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Passed away peacefully the morning of Saturday, January 27th, 2018, at his home in The Barclay on Rittenhouse Square. He was a month away from his 97th birthday. Known as "Milt" by his friends and colleagues, and by "Pop" by his beloved family, Dr. Rock lived an active and impactful life.
Born February 25, 1921 in the Logan section of Philadelphia, Dr. Rock went to grammar school and high school in north Philadelphia and to Temple University for his B.A. and M.A. While at Temple he met and married Shirley Ruth Cylinder, his wife until her death in 1988. From 1942 to 1945 Dr. Rock served in the Army Air Corps and afterwards went to the University of Rochester for his Ph.D. in psychology.
Upon graduation from Rochester in 1949, Dr. Rock joined Edward N. Hay in the development of a compensation and human resources consulting firm. When Dr. Rock retired as Managing Partner of The Hay Group in 1984, the three-man firm had grown into one of the world's largest management consulting firms, serving 5,000 clients from 94 offices in 27 countries. The Hay System, which Dr. Rock promoted throughout the world, remains one of the primary foundations for salary administration and executive compensation.
As a recognized expert in the management of human resources, Dr. Rock provided counsel to top executives at some of the largest companies in the world including the chairmen of AT&T, Standard Oil of Indiana, General Mills, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Chase Manhattan Bank and Fiat. He was sought after for his thought leadership, keen insight and wise counsel. Dr. Rock thought of himself not as a businessman but more as a professional in management, and he structured his interests to look at business as a discipline with a body of knowledge and professional standards. A prolific author, he served as the President of the Association of Management Consultants. His publications include Handbook of Wage and Salary Administration, The Mergers & Acquisitions Handbook and Corporate Restructuring.
After retiring from Hay, Dr. Rock established MLR Holdings, which owns and operates media and information businesses including the magazines Family Business and Directors & Boards. He remained active in these businesses, coming to the office into his 90s.
Throughout his life, Dr. Rock remained very active at Temple University, serving as a member of the board of governors of Temple University Hospital starting in 1974. He served as its chairman from 1985 to 1992, and afterwards as a member of the board of directors of Temple University Health System. In 1979, he became a member of the board of trustees of Temple University where he remained an honorary life trustee. He has received many awards from Temple including the "Order of the Owl" which "recognizes the accomplishments of an alumnus who has spent a lifetime working for the common good in many fields." In 1986, his gift to Temple helped establish Rock Hall which provides Temple's Boyer College of Music with a world-class performing auditorium. In 1991, Temple Hospital's patient tower was named the Shirley and Milton L. Rock Pavilion.
Dr. Rock has long been a patron and lover of the arts, focusing on the training and education of talented young people. He has been a longtime member of the board of the Curtis Institute of Music, serving as its chair from 1989 to 2002. He has remained on both the Bok Foundation Board and the Curtis Board as one of its two honorary chairs. His vision and generosity made possible not only the Rock Chair in Composition, which is held by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, but also a student composition fellowship which enables an annual collaboration between Curtis and the Rock School for Dance Education. This collaboration includes a commissioning opportunity for a Curtis composition student to compose a piece of music that is choreographed and performed by Rock School students. In addition, the Curtis library, known as the Rock Resource Center, is named in Dr. Rock's honor.
Dr. Rock was also a longtime trustee of the Pennsylvania Ballet and served as its chair in the 1990s. His gift helped to purchase the ballet's building at Broad and Washington streets, which now houses the Rock School for Dance Education, one of the country's leading schools for ballet training.
Other civic and arts groups on whose boards Dr. Rock served include The Philadelphia Orchestra (1981- 1994), The Philadelphia Museum of Art (1987-1996), and President Ford's National Commission on Manpower Policy (1974-1977). He was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia for five decades and a longtime member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Dr. Rock has spent the past three decades with his wife Constance Benoliel Rock at their homes in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico, Castellaras in the south of France, and The Barclay. Dr. Rock is survived by Constance, his daughter Susan Rock (partner Michael Phillips) and his son Robert Rock (wife Caro), as well as by three grandchildren, Liza Herzog (husband Paul Curci), William Rock (wife Carla), and Thomas Rock (wife Kristen), and eight great-grandchildren, Hudson, Rhys, Adrian and Nash Curci, and Francesca, Louisa, Madeleine and Elizabeth Rock.
Interment is private. A commemorative service will be held at Temple Performing Arts Center (1837 N. Broad Street) on Saturday, February 10th, at 1 P.M. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Rock School for Dance Education, Temple University or the Curtis Institute of Music.



Published on Philly.com from Jan. 30 to Feb. 25, 2018
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