Penn State Music alumnus Ray T. Fortunato (’52 M.M.), long-time supporter of the Penn State Glee Club and composer of "Hail, Oh Hail," passed peacefully on December 31, 2017, one month short of his 95th birthday.
Ray was raised in Bethlehem, PA and graduated from Liberty High School. During World War II, he served as an officer in the 78th Infantry Division and fought in Germany. Among his military citations were two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars. He was employed by Penn State from 1948 to 1985, and retired as Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Emeritus. During his employment, he was awarded the John Wilkinson Award for Administrative Excellence and the Lion's Paw Medal for service to the University.
Another part of his life was in music and theatre, having served as director of Penn State Thespians for thirteen years. He played and acted in performances, entertaining alumni and State College audiences. In addition to “Hail, O Hail,” he wrote music used in Thespian productions and other shows, as well as for his church choir.