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News & Press: AEC News

Former AEC Chairman Walter E. Blankley is Remembered

Friday, May 8, 2020  
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The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) regrets to announce that former AEC Chairman Walter E. Blankley passed away on April 27, 2020. Mr. Blankley was AEC Chairman from 1975-1976.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, Mr. Blankley worked with AMETEK—a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices—for 41 years until his retirement. As CEO, he oversaw the funding of early childhood education programs in all of the 65 cities around the world where the company maintained sites.

Walter and his wife Rosemary established an extraordinary legacy at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, defined by a lifetime commitment to higher education. "Walter and Rosemary supported Beaver College and Arcadia University to express their gratitude for the opportunity Beaver College gave to Rosemary. Their dedication to our University’s growth and success has touched every corner of campus, and their generosity has led to major developments in the areas of academic affairs, student life, and financial aid," according to a post on the University's website.

In 2013, Blankley, along with his wife Rosemary, established an endowed chair with a transformative $1M donation, designated for the School of Education at Arcadia. The Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education is a testament to the couple’s longstanding commitment to supporting education.

The Blankleys were the driving force behind the University’s important and transformative student-centered partnership with the Guadalupe Center, whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education for children in Immokalee, Fla. The first of 20 Blankley Scholars graduated from Arcadia in 2016.

In 2000, the University dedicated Blankley Field, home to the school's softball team, an additional practice field for soccer and field hockey, and intramural activities. The University also dedicated the Office of Alumni Engagement—formerly known as Blake Hall—in recognition of Rosemary and Walter in 2005.

The University has maintained a strong relationship with AMETEK, which has led to several successful Trustee appointments. In honor of Walter’s leadership at AMETEK and in memory of him, the company has made a special gift to Arcadia to celebrate all that he meant.

Former AEC Chairman Herb Schuler, Sr. said of Blankely, "Following him in the leadership of the AEC, I got to know him fairly well. Walt was very bright and an excellent tennis player. In fact, he was the only person I have seen who switched hands so that every shot was a forehand. He was also a very good gin rummy player!"

Thanks to former AEC leader Howard Solot for informing us of Mr. Blankley's passing. The AEC extends its condolences to Mr. Blankley's family and friends.