In Memoriam: Andrew P. Sage, School of Engineering's Founding Dean
November 3, 2014
Andrew P. Sage, Jr., First American Bank Professor of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University and the first Dean of the School of Information Technology and Engineering, died on Oct. 31, 2014 at his home. He was 81. Dr. Sage is survived by his wife LaVerne, his daughters Theresa and Karen, his son Philip, their spouses, and two grandchildren.
"Few people have had such extraordinary impact as Andy has had. He was a pioneer and leader in systems engineering, the founder of our school, a prolific author, and a dedicated educator," said Department Chair of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, Ariela Sofer. "He successfully crammed several lifetimes of achievements in the course of his career, and he did it with collegiality, generosity, and grace. His broad contributions continue to live within us and will guide generations of systems engineers in years to come."
Dr. Sage received his BSEE degree from the Citadel, the SMEE degree from MIT and the Ph.D. from Purdue University. He received honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo in 1987 and from Dalhousie University in 1997. As founding Dean of the School of Information Technology at George Mason University he launched a vision of an engineering school that would be multidisciplinary, and established the first PhD degree in Information Technology in the nation. In May 1996, he was elected Founding Dean Emeritus of the Volgenau School of Engineering and also was appointed a University Professor. Prior to his service at Mason, Dr. Sage had been a faculty member at several universities including holding a named professorship and being the first chair of the Systems Engineering Department at the University of Virginia
He was an elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Council on Systems Engineering. He wrote or edited over 20 books and was editor of the John Wiley textbook series on Systems Engineering and Management. He played the instrumental role in establishing the INCOSE Journal of Systems Engineering in 1997 and served as the journal's editor-in-chief until 2013. He was also co-editor of Information, Knowledge, and Systems Management. He edited the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics from January 1972 through December 1998, and also served a two-year-period as President of the IEEE SMC Society.
In 1994, Dr. Sage received the Donald G. Fink Prize from the IEEE, and a Superior Public Service Award for his service on the CNA Corporation Board of Trustees from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. In 2000, he received the Simon Ramo Medal from the IEEE in recognition of his contributions to systems engineering and an IEEE Third Millennium Medal. In 2002, he received an Eta Kappa Nu Eminent Membership Award and the INCOSE Pioneer Award. In 2007, he was elected as a Charter Member of the Omega Alpha systems engineering honor society. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for contributions to the theory and practice of systems engineering and systems management.
"We owe Dean Emeritus Andy Sage, an enormous amount of respect and gratitude for the lasting contributions that he made to our engineering school at Mason. Through his professional accomplishments, culminating in his election to the National Academy of Engineering, Andy really raised the stature and reputation of the school. He will be greatly missed," said Dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering, Ken Ball.
Family will receive friends Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at Demaine Funeral Home Fairfax, 10565 Main St. Fairfax, Virginia 22030. The funeral mass will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, at St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church, at the intersection of Rte. 123 and Fairfax Station Rd., Fairfax Station, Virginia 22039. The committal service will follow at the St. Mary of Sorrows Cemetery.