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1959 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Eric A. Walker*

President Emeritus
Pennsylvania State University

"I always had one foot in industry and one foot in the academic world."

Born in 1910 in Long Eaton, England, Eric Walker earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Harvard University. At Harvard, he also earned a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in general science and engineering. During World War II, he served as associate director of the Underwater Sound Laboratory, located on the campus of Pennsylvania State University. After the war, Walker remained at Penn State, becoming head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He was named dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture in 1951. Five years later, he became vice president for research. In 1956, he was named president of the university. During his tenure, Penn State increased its student population from 13,000 to 40,000, becoming one of the largest universities in the country. He also directed the creation of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

* Deceased