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Robert D. Rorabaugh

B.S., Forest Science, 1972

Robert D. Rorabaugh graduated with a B.S. in Forest Science in 1972 and returned home to Burnside, PA, where he was employed by Rorabaugh Lumber Company, founded by his father in 1952.  

Following his father’s retirement, Bob and his two brothers, Tucker and Roger, established a partnership for the operation and management of their sawmill/dry kiln company.  Tucker was in charge of logging and trucking operations, Roger was in charge of mill operations, and Bob was in charge of timber procurement, sales, and marketing.  Bob also served as the company forester and managed several thousand acres of company forestland as well as private forest lands that supplied raw material to the mill. 

The partnership has stood the tests of time.  Today, Rorabaugh Lumber Company continues to provide quality kiln-dried lumber and dimension stock, blocking and crating, and veneer logs, offering red and white oak, cherry, hard and soft maple, and other hardwood and softwood species.

Throughout his career, Bob has been an active member of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association (PFPA), formerly the Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers Association.  He served on the PFPA board from 2001 to 2009—as secretary/treasurer (2003-04), vice chair (2004-06), and chair (2006-07). 

Bob also served on the PFPA Executive Committee (2003-09) and on its Timber Show Committee (chair and co-chair, from 2004 to present).  As chair, Bob established a partnership with Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and moved PFPA’s East Coast Timber and Sawmill Equipment Show to the University’s Ag Progress Days site (2005).  This expanded facility attracted a wider venue of exhibitors and industry representatives and led to increased overall attendance.

As vice chair and chair of the PFPA board, Bob helped gather industry support for the Forest Resources Building at University Park.  This involved coordinative planning with BLT Architects of Philadelphia in their design of a “hardwood showcase” for Penn State and PFPA’s industry (2003).  The resulting design included hardwood paneling and seating areas throughout the main public areas and auditorium;  special paneling and trim in teaching laboratories, administrative and faculty offices;  and laminated hardwood beams in key ceiling areas.  Bob led the effort in securing donations of more than 250,000 board feet of lumber, valued at $1 million, from over 30 Pennsylvania mills (2004).  Bob also personally accepted the naming opportunity for the silviculture faculty office (room 305).  

Bob was elected to two three-year terms on the Forest Resources Alumni Group Board of Directors (2007-10 and 2011-13).  He served as vice-president of the alumni group during his first term and president during his second term.  

Bob is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association, a supporter of the Penn State Nittany Lion Club, and long-time follower of all Penn State athletic programs. 

He is a member of the Society of American Foresters (currently secretary of the Western Gateway Chapter), the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, and Penn-York Lumberman’s Club.  He has served on the Clearfield County Conservation District Board of Directors (1995 to 2001), as vice chair of the board (2001), and as associate director and head, Personnel and Finance Committee (2001 to present). 

Bob was an elected member of the Harmony Area School District School Board for six years (1985 to 1991).  Following, he helped establish the Red Dragon Foundation, a private organization supporting Purchase Line School District athletics and scholarships.  He served as co-chair of the Red Dragon annual golf outing, the foundation’s largest fundraiser.  During his tenure, Bob organized financial support for a new ticket booth.  This effort exceeded its target, with the surplus now supporting annual scholarships for graduating seniors from Purchase Line High School.

Bob coached the Burnside Women’s League softball team from 1976 to 1982.  In 2010, when a former softball player was diagnosed with cancer, Bob led a community effort to offset the major costs of her health care through donations and fundraising raffles.  Bob continued these efforts until she lost her battle in late 2011. 

Bob is married to Barbara Rorabaugh, a graduate of the University of Indiana, Pennsylvania.  They have enjoyed a marriage of 38 years and a daughter, Kasey, who is completing her senior year at Penn State, with a dual major in Economics and Political Science.