50 Years Later, Alumnus Hank is Making a Difference

In 1973, Harry (Hank) Rathvon graduated from Thaddeus Stevens College, marking the start of a career in the metals fabrication and welding industry. Hank was hired after an interview by local business owner John Gooding, who had visited the school seeking skilled workers to add to his team. Hank was hired for a position at Gooding Simpson and Mackes, now known as GSM Industrial. Hank’s dedication to the company is evident, as he remains the most senior fabricator, often mentoring recent graduates, guiding them through the tools of the trade.  

During a visit to the College’s metals fabrication and welding lab earlier this semester, Hank shared memories with the faculty. In a special moment during Hank’s visit, he passed by a trophy case in the lab’s entryway, mentioning that it was his senior project, a testament to his long-standing impact on the College!  

Hank shared how the death of his father just before his high school graduation led to his attendance at Thaddeus Stevens College, thanks to the recommendation of a school administrator who knew him from playing hardball. He reminisced about the invaluable skill of layout for fabrication he learned during his time at the college, a skill that remains relevant in his work today despite technological advancements. Hank credited Harry Pipp, the sole instructor in the metals fabrication and welding program at the time, as having the most significant influence on him during his studies.  

Hank’s advice to current students is timeless: make punctuality a priority, communicate effectively, and follow procedures. These principles, he believes, are important for success in both professional and personal endeavors.  

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