The 1916 Epitome Yearbook said Walter Volkhardt "thirsted after knowledge, and after four years of hard and conscientious work he has acquired knowledge of things in general which he believes has fitted him to overcome all obstacles on the road to success." A native of Chester, Pennsylvania, Volkhardt earned his degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he held a variety of positions, including assistant to the vice president of Eagle-Picher Lead Company and production supervisor for the American Hard Rubber Company, before joining the Curtis Publishing Company, where he worked for many years.
Volkhardt was also vice president and a general manager of Harvey Hubbell Inc., Bridgeport, Connecticut, and a partner in the firm of Prins and Volkhardt, Jewelers, Inc. The jewelry company acquired some noted gems, including some jewelry that had been owned by Catherine the Great of Russia. After living in the Philadelphia area for many years, Volkhardt retired to Cape May, New Jersey, where he was active in civic affairs, including the Rotary Club, until his health declined.
Volkhardt was a class agent for the Class of 1916 for many years. He and his wife, Hazel, liked to visit Lehigh alumni during their extensive travels around the country. Their generous bequest to Lehigh was added to the university's endowment.