When Rusty Ryan ’78 was in elementary school, his father passed away. His mother enrolled Rusty and his brothers at Milton Hershey School.
“I can still remember my first day,” Rusty said. “It was a very, very hot day. We got to meet Mrs. Pearson at Pine Grove. It was a sports-oriented house and I loved sports.”
Rusty loved baseball and hockey but found his true passion in Mr. Cook’s electronics classes.
“I had a choice between purely college prep courses or a combination of college prep and shop,” he said. “I chose the [combination] electronics program and spent three years preparing for my future career.”
When he graduated from MHS, Rusty enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. He says the discipline, hard work, and trouble-shooting skills he learned in Mr. Cook’s classes helped him excel in college.
“I eventually took some graduate level telecommunications courses at the University of Pittsburgh,” he said. “The professor told us the one course was tough. He compared it to an entire junior year of any undergraduate program combined into one class in 15 weeks. I blew out the curve for the other students at mid-term, and then passed the class with flying colors. That was a tribute to my early training [at MHS].
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Rusty went to work in the IT field for companies like Erie Insurance, Electronic Data Systems, and U.S. Steel. He’s currently employed at PNC Bank doing systems administration.
“I told one of my kids, if you’re interested in doing something, look it up, set the goal, break it down into steps, and get it done,” Rusty added.
MHS Success Stories
At Milton Hershey School, the success of our alumni is immeasurable. Thousands of Milts are making their own footprints on the world as productive contributors to society. Our graduates serve an important role in the MHS family as role models for generations to come. Learn more about our accomplished alumni by reading their inspiring Success Stories.