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Former Board of Trustees Chairman J. Lloyd Huck Passes Away at 90

by on December 07, 2012 6:36 PM

J. Lloyd Huck, retired chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees and board chairman of pharmaceutical firm Merck & Company and philanthropist, died in State College this week at the age of 90, Penn State confirmed. 

Huck, along with his wife and fellow Class of 1943 alumnus, Dorothy Foehr Huck, he laid the foundation for endowments in fields ranging from molecular biology to nutrition, which ultimately led to the creation of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

"Few institutions are fortunate enough to have such visionary advocates as Lloyd and Dottie Huck," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "Through Lloyd’s decades of service to the university, he guided Penn State on an ambitious path, and through the Hucks’ philanthropy, they have enabled our students and faculty to fulfill that ambition. Lloyd’s belief in the potential of the life sciences to transform our world and in the potential of Penn State to be a leader in the field will continue to inspire our students and faculty for many years to come."

Huck was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and served in World War II, putting off his graduation from Penn State. He received his degree in 1946 and was the only chemistry major in his class.

He started his career as a research chemist with Hoffmann-La Roche, and climbed the ladder at Merck from a marketing manager post in Omaha, Neb., to become the company’s president and chairman of the board, according to Penn State Live. The Hucks kept close ties with their alma mater through many volunteer roles. Lloyd served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1990 and as president of the Penn State Alumni Association from 1975 to 1977.

Huck established one of the Penn State's first private fundraising efforts in the 1980s in an effort to secure support for the Wartik Building, a facility dedicated to the life sciences. He was a member of the steering committee for the Grand Destiny campaign and a fundraising chair for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, according to Penn State. 

Gifts and estate plans from the Hucks have benefited programs and projects across the university, including the Eberly College of Science, the College of Health and Human Development, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Smeal College of Business and University Libraries. The Hucks have been leading supporters of the Life Sciences Building, the Business Building and the Henderson Building projects at University Park and the Biotech Institute and Cancer Institute at Penn State Hershey.

According to Penn State, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences were named in their honor in 2002, the same year that they were recognized as the university’s Philanthropists of the Year. The Huck Life Sciences Building, named in 2012, celebrates their continuing commitment to the University. Lloyd received the Distinguished Alumnus award, the highest honor offered by Penn State to its graduates, in 1993.

"Lloyd never lost his passion for learning or his passion for Penn State," said Rodney Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations. "When the Hucks retired to State College, his tremendous curiosity led him to take several science courses at the university to learn more about the interdisciplinary nature of research, particularly in biomedicine.

"He was a man of great intellect and was universally respected by all who came to know him. Yet he was modest about the enormous impact he had on Penn State’s advancement," Kirsch said. 

Lloyd is survived by his wife, Dottie, son Lloyd E. Huck, daughter Jeanne Leslie-Hughes, daughter Virginia Stalcup and her husband, Steven Stalcup, four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

According to a press release, visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 22 at the Koch Funeral Home in State College. Memorial contributions can be made to the Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, 116 Old Main, University Park, PA, 16802.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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