Harry Atkins graduated from WWC with an associate's degree in 1956, then worked in the coal mines in his native West Virginia to earn funds to complete his education. He received a B.S. in physics/math from Marshall University in 1960. There he met Dr. Werner von Braun who asked him to come to work for his team at NASA in Huntsville, AL. He joined the team in 1961 where he developed and managed scientific space experiments.
He was working on his PhD when NASA assigned him to be the Scientific Liaison with the European Space Agency where he managed space projects with England, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. He continued to develop and manage space flight experiments that operated on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He was assigned to NASA HQ in Washington, DC as Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator. While in this position he was detailed to the United States Senate as technical liaison to NASA. Later NASA assigned him to successive positions on the staffs of the Governors of Alabama and West Virginia to manage technical programs in those states.
Harry retired from NASA in 1995 and has held important management positions in industry related to advanced technology programs with Russia, Romania and Turkey. He now works for Raytheon Missile Systems, an advanced technology corporation, with management responsibilities for projects with NASA and Department of Defense.
He says, "Warren Wilson College was a defining moment in my travel through God's allotment of Time and Space." Harry is an active member of the WWC Alumni Board and attends Warren Wilson's Homecoming regularly.