94-Year-Old Retired Professor Gives UConn $1 Million


A 94-year-old retired professor is giving the school back the money they have been paying him in retirement benefits for the last 30 years -- $1 million.

John Lof was an assistant professor of electrical engineering and ran UConn’s campus Computer Center, keeping the university at the forefront of computer technology nationally.

He is donating the money to be used as a gift for graduate education in the School of Engineering.

“It’s not unreasonable to give back all of this retirement money,” Lof said when asked why he chose to give the money to UConn. “The university is getting back what the state has given me.”

Lof credits lessons from his grandfather, a banker in Colorado, to being able to make the gift. He invested wisely in stocks over the years.

Lof was raised in Denver, attended MIT as a graduate student and during World War II. As a graduated student, he worked on a program the U.S. government used. They used a computer at MIT to calculate trajectories for battleship cannons. Get the trajectory wrong: the cannonball sank into the sea. Get it right, and an enemy ship exploded.

Lof arrived at UConn in 1952 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He still has a space in the Computer Center.

His wife, Ruth Lof, died in 1992, and in her memory, Lof also has left $100,000 to establish the Ruth and John Lof Fund for Natural History at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn.

“I figure I’m fortunate,” he says. “Thirty years of retirement produces quite a lot of money. I hope it will be a benefit.”

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