Honorary life trustee Milton Rock has died

Milton Rock is the namesake of Boyer College of Music and Dance’s Rock Hall.

Milton Rock, an honorary life trustee and philanthropist, died of natural causes in his Center City home on Saturday, the Inquirer reported.

Rock, who died at 96, was a lifelong Philadelphian who graduated from Temple before serving in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945.

He was a major influence on the performing arts in Philadelphia. Until his death, he served as a benefactor for the boards of directors for institutions like Temple, Temple University Health System, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Rock School for Dance Education and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Rock was a leader at Hay Associates, a human resources consulting firm that was sold in 1985. He also owned 15 newspapers in the Philadelphia suburbs, business publications and the Philadelphia City Paper, which folded four years ago, the Inquirer reported.

Rock held 30 percent of Hay’s stocks when he agreed to sell the company, which had 5,000 clients and 94 offices in 27 countries.

After he earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester, Rock returned to join the TUHS board in 1974. He served as its chairman from 1985 to 1992. He joined the university’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and donated funds to rename Boyer College of Music and Dance’s Rock Hall in 1986.

“[Rock’s] support for Temple and Temple University Hospital, both in terms of philanthropy and as a trustee, prompted us to rename Reber Hall as Rock Hall on Main Campus, and Rock Pavillion at Temple Hospital in his honor,” said President Richard Englert in a statement. “Milton Rock’s legacy will be known for decades as patients receive state-of-the-art health care and as audiences enjoy talented Temple musicians in Rock Hall. His impact lives on.”

Rock has “impacted thousands of students” at Boyer College of Music and Dance, said Robert Stroker, the college’s dean.

“In particular, Rock Hall…provides hundreds of educational and performance opportunities for faculty, students and the community each semester, and we are grateful for Dr. Rock’s vision and generosity,” Stroker added.

A memorial service for Rock will be held at Temple Performing Arts Center on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Rock’s family requested people donate to Temple, the Rock School for Education or the Curtis Institute.

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