The Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia Fund
The Sorensen Institute was founded as the Virginia Institute of Political Leadership in 1993 by Charlottesville businessmen Leigh Middleditch and Michael Bills. The two shared a vision for an educational and training organization that would identify Virginia's emerging political leaders and bring them together in a spirit of ethics and bipartisanship. The institute is part of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at U.Va. More than 1,000 Virginians have graduated from the institute's programs. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens and Libertarians have all taken advantage of the superior education and advanced training offered by the institute. In 1997 the institute was named for generous benefactor Thomas C. Sorensen shortly before he passed away. Mr. Sorensen was a retired investment executive and a former deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency. With a passionate belief in the mission of this organization, it was Mr. Sorensen's wish that future generations of Virginians would always have the ability to take advantage of this unique opportunity. At the heart of his inspiring legacy is an enthusiastic commitment to principled leadership and public service.