Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, October 14, 2013

Math Professor Curtis Huntington dies after battle with cancer

Curtis E. Huntington, professor and associate chair of mathematics, died Oct. 7 after a four-year battle with cancer.


Curtis Huntington

Read a more detailed version of this obituary on the LSA website.

Huntington received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in 1964, and a Master of Arts in business in 1965, both from U-M, and later received a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University. After serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, he worked for the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Boston from 1967 until 1993, retiring as vice president and corporate actuary.

In 1993, Huntington returned to U-M as a professor of mathematics and director of the Actuarial Mathematics Program and the Financial Mathematics Program. He was associate chair for education in the department from 2004 to 2007 and from 2009 until his death.

For many years, he chaired the scholarship committee, and also arranged and proctored the actuarial exams for students.

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, and the program is now recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence, one of only 24 schools in the world have this designation. 

Huntington was an excellent teacher and a thoughtful adviser. He was proud of the active student group Student Actuaries at Michigan and helped it 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 worked 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 U-M 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, and 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 was born in Worcester, Mass., in 1942. His father was an actuary and his mother was also a mathematician. He was a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, and an associated professional member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.

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 and the 2012 Jarvis Farley Service Award from the American Academy of Actuarie. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conference of Consulting Actuaries.

He is survived by his sister, Peg; her husband, Hugh; and three nephews.

A memorial service will be conducted at a later date. Those wishing to share memories can email them to for inclusion in a memorial program. Memorial contributions can be made to the Curtis E. Huntington Honorary Fund endowment (allocation 572235).

Checks may be mailed to the Department of Mathematics, 530 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043. Online giving also is available. ( Choose “Make a Gift Online” then “Give Now”, and put 572235 in the “Write In” box, and the contribution amount in the box below that.