James LeVoy Sorenson to be Inducted in SUU’s Hall of Honor, Founders’ Day, March 25

Published: March 16, 2006 | Read Time: 3 minutes

James LeVoy Sorenson’s medical and philanthropic career spans six decades, during which he has distinguished himself as an entrepreneur of healing. For the body, he has created numerous life-saving and life-improving medical devices. For the soul, he has directed his humanitarian efforts toward fostering understanding between the world’s peoples.

A great friend to Southern Utah University, he has given generously, too, to the institution. For his invaluable contributions, from his head, heart and resources, SUU is delighted to induct Mr. Sorenson into its Hall of Honor on Saturday, March 25, during the Founders’ Day Banquet.

Born in humble circumstances in Rexburg, Idaho, in 1921, Sorenson’s family moved to the area of Sacramento, California, where he was raised. In 1940, he accepted a basketball scholarship to Sierra College. He was later accepted into the U.S. Navy’s prestigious V7 medical school program, but chose instead to serve a two-year voluntary mission in New England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Following his church mission and two years of military service, Jim began his professional career in 1946 as a pharmaceutical salesman with The Upjohn Company. After 10 years with Upjohn, he resigned to co-found Deseret Pharmaceutical – the first of a string of Utah-based companies he would start. Later, in 1972, he founded Sorenson Research Company to manufacture and market a new line of innovative medical devices. Within a few short years, Sorenson Research became known worldwide as one of the leading providers of innovative products for surgical and critical care medicine. Medical inventions introduced by these companies dramatically improved patient care and are still used millions of times each day around the world. Innovations included the world’s first disposable surgical filter masks and disposable venous catheters – catheters that for the first time eliminated metal needles that were commonly resharpened and reused from patient to patient. Many other medical devices invented by Sorenson have been developed to alleviate human suffering and improve health care.

One of the most fascinating initiatives of Jim Sorenson’s is a project that he started a few years ago to use DNA to identify individuals. For purposes of family history research, criminal investigations and more, this project has breakthrough potential to bless mankind.

Mr. Sorenson’s philanthropy centers on increasing peace and understanding between peoples. A member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, he was appointed to the National Executive Board of that body. He initiated a change in the name of that organization to the National Council on Community and Justice to be more inclusive. For years, Mr. Sorenson has worked within the NCCJ to encourage outreach to the world’s Muslim faith. He has also served as a Director on the Boards of First Security Corporation and the University of Utah Hospital.

Jim Sorenson and his wife, Beverley, are parents of eight children and grandparents of nearly fifty. Southern Utah University honored him in 1998 with an honorary Doctorate degree for his remarkable contributions to society and the state of Utah. SUU also named the James L. Sorenson Physical Education building for him for his generous help and leadership in making this state-of-the-art facility become a reality.

Tickets are available to the Founders’ Day Banquet, at which James Sorenson, along with his wife, Beverley Taylor Sorenson, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt, will be inducted into the University’s Hall of Honor. The event will be filled with a wonderful menu, entertainment and special recognitions and announcements. For reservations, call Colleen at 586-7775. And, for complete details on all of the events occurring for Founders’ Day, see www.suu.edu/news.

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