Posts tagged ‘Ray Walker’

The Wonderful Life of Ray Walker

We’ve written about Ray Walker ’35, the man believed to be Penn State’s oldest living alumnus, a few times. Walker started the Bradford Coal Company – which he discussed in an episode of WPSU Story Corps with his son, C. Alan Walker ’68g – and recently directed the Blue Band after a Penn State basketball game.

On Saturday night, the Centre Daily Times published a feature on Walker, who will turn 104 years old on March 13. It takes a look at Walker’s time as a student and how he originally thought he wanted to get into medicine before pursing a business career, along with the way that he kept himself in school after his family lost all of its money.

The story also touches on what Walker – who was named a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus in 1996 – does with his time nowadays. He’s still involved with the university (he’s a regular at our alumni reunions as well), and President Eric Barron calls him “a character” and a “delightful person.” As for his family, Walker’s wife passed away about a decade ago and he has 10 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

March 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm 1 comment

Mr. Walker’s Opus

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The Alma Mater is a little more special than usual after @pennstatembb's win tonight, as the Blue Band was conducted by the school's oldest alumnus, 104-year-old Ray Walker.

A post shared by Penn Stater (@pennstatermag) on

Thursday night’s basketball game at the Bryce Jordan Center was great for bevy of reasons. One was that Penn State took down Nebraska in a thrilling game to move to 15-13 on the year, and with a 6-9 mark in conference play, the Nittany Lions have tied for the most Big Ten wins in a season during Pat Chambers’ tenure.

But the coolest moment actually came after the game when the Blue Band performed the Alma Mater with special guest conductor Ray Walker ’35. At 104 years old, Walker is believed to be Penn State’s oldest living alumnus.

Walker was introduced to the crowd while sitting in his seat during a time-out in the first half. Later, after the final buzzer of the game, he made his way down to the floor to conduct the band. Per usual, the band’s performance was great, but we have to think that Walker stole the show.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

February 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm 1 comment

At the Age of 103, Looking Back for WPSU’s “Story Corps”

In 1936, a huge flood hit Clearfield, Pa. Ray Walker ’35, a recent graduate at the time and the founder of the Bradford Coal Company, lived nearby and rescued people who were impacted by the flood with the help of a rowboat. Now 103, Walker recently sat down to discuss those memories and others with his son, C. Alan Walker ’68g, for WPSU’s Story Corps project. The pair also talked about Ray’s career in the coal business and how he began working with coal as a student.

If you’d like to listen to listen to the discussion between the Walkers, along with the rest of the fascinating stories from WPSU’s Story Corps, head here.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 21, 2015 at 11:37 am 2 comments


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