IRVINE — Prominent UC Irvine philosophy professor Guy J. Sircello has died of complications from the AIDS virus, university officials announced Tuesday. He was 55.
Sircello, a specialist in aesthetics who came to UCI in 1966, was named the university's first dean of undergraduate studies in 1978 and worked tirelessly to improve undergraduate education, his colleagues said.
He was credited with developing the university's honors program, as well as the requirement that all students be exposed to courses in the humanities, mathematics and sciences.
"Much of what currently exists in terms of curriculum on this campus originated in Guy's creative mind," said historian Spencer C. Olin, dean of UCI's School of Humanities. "For all of us who were fortunate enough to know him, he is remembered as an immensely wise and compassionate person whose impact on UCI and on us will be profound and lasting."
Sircello was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1958. He won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to attend Columbia University in New York City, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1960-61. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Columbia in 1965.
His 1972 book, "Mind and Art," earned him the prestigious Machette Prize, the American Philosophical Assn.'s award for best book by an emerging young philosopher.
Sircello had known for some time that he tested positive for the AIDS virus but became ill only earlier this summer, university officials said. He died at 7:40 a.m. Monday at Kaiser Permanente Hospital-Orange County in Anaheim.
He is survived by daughters Deborah Mendoza of Westminster, Pier Sircello of Irvine and Anne Marie Sircello-Spargur of Los Angeles; and sons Constantine of Los Angeles, Christopher of Springdale, Utah, and Alexander of Newport Beach.
Sircello is also survived by grandson Michael Mendoza of Westminster; a sister, Teresa Andrews of Gig Harbor, Wash.; his ex-wife, Sharon Toji of Gardena; and his companion, Eric Segur, with whom he shared a home in Laguna Beach.
In lieu of flowers, family members asked that contributions be made to the Guy J. Sircello Memorial Fund, in care of the UC Irvine philosophy department, Irvine, Calif. 92717.