Obituary: H. Campbell Stuckeman / One of the most generous contributors to Penn State
Cal Stuckeman, the former owner of a precision tool company and executive at Rockwell Manufacturing Co. who became one of the most generous benefactors in Penn State University history, died Thursday at his home in Fox Chapel. He was 98.
Mr. Stuckeman traced his family connections to Penn State back a century, and his life was dotted with ties to his alma mater. Through the school, which his father Herman also attended, the Avonworth native met his wife, earned his architecture degree in 1937 and began a lifetime of contributions in 1953, when he gave his first gift back to the university general fund. He topped it off in 2008 with $20 million to encourage cross-disciplinary learning between the schools of architecture and landscape architecture, housed in a building bearing his family name.
According to Penn State, he and his late wife Eleanor rank among the top five biggest donors to the university. Penn State President Rodney Erickson began his remarks to the school's board of trustees meeting Friday by recognizing Mr. Stuckeman's contributions and saying "his family has been associated with Penn State for more than 100 years, and I'm very pleased that in recent years he remains so engaged with us. He will be greatly missed."
In a statement, Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, said, "Mr. Stuckeman taught hundreds of people how to live, laugh and give generously of their resources to causes that matter most in life. His legacy continues on in the lives of his family, who he loved deeply, and in the accomplishments of past and future generations of Penn State students, who he believed in and for whom he has provided educational support through extraordinary facilities and resources."
While at Penn State, a Sigma Chi fraternity brother named Al Rockwell introduced Mr. Stuckeman to his sister, Eleanor. The couple wed in 1940 and two years later moved to Milwaukee to work for Rockwell-affiliated Delta Manufacturing. After a decade running the power tool company Mr. Stuckeman moved back to Pittsburgh and settled with his family in Churchill.
Using his architecture and engineering expertise, Mr. Stuckeman was key in building, expanding and modernizing Rockwell's facilities through its merger with North American Rockwell in 1973, when it became Rockwell International.
He briefly retired before buying another Wisconsin company from Rockwell, the high-speed drilling and grinding toolmaker Precise Corp., in June 1975. He remained active in leadership at the company, headquartered in Racine, Wis., until about a decade ago.
Throughout, Mr. Stuckeman kept up his connections to Penn State, attending football games in State College, giving $250,000 to rebuild his fraternity's chapter house (it was named after him in 2007) and returning repeatedly to the architecture school.
In 2000, Penn State named him a Distinguished Alumnus, the highest honor it bestows to graduates. In 2003, a year after his wife died, he gave $10 million to upgrade architecture school facilities built in 1911, two years after his own father had graduated from the university.
In a visit to the department in the 1980s, he had noticed the out-of-date facilities had just three computers, which was insufficient for the emerging field of computer-aided design.
"That's what caused me to realize that I had to get involved," Mr. Stuckeman said at the time.
Mr. Stuckeman is survived by two daughters, Joyce Biffar of San Diego and Ellen Easley of Racine, Wis.; a son, Alan of Pine; 10 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 30 at Beulah Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCrady Road, Churchill.
First Published November 17, 2012 12:00 am