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Printing Industry Leaders Honored

harper.jpgCHARLOTTE — Ron and Katherine Harper of Charlotte were honored by the Appalachian State University Foundation for their contributions to the university’s graphic arts and imaging technology program.

Ron Harper is chairman and Katherine Harper is president of the Harper Corporation of America, a company they co-founded in 1971. They have been associated with the flexographic printing industry for 40 years. The Charlotte-based company manufactures laser engraved anilox rolls used in the flexographic printing process.

They have pledged $100,000 and a generous estate gift to the flexographic printing component of Appalachian’s Thomas W. Reese Graphics Arts and Imaging Technology Program (GAIT). Their gift will fund student scholarships, help defray the costs of other educational opportunities for students, such as internships, and provide professional development opportunities for faculty in the printing program.

As a tribute to the Harpers and Harper Corporation of America, Appalachian is creating and dedicating “The Harper Foundation For The Advancement Of Flexography At Appalachian State University” fund.

The Harpers also have committed an additional $50,000 to create a flexography museum at Appalachian.

“It is difficult to explain in a few words the impact that Ron and Katherine Harper have made on the GAIT program at Appalachian,” said Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski.

“Through their support and leadership, Appalachian has enhanced its printing program and added a much richer study of flexography. They also have spearheaded efforts leading to the donation of a new flexo press to the program and personally have committed support for additional flexography equipment, ensuring that our students learn on state-of-the-art equipment. Their support truly is helping create the best possible learning environment for Appalachian students.”

Appalachian’s GAIT program has 150 student majors and is expected to exceed 250 majors by 2004. The program prepares students for a variety of employment opportunities in the printing industry.

Flexography is the process of relief printing using flexible plates, anilox inking rollers and fast drying inks.

Used for printing flexible packaging materials, tags and labels, cartons, envelopes, paperboard, corrugated containers, newspapers and numerous other flexible materials.