As we reflect on the remarkable 75-year history of Rosedale Technical College, we find the heartbeat of progress in the visionary guidance provided by four extraordinary presidents who have shaped its destiny. From the pioneering days of its establishment to the cutting-edge advancements of today, each leader has left an indelible mark, steering the college through challenges and triumphs alike. Join us as we celebrate the legacies of these remarkable individuals and explore how their unwavering commitment has fueled the growth and success of Rosedale Tech.
Founded in 1949 to prepare military personnel for civilian life, Rosedale Technical Institute opened its doors in the municipality of Rosedale (located in Verona, PA). Leading the charge was President William Johnson. The school focused on technical training for automotive and diesel repair.
In 1969, Rosedale Tech reached a pivotal point in its operations when Pittsburgh philanthropist, Mr. Philip Chosky purchased Rosedale Technical Institute and became president. At the time he purchased Rosedale Tech, he also owned another technical school, known as Electronics Institute. During his duration as president, Mr. Chosky moved the school to three locations throughout Pittsburgh, the last location being the former ice cream plant on Browns Hill Road near Homestead. Under Mr. Chosky’s leadership, Rosedale Technical Institute became a division of Electronic Institutes, Inc. and became a non-profit institution in 1987. Mr. Chosky stepped down as president in 2003. One of Mr. Chosky’s notable achievements includes his efforts to ensure career and technical colleges were eligible for the PHEAA state grant when it was first implemented.
Mr. Chosky passed away in 2011, leaving behind a legacy of contributions to higher education. Some of Mr. Chosky’s notable accomplishments through his philanthropic work include the foundation of the Philip Chosky Charitable & Educational Foundation and the Philip Chosky Theater at Carnegie Mellon University.
Upon Mr. Chosky stepping down as president, Mr. Bernard “Ben” Wilke took over as president of the technical institution. Although he was new to his presidential role, Mr. Wilke was not new to the organization. Mr. Wilke served in various roles within the school, including leading student enrollment and financial aid from 1974 to 1980, in addition to being School Director from 2001-2005. Under Mr. Wilke’s leadership, Rosedale Tech experienced substantial enrollment growth, both in the 1970’s and early 2000’s. In 2006, Mr. Wilke led the charge in finding Rosedale Tech’s new Beecham Drive location, which is where the college currently resides. He designed the initial remodel of this building in preparation for moving the school in. In addition to his achievements at Rosedale Tech, Mr. Wilke served in the career college sector of higher education for over 40 years (early 1960’s until 2006) and was the campus director at schools in Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Rosedale Tech’s current president, Mr. Dennis Wilke, joined Rosedale Tech in 2005 as Vice President and assumed presidency when his father, Ben Wilke, stepped down the following year. He became a member of Rosedale Tech’s Board of Directors in 2002. Since assuming his role as president, Dennis has revolutionized Rosedale Tech to new levels while accomplishing the following: transitioning the school from Rosedale Technical Institute to Rosedale Technical College, enhancing program offerings, driving enrollment growth, expanding the campus footprint, and driving employee development. Dennis’ leadership style has led to Rosedale Tech being named a Best Place to Work by the Pittsburgh Business Times since 2010.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Dennis has been recognized as an award recipient of the Smart 50 Award in 2015 and 2021 for innovation and leadership amongst the smartest companies in Pittsburgh,
Outside of his work at Rosedale Tech, Dennis has been involved in the following roles: Chairman of the Board of Directors for Precision Manufacturing Institute in Meadville, PA; Trustee for the Northern PA Regional College, board member for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Career Schools (Past President), and a member of the Pittsburgh chapter of Legatus (Past President).
The collective impact of these four presidents echoes loudly, underscoring not just the growth of an institution but a legacy of transformative leadership that continues to inspire and shape the future of Rosedale Technical College and technical education.