2010 – Leo Schneider
The C. C. MacDuffee Award for Distinguished service was presented posthumously to Leo J. Schneider on August 6, 2010 at the annual meeting of Pi Mu Epsilon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Leo’s wife, Susan Schneider, accepted the award.
Pi Mu Epsilon occasionally bestows a special award to others who have made significant contributions to the Society and its student members. This award, the C. C. MacDuffee Award for Distinguished Service, was first given in 1965. The first recipient was J. Sutherland Frame and there have been only fourteen others. The MacDuffee award is not given annually, but (in the words of the 1965 PME Council) “often enough to be recognized and seldom enough to be meaningful.”
Leo was serving as Secretary-Treasurer when he died unexpectedly on June 6, 2010. We are still mourning his lose. Leo had been a member of the PME Council since 2000. For Pi Mu Epsilon faculty advisors and Pi Mu Epsilon students who have attended MathFest, Leo was the face and voice of PME—whether he was communicating about membership issues or handing out reimbursement checks at MathFest. To those of us on the council, Leo organized everything we do and he made it look easy.
Besides all the visible things he organized for Pi Mu Epsilon, Leo worked even harder behind the scenes. For example, Leo had just completed a multiple year project of computerizing all membership records back to our beginning in 1914. Leo also did all the IRS paperwork for 340 chapters and he wrote and handled the Natural Security Agency grant that helps cover student expenses during MathFest. His eye for detail was incredible and with thousands of members around the nation, keeping up with those details set the stage for Pi Mu Epsilon to serve its purpose well.
Of course Leo also loved mathematics and problem-solving, and he loved introducing students to mathematics through teaching, mentoring, contributing to exams and competitions, and simply through his contagious enthusiasm for the subject.
Leo’s wife Susan Schneider accepted the award on behalf of Leo’s family. Susan herself is no stranger to those of us at PME. She is also a member of Pi Mu Epsilon and in the past you may have seen her working the PME booth at the joint meetings or helping with judging at MathFest. She also does all the calligraphy on the Pi Mu Epsilon charters. We appreciate Susan’s support of PME and our hearts go out to her in her loss.