Ag died Nov. 6, 2015, in Hanover, N.H., of complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Norway, Agnar attended Phillips Exeter Academy before coming to Princeton, where he majored in physics, played soccer, and was a member of Cottage Club. He earned a Ph.D. at Harvard and then spent 27 years at Dartmouth as professor of physics, dean of undergraduate studies, and provost.
He became president of Case Western Reserve University in 1987, and by the end of his final year there, the university’s overall enrollment had climbed by 21 percent, the number of full-time faculty had increased by 30 percent, and the endowment had more than tripled. In his inauguration address at Case Western, Agnar said, “To me, the university will always be a special place, an ideal place, a shining city on a hill, devoted to the life of the mind, the search for truth, guided by reason, protective of free speech, tolerant of differences, a place where ideas are the coin of the realm, a community of research, scholarship, teaching, learning and service.”
Agnar and his wife, Anah, loved to ski and returned to New Hampshire in retirement. She survives him, as do children Anders ’78, Anthony ’80, and Alyson.