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Thomas F. Huff, vice provost for life sciences and research at Virginia Commonwealth University, died at the age of 62 on Sunday, Jan. 31.
He is survived by his wife, May Ligon Huff; son, Thomas H. Huff; daughter, Elizabeth Farris Sleeman; daughter-in-law, Jennifer Huff; son-in-law, Ford Sleeman; and grandchildren, Laura Elizabeth Huff, James Louis Huff and William Thomas Sleeman. He is also survived by his sister, Anne Huff Weathers; and his brother, Frank Rouse Huff and their families.
He worked at VCU for 30 years and was named vice provost in 2001. He valued students involved in emerging fields of science, like the human genome.
“Those of us who knew Tom could not help but be swept up in his energy, intelligence and passion for the life sciences,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a statement on his blog. “From the labs on our campuses to the living laboratory of the Rice Rivers Center, Tom shepherded a new holistic way of looking at science.”
Huff’s colleagues remembered him for his energy, professionalism and life he brought to the job.
“Dr. Tom Huff was a quintessential VCU faculty member and administrator,” said Eugene Trani, Ph.D., former president of VCU. “He will be deeply missed. His legacy, however, will endure. As the founding vice provost for VCU Life Sciences, VCU is a greater institution because of Tom’s tremendous efforts.”
Huff graduated from Clemson University with a degree in microbiology and he earned his doctorate in immunology from the University of Louisville. He began his teaching career in 1985 at VCU as an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
VCU is planning a memorial for him in the coming weeks. A date has not been set.