Mark Sorensen

Mark SorensenCurrent Location: Decatur, IL
Hometown: Chicago, IL

UIS Degree: M.A. 1978 (History)
Other Degrees: B.S. 1969, Eastern Illinois University; M.S. 1998, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Current Position
Board member of the Gov. Richard J. Oglesby Mansion historic site and secretary of the Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees. Retired from the Illinois State Archives as Assistant Director.

Career Highlights
“During records management work with the Illinois State Archives, I discovered the earliest records of the City of Chicago, starting with the vote to incorporate the Village of Chicago in 1833, and the records of the Chicago Board of Education immediately following the great fire of 1871. Created exhibit illustrating the history of the Illinois State Capitol which has been on display outside the governor’s office for the past 29 years. I am a charter member of the American Academy of Certified Archivists, recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, past president of the Illinois State Historical Society, and recently received the Illinois State Historical Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Memories of SSU/UIS
“Other than the icy winds and lack of permanent buildings during the first few years of UIS in the 1970s, my faculty advisor and first graduate instructor Dr. Christopher N. Breiseth gave me confidence in my abilities and taught me how to write in a clear and concise manner. Dr. Cullom Davis introduced me to the value of local and state history and got me involved with the Illinois Humanities Council.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?
“My master’s degree in history gave me more status in my teaching career and qualified me for other jobs, including work at the Illinois State Archives. After my master’s work I also took graduate classes in world cultures and public administration which broadened my abilities and outlook.”

Interesting Fact
“In the early days of TITLE IX in women’s sports I started and coached the first five girls’ volleyball teams at MacArthur High School and the first women’s volleyball teams at Richland Community College. I still play competitive tennis at age 68.”

Posted on July 22, 2015