Bill Hume ‘55

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“I decided right then and there, I didn’t want to be an Engineer!”

Skull Brother Bill Hume came to Penn State for his second year of college in 1953, after spending his first at Edinboro. He, like many others who set foot on the University Park campus, found that it was quite a large place. It was then that the walls of 234 E. Beaver beckoned, and Hume answered.

“I knew a gal who had a friend who was a Skull Brother,” Said Hume. “I was invited to the House and I liked those guys very much. That was the only Fraternity I visited. I knew I wanted to join because Penn State was such a large school. This gave me the opportunity to be part of a smaller, more concentrated group. I liked that it was close to campus and was one of the larger houses and I liked the people I met.”

But the Korean War would come calling shortly after Hume’s arrival in Happy Valley and he, like many of his classmates, answered the call.

“I enlisted because if I wouldn’t have, I would have been drafted,” the Skull Brother explained. “I was in the US Army Engineer Corp, and eventually went to Officer Candidate School and became a second Lieutenant with the 54th Field Engineer Construction Battalion, which was a repair battalion. I re-appeared on the Penn State campus following my discharge in 1954.

After graduating in 1955, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, it was time for Hume to decide on a career. As luck would have it, he had a friend who at the time was working as an engineer at Bethlehem Steel.

“I called him up one day and said hey, why don’t you invite me over there, I want to see what an Engineer looks like and does,” recalled Hume. “I got there and walked into this huge room and saw all these Engineers in their white shirts with their drawing boards, and I decided right then and there, that I didn’t want to be an Engineer.”

Hume decided to go back to school, this time for Business Management. He was able to switch his credits from Mechanical Engineering to electives that would count toward a Business Management degree, which he earned a bachelor’s of science in.

From there, Hume went to work for the now non-existent American Brake Shoe Company, at one of its 30-35 Foundries. They made bearings for the railroad industry, along with manganese steel parts for trains. He also worked for Stainless Steel Casting Company, which he says he really loved.

“American Brake Shoe Company was the beginning of a lifetime of work,” said Hume, who would go on to be employed by Beryllium Corp. in Reading, Pa and would lead him to a job in Milwaukee as well.

In 1970, at the age of 40, Hume started his own business, which he says is the best thing that has ever happened to him.

“I pulled on a lot of things I learned in college, such as working hard,” he said.

He eventually grew his business to seven million dollars a year and continued working until 2000, when he retired at the age of 70.

As for his time in Skull House, Hume says he developed friendships, had a lot of fun, and learned to speak publically.

“I think that schools today are so large and so liberal in their thinking that if you get in with a small group of guys like I did at Psi, you really get to know people well, it’s a better relationship with 30-40 guys, and that’s why I strongly support fraternities.”

“It’s an additional experience in college that you don’t get otherwise,” he added.

Anyone from the classes of 1950-1960 wishing to contact Brother Hume can do so at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.