As outbreaks hit U.S. campuses, a college president in Georgia died of Covid-19.
The president of North Georgia Technical College, a public two-year college in Clarkesville, Ga., with about 2,700 students, has died “after losing his battle with Covid-19,” the school announced on Sunday.
Mark Ivester, who was 57 (not 58, as an earlier version of this briefing stated) and had served as the college’s president since 2016, had been hospitalized since Aug. 16, according to The Northeast Georgian, a local newspaper. The paper also reported that Amy Hulsey, the college’s vice president of community relations, said last week during a prayer vigil for Dr. Ivester that he was on continuous dialysis at North Georgia Medical Center in Braselton.
“With incredibly heavy hearts, we are so sad to say that Dr. Mark Ivester passed away last night around midnight after losing his battle to Covid-19,” the college said in a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday. “Once again, please continue to pray for Eleanor” — his wife — “and his entire family. Thank you for all the love and support you have shown them and one another during this time. We are all devastated and will miss him terribly.”
A New York Times survey found that in just the past week, American colleges and universities have recorded more than 36,000 virus cases, not all of them new, bringing the total of campus infections to 88,000 since the pandemic began. Only about 60 of the campus cases have resulted in death, mostly in the spring and among college employees, not students.
It was not immediately clear where or how Dr. Iverson contracted the virus.
“He was always so cautious and wore a mask as much as possible,” Ms. Hulsey said in an email. “Although he was in ICU for 4 weeks, we are all still in shock over his passing.”
The website of North Georgia Technical College says is it “providing a safe, clean and protective environment for everyone on campus,” including plexiglass shields in areas where students and staff members frequently interact face to face and a requirement that students wear masks in classrooms and common areas.