2013 Deceased Member — Curtis E. Huntington

In Memory of Curtis E. Huntington

Curtis E. Huntington, FSA, MAAA, FCA, MSPA, passed away on October 7, 2013.

Born in Boston in 1942, Huntington’s father was an actuary and his mother was also a mathematician. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1964, and a master’s degree in business in 1965, both from the University of Michigan (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 Michigan 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 until his passing. For many years, he chaired the scholarship committee and also arranged and proctored the actuarial exams for students.

Huntington formed the Actuarial Alumni Leadership Council, a group of UM alumni in the profession who helped 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 profession 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.

Huntington was an active member of the Society of Actuaries. He was a vice president and member of the SOA Board. He was chair of the SOA’s Committee on Knowledge Extension Research; chair of the Education and Research Section Council; vice chair of the Forecasting and Futurism Section Council; Friend of the Council of the Education and Research Section; and a member of the International Section Council. He chaired the Research Policy Committee, the Actuarial Education & Research Fund; and the Ph.D. Grants Task Force. Huntington held a number of positions on the Education Steering and Coordinating Committee; chaired a number of exam committees; and was a member of the Admissions Committee, the Committee on International Issues, the Committee on Guides to Professional Conduct, the Committee on Strategic Planning, and the Joint CAS, CIA and SOA Committee on Academic Relations. In addition, he authored a number of articles for The Actuary, Expanding Horizons newsletter, Transactions and The Record of the Society of Actuaries.

He received recognition for his outstanding service to the SOA and the profession. Huntington was presented with the SOA Distinguished Service Award by SOA President Rob Brown in 2001. In addition, he received a Presidential Award from SOA President Cecil Bykerk in 2009.

Huntington was passionate about professionalism, making numerous presentations, serving as a facilitator for ethics cases at the SOA Fellowship Admissions Course, and serving on the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline, including a term as chair.

Huntington was also active on the international front, making extensive contributions to the International Actuarial Association including chairing its Audit and Finance Committee for 10 years.

Huntington’s passion for research was very well known. He served The Actuarial Foundation (TAF) as research chair for many years providing review to researchers as they completed their funded research projects. He was chair of TAF’s Research Committee from 2003-2012 and served as a trustee on the Foundation Board from 1997-2008, then served as emeritus trustee from 2009-2012.

Huntington was also instrumental in the merger of The Actuarial Education and Research Fund, of which he served as their executive director, into The Actuarial Foundation in 2003. He was a driving force behind The Individual Grants Competition which is still active today as a joint effort among several actuarial organizations.

“I found Curtis to be a most interesting and eclectic individual,” said Eileen Streu, executive director of The Actuarial Foundation. “He would share stories of the many places he visited and his traveling adventures along the way. How many of us would spend Thanksgiving in Turkey just for the play on words?”

“Curtis’s dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm were inspiring (while his ability to get to the same place for far less money was infuriating),” said Stuart Klugman, FSA, CERA, SOA staff fellow. “Even when illness had him walking two steps behind, his thoughts continued to be two steps ahead. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Curtis and will miss him.”

Huntington was recognized for his distinguished career and generous service to the actuarial profession. 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. He also received the 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.