'My HCC Story' – Tony Batakis '73
'I remember studying in the basement of the old Elmwood School building and drinking 10-cent coffee the custodian brewed in his tool room. In those days, after the fire, we attended classes in those old buildings with big rooms and wooden windows we opened wide in the spring.
I think HCC saved my life. The college sparked a love for learning that took me from an almost high school dropout to a great career in engineering. The teachers were so inspiring they made me want to take every course in the catalog. I transferred to the University of Massachusetts, where I earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering. I retired in January 2021 after a 43-year career in the gas turbine business.
HCC got me started on this path, and I credit HCC for a successful and rewarding career. I often promote community college among friends as a way to help more people achieve their academic goals. I think this is especially true today with high college costs and strong competition. The professors at HCC inspired in me a thirst for knowledge I still have today. I truly believe HCC represents an opportunity for a brighter future for anyone who wants it."
Tony Batakis '73 retired in 2021 as chief engineer for a turbine engine company. He lives in San Diego.
PHOTO: Tony Batakis '73