Dr. Milton L. Rock
Rock School founder
Milton L. Rock — loving and beloved patriarch, perceptive businessman, community-minded philanthropist and forward-thinking magazine founder — died at home of natural causes on Jan. 27, 2018. He was 96 years old.
Dr. Rock was the managing partner of Hay Associates, a compensation and human resources consulting firm that was sold to Saatchi & Saatchi in 1985. (Today, it is part of Korn Ferry Hay Group.) After the sale of Hay, Dr. Rock formed MLR Holdings LLC along with his son, Robert H. Rock.
MLR owns and operates media publications and information businesses. In 1989, recognizing the need for an educational and informational resource for family companies, Dr. Rock founded Family Business Magazine.
Dr. Rock received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Temple University. After serving in the Army Air Corps, he attended the University of Rochester, where he received a Ph.D. in psychology. In 1949, he joined Edward N. Hay in developing Hay Associates, which he helped grow from a three-man firm into a global consultancy with 94 offices and 5,000 clients.
Dr. Rock, an insightful and visionary supporter, focused his philanthropy on the training of gifted young artists at The Rock School for Dance Education, as well as at Curtis Institute of Music and the Ester Boyer School of Music at Temple. He took great pleasure in the joy they show when they practice, and he took great pride in the recognition they gained when they performed.
A lifelong patron and lover of the arts, Dr. Rock was also a longtime trustee of the Pennsylvania Ballet and served as its chair in the 1990s. His gift helped purchase the ballet’s building at Broad and Washington Streets in Philadelphia. That building today houses the Rock School for Dance Education. Originally established in 1963, as the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, it was re-named in memory of Dr. Rock’s wife Shirley, and the school became the Shirley Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Later, as the school developed its national and international presence, the name was changed to the Rock School for Dance Education.
Shirley Rock passed away in 1988 and Dr. Rock’s second wife, Constance Benoliel Rock, became the School’s first Chairman of the board of trustees. Constance B. Rock served as Chair until 2000 when Dr. Rock’s daughter-in-law Caro U. Rock took over and served until 2016.
He was a member of the Curtis Institute of Music’s board and chaired the board from 1989 to 2002. He continued as an honorary chair of the Bok Foundation board and the Curtis board. He endowed Curtis’s Rock Chair in Composition, held by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, and a student composition fellowship. Curtis’s library, the Rock Resource Center, is named in honor of Dr. Rock.
Always the strategic thinker, Dr. Rock conceived and established a unique collaboration between the Rock School and Curtis Institute that enables young, gifted artists from two different artistic disciplines, to work together and experience music composed and performed by Curtis students and choreographed and danced by Rock School students. This annual collaboration is now in its tenth year and the collaborative piece is now performed at the Rock School’s annual gala in May.
Dr. Rock took enormous pride in the quality of the dance training and the expansion of the Rock School as it added a leading and successful summer program, two campuses, an online accredited high school and boarding component, and the largest outreach of any non-profit organization in the region. Rock School alums currently dance in the top ballet and dance companies around the country and abroad. The Rock School is forever indebted to Dr. Rock’s vision, support and creativity. Dr. Rock will be missed by many.
Dr. Rock became a member of the board of governors of Temple University Hospital in 1974. He served as its chairman from 1985 to 1992 and afterward became a member of the board of directors of Temple University Health System. In 1979, he joined the board of trustees of Temple University and remained an honorary life trustee.
He received many awards from Temple, including the Order of the Owl. His 1986 gift to Temple helped establish Rock Hall, a performing auditorium for the university’s Boyer College of Music. In 1991, Temple Hospital’s patient tower was named the Shirley and Milton L. Rock Pavilion.
Dr. Rock also served on the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1981-1994), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1987-1996) and President Gerald Ford’s National Commission on Manpower Policy (1974-1977).
The Rock School for Dance Education is grateful for the ongoing support of Dr. Milton L. Rock’s family including his wife, Constance Benoliel Rock; his daughter, Susan Rock (partner Michael Phillips); his son, Robert H. Rock (wife Caro); grandchildren Liza Herzog (husband Paul Curci), William Rock (wife Carla); and Thomas Rock (wife Kristen); and eight great-grandchildren. Constance, Susan, Bob, Caro, Liza and Carla Rock–all of which sit on the organization’s Board of Trustees.
The Rock School thanks Dr. Milton L. Rock for its origins and its future...
From the Rock School -
As we continue with Dr. Rock's vision, we can't help but offer thanks daily for the leadership and support he and the entire Rock family have provided the school and its students.
#RockAlum from around the world have been paying thanks to Dr. Rock with the hashtag #ThankYouDrRock. We invite you to visit our facebook, instagram, and twitter to share your Rock School stories in an international tribute to Dr. Milton L. Rock.
We encourage you to give today in support of the Milton L. Rock Scholarship for Dance Education.
Here are just a few #ThankYouDrRock messages from #RockAlum:
- What an incredible and generous human being. And what an honor and a privilege to know have known him.
- The Rocks have ushered in a beautiful legacy at the school that bears their name.
- We are so grateful for their generous desire to support and encourage the arts, and to develop this ballet school into such a famous and respected training institution.
- Bravo, Dr. Rock. ❤️. You and Shirley will be cherished for your kind hearts, and for the loving gifts you have given to countless young dancers. Thank you.
- We will always be grateful for his support for the arts and the young dancers who have/had the opportunity to study in The Rock School for Dance Education.