Former Winthrop University President Tony DiGiorgio has passed away according to an email from the school. DiGiorgio had been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer in Tucson, AZ, since late March; the immediate cause of death was a pulmonary embolism (blocking of a pulmonary artery), according to his family members.
DiGiorgio was the University’s second longest serving President and led the school for 24 years. Current Interim president George W. Hynd said in a statement that “His (DiGiorgio) leadership helped transform Winthrop into the national caliber University that it is today.”
During his years at Winthrop, DiGiorgio also served two terms on the board of directors of the National Collegiate Athletics Association, as a member of the board of the Charlotte division of the Federal Reserve Bank, as the South Carolina representative to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ State Leadership Council.
Locally, he was member of the board of the Charlotte Regional Partnership for Economic Development, the boards of York County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation, and numerous professional organizations until he left the presidency in 2013. He retired from Winthrop in Spring 2017 and enjoyed both traveling and creating digital art from photographs taken worldwide.
He is survived by his wife, Gale N. DiGiorgio, of the home, daughter Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson, of San Diego, CA., and grandchildren Gabriella Grates, Beckett Johnson and Jack Johnson, all of San Diego. He was preceded in death by elder daughter, Dina, in 2007. He was 79 years old.