North Carolina A&T State University‘s ninth chancellor, James C. Renick, has unfortunately passed away at the age of 72.

Renick’s daughter, Karinda Renick, confirmed the sad news in a Facebook post. She previously shared that Renick was battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS. Unfortunately, the leader was only diagnosed with the disease less than a year ago.

“Today I had to say goodbye to a great man, my dad,” said Renick. “I am completely heartbroken.”

James C. Renick, courtesy of News Break

The Illinois native came from humble beginnings, but his ambition earned him a lifetime filled with leadership roles. According to Greensboro News & Record, Renick In 1989, he became associate provost and program director at George Mason University in northern Virginia. Two years later, he was promoted to vice provost for academic initiatives and external affairs. By 1993, Renick became chancellor of University of Michigan-Dearborn near Detroit.

Renick served as chancellor of North Carolina A&T from 1999-2006. The university honored Renick with a thoughtful tweet reflective of his time at the school.

“Under the leadership of Dr. James C. Renick, N.C. A&T saw significant enrollment, facility and infrastructure growth. He was known to spend significant time engaging with students. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and the educational communities he impacted.

Renick was known for his big goals and big spirit. When he was appointed to North Carolina A&T in 2000, he had memorable words for the student body.

“Our key to invigorating innovation is keeping our focus on our students,” proclaimed Renick. “Ultimately we want to nourish the spirit that marks North Carolina A&T as the university that enriches the lives of its students and adds value to the quality of life in North Carolina and the nation.”

James C. Renick, courtesy of Greensboro News & Record

“Chancellor Renick will be remembered as an impactful leader of the university and an educational professional with a heart for students,” said current Chancellor Harold Martin in a comforting message to N.C. A&T students and employees. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Renick family as they grieve a husband and father.”