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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute

About Harold Frank

Harold Frank (left) and former WSU President V. Lane Rawlins

The late Harold Frank grew up in Walla Walla, Wash. where his immigrant parents owned a grocery store. He started at Whitman College working his way and then transferred to Washington State College, where he studied engineering.

He entered the military and became a radio operator in the infantry During World War II. After the war, he returned to finish his degree in 1948 with the benefit of the GI Bill.

After graduation, he went to work at Conoco, where he worked on a seismograph crew. He helped develop a magnetic tape recording process that aided in the identification of oil deposits. He then founded Applied Magnetics, which became a leading manufacturer of magnetic recording heads used in computers. Under his direction, the company grew to 21 divisions in 12 countries, employing 14,000.

Frank was busy building his company for 40 years, but in recent years has been inspired to help students after being invited to speak to classes. He found students to be greatly interested in his story and his advice.

The GI Bill, which had been of such a help to him finishing college, gave him the inspiration to establish scholarships for others.

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