in memoriam

Lauren “Larry” Breakiron ’52, H’09, G’09

Lauren “Larry” Breakiron ’52, H’09, G’09, whose support helped shape the future of Bucknell’s nationally ranked engineering program, died March 8 in Gilbert, Ariz.

His notable contributions to Bucknell include funding of the Breakiron Engineering Building and numerous scholarships.

“When it opened in 2004, the Breakiron building made an immediate and significant impact on what we could do with programs and students,” says Erin Jablonski, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “It was immediately 100% occupied. Sentiments at that time were, and continue to be, incredibly thankful that Larry Breakiron made such a much-needed investment in our college.”

A trustee emeritus, Breakiron was the driving force behind the creation of the Institute for Leadership in Technology & Management, an interdisciplinary program between engineering and management at Bucknell for more than 25 years. “He wanted to bridge the gap for engineers, management and finance,” says Mark Elliott P’07, senior development adviser. “He knew that engineers needed to develop an understanding of business, and that management and finance majors should have a grasp of things like product development and logistics.”

Throughout his career, Breakiron made innovative contributions that combined his engineering expertise and business acumen. During a long tenure at UPS, Breakiron pioneered the air-freight system, enabling the company to make its first overnight deliveries.

In 2009, Breakiron received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Bucknell. “He counted his experiences at Bucknell as the most important of his life, and he trusted the University to make decisions that were in line with his ideals,” Elliott says.

Besides his support of programs on campus, Breakiron funded several endowed scholarships that will continue to empower student success.

“We are all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Larry,” says Professor Keith Buffinton, mechanical engineering, former dean of the College of Engineering. “He was a valued counselor and friend, and a great supporter and advocate for the College of Engineering and the University. There was simply never someone who was more willing to do whatever he could in support of Bucknell and its students.”

He is survived by his son, Craig; daughter, Lauren Gudinos P’09; and grandchildren, Thea ’09 and Eden.