Near the completion of my PhD, I was in the office, turning in some paperwork when one of the administrative assistants got my attention to point out the man leaving the office. His name was J. Lloyd Huck, the person who made the Huck Institutes for Life Sciences, and my degree in Bioinformatics and Genomics, possible.
Being me, I sat down my papers, and awkwardly walked/jogged up to just a few steps behind him then slowed because I didn't have any clue what to say. He was a fast walker, and we'd be to the main street before I knew it, so I took a breath, two large steps and loudly said, "excuse me". I apologized for interrupting him, and clumsily explained who I was, and thanked him for supporting the sciences. I remember it as being pretty ungraceful in my mind, so I can only imagine what he thought of the bumbling grad student in front of him. Still, he was gracious, and polite, and then on his way.
Well, Lloyd Huck, at 90 years old, died this week in State College.
Memorial by the Huck Institute: Here.
Obituary from Penn State: Here.
I hope that his family and friends have all of the love and support they need. I have one small memory of him in person, but will have a lifetime knowing that his generosity touched my life, and gave me the opportunity to pursue my life's passion in scientific research.