Curtis E. Huntington, 1942-2013. Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Actuarial/Financial Mathematics Program passes away from cancer. Memorial planned for April 11, 2014 in Ann Arbor.
Professor Curtis E. Huntington passed away on October 7, 2013, after a courageous four year battle with cancer. Huntington received a BA in mathematics in 1964, and an MA in business in 1965, both from UM, and later received a JD from Suffolk University. After completing service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Huntington joined the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Boston), where he served from 1967 until his early retirement in 1993. At his retirement, he was Vice President and Corporate Actuary. Prior to that, he had served as the chief auditor and had various positions in individual actuarial operations.
In 1993, Huntington returned to UM as a Professor of Mathematics and director of the Actuarial Mathematics Program and the Financial Mathematics Program. He was the associate chair for education in the Department from 2004 to 2007 and from 2009 until his passing. For many years, he chaired the scholarship committee, where he worked diligently to assure that students who needed tuition support received help. Huntington also arranged and proctored the actuarial exams for students, and helped to make sure that those who wanted to take the exam had funding. Under his leadership, the actuarial/financial mathematics program was revitalized. He was instrumental in the significant increase of graduates in actuarial/financial mathematics over the past two decades. He helped to expand the program to include a financial component, increased the number and quality of the faculty members teaching in the area, and increased the activities for the students. The program is now recognized by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE), one of only 24 schools in the world have this designation.
In addition to his exemplary leadership within the department, Huntington was generous in his dedication to his students at UM. He was an excellent teacher and a thoughtful advisor. He was proud of the active student group Student Actuaries at Michigan (SAM) and helped them to organize numerous trips to visit the home offices of prospective employers, arrange recruiting visits to campus for internships and hiring, and related professional endeavors. Huntington was known to attend the social activities of SAM, and would excitedly share the successes of the group’s intramural teams in various sports including broomball and water polo. Students genuinely valued the unique perspective and wise counsel that he offered. A recent graduate offered this testimony: “No mathematical model could ever quantify Professor Huntington’s enthusiasm, passion, or his positive impact on his students.”
Huntington worked tirelessly on the development and fundraising activities of the Department, and served as the Development Committee chair for several years. He formed the Actuarial Alumni Leadership Council, a group of UM alumni in the profession who helped to guide and support the program. He personally endowed a fund in his mother’s name that recognizes outstanding first and second year students in mathematics. He was the driving force in a successful campaign to endow a professorship in honor of Professor Cecil Nesbitt, who ran the Actuarial program in the Department for decades. Huntington personally worked to find an appropriate member of the profession to occupy the Nesbitt Professorship. When students graduated from the actuarial/financial mathematics program, they were instilled with Huntington’s philanthropic spirit, and he encouraged them to support UM as soon as they had the means. Several years ago, Huntington’s colleagues at UM and from the actuarial community established the Curtis E. Huntington Honorary Fund. The fund within the Department of Mathematics will continue to provide support to the students and programs within actuarial/financial mathematics.
Born in Worcester, MA in 1942, Huntington’s father was an actuary and his mother was also a mathematician. During his distinguished career, he was named a fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA 1968), a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA 1972), a fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA 2001), and an associated professional member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (APM 1990). His service to the actuarial community was monumental, and he helped to guide and shape the profession for many years. He worked around the world to educate and inspire members of the actuarial community, sharing his knowledge and insight without hesitation. Huntington was highly recognized for his distinguished career and tremendous service to the profession. The Society of Actuaries honored him in 2001 with the John E. O’Connor, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, and again in 2009 with the Presidential Award. He was the 2010 recipient of the Harry T. Eidson Founders Award from the American Society of Pension Professional and Actuaries, for his significant contributions. Huntington also received the 2012 Jarvis Farley Service Award from the American Academy of Actuaries for his distinguished service to the actuarial profession through his numerous volunteer efforts during his career. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conference of Consulting Actuaries for his contributions to the Conference and the actuarial consulting profession.
Even during his illness, Huntington found the time to lead and promote the actuarial profession around the world. His national and international travel schedule was packed with lectures, board meetings, and conferences. He claimed to have visited every country in the world except Burkina Faso! During his extensive travels, Huntington would arrange for visits to his other homes in Boston, where he still has many friends and colleagues, and in New Zealand, where his sister lives. He is survived by his sister Peg, her husband Hugh, and three nephews. He forged many personal friendships around the world, and would make time for anyone who needed him. His legacy at UM is strong, and his presence will be sorely missed.
A memorial service will be held on April 11, 2014, 2pm, at the Michigan Union Ballroom in Ann Arbor (please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend). If you would like to share your memories, please email email@example.com, and we will include them in a memorial program. Memorial contributions can be made to the Curtis E. Huntington Honorary Fund endowment (allocation 572235). This fund constitutes a gift for endowment and distributions from this fund will be made in accordance with the University of Michigan's existing endowment distribution policy. Checks may be mailed to the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043. Online giving is available. Put 572235 in the “Write In” box, and the amount in the box below that.