Thomas J. Sergiovanni

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The Office of University Communications
(210) 999-8406
Oct. 17, 2012

Thomas J. Sergiovanni

Thomas J. SergiovanniIt is with great sadness that we announce the death of Thomas J. Sergiovanni, who retired in 2009 after 25 years as the Lillian Radford Professor of Education and Administration at Trinity University. Author of more than 30 textbooks and numerous book chapters and journal articles, Professor Sergiovanni was an international scholar in educational leadership, particularly in the area of the changing role of the principal.

A senior fellow of the Center for Educational Leadership and founding director of the Trinity Principals' Center, Dr. Sergiovanni often offered keen insights in the area of school leadership and influenced countless school leaders worldwide. He died January 4 in Dallas at 75.

One of Professor Sergiovanni's legacies for San Antonio is the International School of the Americas, which was based on his vision for a small school that represents a supportive community where students thrive in an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration while taking courses and completing internships to become informed global citizens.

Professor Sergiovanni was known for a deep and abiding dedication to Trinity's programs to prepare exceptional school leaders, including service as director of the School Leadership Program, the Superintendents' Forum, Tomorrow's Leaders, and the Center for Educational Leadership. His work had an international impact - he lectured many times in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and several of his book chapters were translated into Korean and Italian.

In addition, he was named a "most exceptional scholar" in educational administration in a study published by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration in 2006, and he received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the 1975-2000 Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision and the Distinguished Research Award in Instructional Supervision from the American Educational Research Association in 1993. He was inaugurated into the laureate chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, in 1994.

He was known as an extraordinary teacher who developed courses that focused on real problems and learning challenges based on student performance. He had been a visiting professor at the Harvard Principals' Center and at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., Professor Sergiovanni earned a doctorate in education from the University of Rochester. He also obtained a master's from Teachers College at Columbia University and a bachelor's degree from State University of New York at Geneseo.  

Before arriving at Trinity in 1984, he chaired the department of administration in the College of Education and was a professor of educational administration and supervision at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for nearly two decades.

He came to Trinity University as the first Lillian Radford Distinguished Professor of Education.  He retired from Trinity in 2009 and was given the title professor emeritus.

Trinity has established the Tom Sergiovanni Memorial Scholarship to benefit a student in the University's School Leadership Program. Donations may be made here. Donors should add in the comment box that the gift is for the Tom Sergiovanni Memorial Scholarship. Additionally, checks should be made out to Trinity University with Tom Sergiovanni Memorial Scholarship in the memo line.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth Ann, three children, and four grandchildren. Remembrances may be posted here.