Eric A. Walker

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Eric A. Walker
12th President of the
Pennsylvania State University
In office
Preceded by Milton S. Eisenhower
Succeeded by John W. Oswald
Personal details
Born (1910-04-29)April 29, 1910
Long Eaton, England, U.K.
Died February 17, 1995(1995-02-17) (aged 84)
Alma mater Harvard University

Eric Arthur Walker (April 29, 1910 – February 17, 1995) was president of the Pennsylvania State University from 1956 to 1970 and a founding member of the National Academy of Engineering.[1][2]


Born in Long Eaton, England, Dr. Walker earned a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University in Electrical Engineering, a Masters Degree in business administration, and doctorate in general science and engineering from Harvard. During World War II, Walker was associate director of the Underwater Sound Laboratory, initially located at Harvard, but relocated to the campus of Penn State University. Dr. Walker remained at Penn State, becoming head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, then Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture in 1951. Next Dr. Walker became vice president for research at Penn State in 1956, and President of the University, also in 1956.[3]

Penn State experienced changes and growth during the Presidency of Dr. Walker. The post-war student population at the university increased from 13,000 to 40,000, becoming one of the largest universities in the United States.[4] Dr. Walker also oversaw the creation of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and research expenditures for the university grew from $8,000,000 in 1956-57 to $36,000,000 in 1969-70.[3]


The Eric A. Walker building on Penn State's campus is named in honor of Dr. Walker. It houses the Meteorology department, one of the larger science departments at the university, as well as the Geography department.


  1. ^ Hosler, Charles L. (1996). "Eric A. Walker". Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering (National Academies Press) 8: 280–285. ISBN 030905575X. ISSN 1075-8844. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Founding members of the National Academy of Engineering". National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Eric A. Walker (1956-1970)". Penn State Presidents. Penn State University. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Largest Colleges and Universities by Enrollment, Fall 2003". Infoplease. Pearson Education. Retrieved February 24, 2013.