In Memory of Charles S. Luck, III, Former Board Chair

December 15, 2020

Mary Baldwin celebrates the life of Charles S. Luck, III, of Richmond, dedicated supporter and former chair of the Board of Trustees. Born in 1933, Luck died December 1, 2020, at the age of 87. 

He leaves a legacy of leadership by example and selfless service for the Mary Baldwin community and the many others he impacted.

“Charlie was an incredible supporter of Mary Baldwin, and I’m so grateful for his leadership at critical junctures in our evolution and for his friendship and support,” said President Pamela Fox.  “I cherish each meeting and conversation I was privileged to have with him, including the most recent collaborations as we planned for and built the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. He made a lasting difference to MBU.”

During Luck’s tenure as Board chair from 1989 to 1994, Mary Baldwin launched several new programs that have since become vital parts of the university. He led the way in the initial planning for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, which welcomed its first class in 1995, and the creation of Mary Baldwin’s first graduate program, the master of arts in teaching, which began in 1992.

Also as chair, Luck worked on steering Mary Balwin’s sesquicentennial celebration, and the successful fundraising campaign that was associated with it. He and his late wife, True Farr Luck, received sesquicentennial medallions in 1992 in recognition of their support of Mary Baldwin and their achievements in the community at large.

His daughter Cynthia Luck Haw ’79 attended Mary Baldwin, and the Luck family has been devoted to financial support of the university over the years, including funding the creation of the Cynthia Haldenby Tyson Terrace, a prominent outdoor space on upper campus.

Luck served more than 10 total years on the Board from 1984 to 1995 — he shared expertise in the areas of business, finance, and endowment, including serving as that committee’s chair; helped identify and orient new Board members; and was a member of the Executive Committee. 

Like her father, Haw also served as a Mary Baldwin Trustee for more than 15 years, and is an ongoing devoted friend of the university and generous donor.

An expert in the aggregates, quarrying, and crushed stone industry, Luck was president of Luck Stone Corporation (now Luck Companies), which was established by his father and is currently run by his son. Assuming leadership in 1965, he saw the company through three decades of expansion and technological development, as well as a continuous focus on people as its most important resource. 

Interestingly, Luck’s specific industry knowledge came to the aid of Mary Baldwin during the founding of Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.

“We discussed the building and project with Charlie from its visionary inception,” Fox said. “Luck Stone made a significant gift, and they also provided the idea and pricing that made it possible for the building design to feature the Jerusalem gold stone, and also the blue stone patios in front and back.” 

As enabled by Luck, the overall gold tone of the Murphy Deming building serves as a compelling visual tie to the historic main campus in Staunton. Its back terrace is named the Luck Family Terrace in the family’s honor.

Charles Luck's daughter, Cynthia Luck Haw '79, on the Luck Family Terrace at the Murphy Deming dedication ceremony in 2015.

Luck graduated in 1955 from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and served in the United States Air Force. He later established numerous scholarship programs to support students at VMI and served on the Board of Visitors.

His three children, Haw, Terrell Luck Harrigan, and Charlie Samuel Luck, IV, highlighted his educational service in their memorial tribute to their father. 

“Known for his leadership, he served on numerous Boards that were focused on the education of young people.” they wrote. “An extension of his belief in leaving the world a better place, he was committed to doing everything he could to support the education and needs of the next generation.”

Luck III is survived by his three children, as well as eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild. He was married to his wife, True, for 64 years before she passed away in 2019.

Due to necessary COVID-19 restrictions, the family will be unable to hold a public celebration of life event, but memories and tributes can be found and shared on the memorial website  www.HonoringC3.com.

The late Charles Luck, III, served in the U.S. Air Force before assuming leadership of Luck Stone Corporation (now Luck Companies) in 1965, a role he held for three decades.