and he returned to campus in 1994 to work at the UICCenter Urban Economic Development on the UIC Neighborhoods and NonProfits Network project, which connected 50 organizations in Pilsen and the Near West Side to the university’s computer resources and to a network of training and data.

Schorsch joined the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs Dean’s office in 1996. He was acting dean from 1999 to 2000, then associate dean until his retirement in June 2015. From 2004 to 2007, he also was interim director of the Great Cities Urban Data Visualization Lab, which he helped found in 1997.

In a letter to colleagues at the time of his retirement, Schorsch wrote, “My career has been a bit like the character Bert in the Disney film ‘Mary Poppins.’ I appear one day as a one-man band, and the next as a chimney sweep.  My job has been to bring out the magic in others.”

After retiring, Schorsch began service in campus ministry as director of the Integritas Institute for Ethics of the St. John Paul II Catholic Newman Center and its School of Catholic Thought on the UIC campus.

“Even after officially leaving the university, Al continued to be a guide for all of us and that is something that will never end,” Pagano said. “Al was like no other. We will deeply miss him.”

Survivors include his wife, Betsy; his children, Rebecca (Steve Kruse), Tom (Sarah), Michael (Violet), Albert J. IV and Elizabeth (Adam) Galvez; and five grandchildren.

Services have been held.

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