COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – On July 1, Michael Amiridis returned to the University of South Carolina to serve as its 30th president.

President Amiridis called Carolina home for two decades as a professor, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, and the university’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

As provost from 2009 to 2015, Amiridis worked alongside former university president Pastides.

In 2015, Amiridis was appointed chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago where he “focused on enhancing the student experience, engaging with diverse communities, raising UIC’s national and international reputation, and creating a culture of entrepreneurship,” according to the University of South Carolina.

Amiridis is a native of Greece and a U.S. citizen.

He earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 1985 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991.

“I have been in dozens of campuses across the country, and I haven’t seen one more beautiful than the University of South Carolina. But it goes beyond that. It’s the pride… it’s the spirit of the faculty, of the students, of the staff… it’s the support and the engagement that they feel,” Amiridis said.

President Amiridis isn’t the only Gamecock returning to campus. His wife, Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis received a master’s degree in art history and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of South Carolina.

“Michael and I used to meet right outside the Faculty House for lunch — he was working, I was a student,” Aggelopoulou-Amiridis said. “I’m really looking forward to coming back to this very familiar campus that has been the stage of so many important events in my life.”

Amiridis and his wife have two children who graduated from the University of South Carolina.