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Commencement to feature address by Jack Curcio, retired Mack Truck executive

John B.
John B. "Jack" Curcio

Penn State Hazleton's forty-first annual commencement will be held 7 p.m., Fri., May 6 in the Physical Education Building at the campus. More than 100 bachelor's and associate degrees will be awarded to graduates during the ceremony.  Guest speaker for the event will be Hazleton native John B. "Jack" Curcio, a leader and pioneer in the commercial vehicle sector for more than 50 years. The event is free and open to the public.


For more information, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 570-450-3138.


About the speaker:


Born in Hazleton in 1934, Jack Curcio began his career in the automotive industry in 1954. He joined the Montone group of companies and progressed to the position of president and general manager, a position he held until April 1967 when left to join Mack Trucks, Inc. where he worked his way through the ranks of management before being elected president and managing director of Hayes Trucks, Ltd., a subsidiary of Mack. In 1971, he was elected a corporate vice president of Mack Trucks.


Curcio left Mack Trucks in June 1973 to lead Crane Carrier Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the president, chairman and chief executive officer. In March 1976, he was asked to return to Mack Trucks and was elected vice president of Marketing Distribution, overseeing the company’s U.S. domestic distributor organization. Less than a year later, he was elected executive vice president of International Operations, where he was responsible for the company’s extensive overseas production, marketing and service operations in 83 countries on six continents.


In July 1980, the Board of Directors elected Curcio president and chief operating officer. He was elected chief executive officer and president in 1983 and chairman of the board in 1985, positions he held until his retirement from Mack in 1989. 


In addition to leading and managing companies, Curcio influenced the truck industry when he spearheaded a shift to using high strength aluminum alloys in construction truck bodies and trailer manufacturing. He holds eleven patents in truck body and design.


Following his retirement, he served from 1993 to 1999 as vice chairman and consultant to Dallas-Mavis Specialized Motor Carriers, and was vice chairman of their wholly owned Mexican corporation, Jupiter Logistics de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. He was also a director and vice chairman of Harvard Industries, Inc. and Integrated Component Systems.


In 1990, he was elected president of the American Truck Foundation in Allentown and was a founding member of the American On Wheels Museum in Allentown. 


His most notable professional recognitions include being named 1985 Automotive Industry Leader of the Year by the Automotive Hall of Fame, joining previous honorees Lee Iacocca, Roger Smith and Philip Caldwell. In October 2007, he received the inaugural Society of Automotive Engineers International’s Commercial Vehicle Sector Lifetime Achievement Award.


Curcio served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953 and in the U.S. Naval Reserves from 1954 through 1959. He is a member of the Marine Corps Staff and Command College Foundation, Navy League, U.S. Naval Institute, American Legion, Korean War Veterans Association, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps League, Marine Corps First Division Association, and Naval War College Foundation.


Curcio was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Commission for the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and was national chairman of the Korean War International Memorial in San Pedro, California. He is a founding member of the board and former vice president of the Parris Island Museum and Historical Society at the USMC Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.


In 1984, he was awarded the Legion of Honor medal by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, Valley Forge, in recognition of service to God and country, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation, Valley Forge. He has been honored twice by the Marine Corps League, first in 1986 with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s Semper Fidelis Award for dedicated and inspirational service to the corps and for community service and leadership, and in 1989 when he was presented with the Commandant’s Gold Medal.


Long dedicated to improving education on all levels, Curcio has served as a board member of Muhlenburg College, Moravian College, Spring Garden College, and Vocational Industrial Clubs of America. He also was a member of the National Advisory Board of American University.


Curcio also served as a member of the Northeast Regional Board of Boy Scouts of America and vice president of finance of its Minsi Trails Council.

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