Ernest E. Althouse graduated from Lehigh University in 1926 with a degree in electrical engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Phi and Eta Kappa Nu, national honorary engineering societies. He began his career with the Duquesne Light Company in Pittsburgh, Pa., before joining the Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He served in various capacities over the years before he was appointed president in 1968. After his retirement in 1975, he served as vice chairman of the board until 1986. In addition, he once served as director of the Utilities Mutual Insurance Company and of Mid-Hudson Pattern, Inc. He died in April 2006 at the age of 101.
Ernest's wife, Elizabeth Plank Althouse, was born in 1901 in Gallupville, N.Y. She earned a degree in home economics from Skidmore College in 1924 and worked at Central Hudson Gas and Electric as home service director until 1935. She was a member of the Mahwenawasigh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and member and registrar of the Duchess of York Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists. She served a number of community organizations including the Mabel Jean Reid Art Study Club, the Poughkeepsie Day Nursery Association, and the Dutchess County Unit of the American Cancer Society. She passed away in 1995.
Following Ernest's death in 2006, Lehigh received a $5 million dollar bequest from the Althouse estate. The gift established the Adam J. and Minnie M. Althouse Scholarship Fund in memory of Althouse's parents. The endowment will support undergraduate students in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.