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Arnold School of Public Health

The Arnold School remembers Ann Cassady, treasured long-time HPEB Department Business Manager

May 22, 2017

Across the Arnold School, friends and co-workers of Ann Cassady are mourning her unexpected passing due to complications from heart surgery. Cassady was not only beloved by all who knew her, she was also a highly respected and valued colleague—a gifted business manager who was known for her professionalism and commitment to her work.

Originally from North Carolina, Cassady worked at Policy Management Systems, Inc. as a Senior Executive Assistant prior to joining UofSC. She then served as an Administrative Coordinator in the Dean’s Office of what is now known as the College of Arts and Sciences.

A few years into her tenure at UofSC, Cassady moved over to the Arnold School of Public Health to become the business manager for the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB). “Ann came to HPEB when the department was in transition. She was a foundational part of the department’s growth and development and remained at the core of the department’s successes,” says HPEB Graduate Director and Associate Chair Ken Watkins, who was the interim chair for the department when Cassady was hired in 2004. “Her office, wherever the physical location, was always the center of the department, and her door was always open. What I’ll miss most is talking with her. She had a wry sense of humor and the best laugh.”

“Ann was a dear friend and kind colleague. She was incredible at her job—professional and dependable—and valued by all of her colleagues in HPEB, the Arnold School, and across the university,” adds current HPEB Chair Daniela Friedman. “She was the go-to person in the department for students, faculty, and staff and she was dedicated to everyone’s wellbeing. Everybody knew Ann, and everybody loved Ann. We are going to miss her dearly.”

“Ann was a delightful colleague and friend to all who were lucky enough to know her. She made it her purpose to help students, staff and faculty alike, and she always did so with a clear solution and a bright smile,” says Lee Pearson, an HPEB faculty member and Arnold School Associate Dean for Operations and Accreditation. “To know Ann was to know how devoted she was to her family…and to her beloved Gamecocks! She will be truly missed, and her absence will be a firm reminder of her legacy of dedication and service to HPEB and to the Arnold School.”

Those who knew her will remember Cassady, in the words of Watkins, as “a fierce Gamecock fan, loving and protective wife and mother, hard worker, and a good friend.”

Cassady also enjoyed cooking, crocheting, and traveling and cruising with family and friends. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Bobby Cassady, her son, Brandon Cassady, and his husband, Matthew Downs, and grandpups, Harley and Chaz. 

Her family will hold a visitation and celebration of her life on Tuesday, May 23 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Irmo location of Dunbar Funeral Home (7600 Woodrow Street; 29063). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, Ann Cassady Scholarship Fund, C/O Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior (HPEB), 915 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Donations can also be made online at


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