Chartered in 1855 as an agricultural college, Penn State was designated Pennsylvania's land-grant school soon after the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862. Through this federal legislation, the institution assumed a legal obligation to offer studies not only in agriculture but also in engineering and other utilitarian fields as well as liberal arts. By giving it land-grant status, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made the privately chartered Penn State a public instrumentality and assumed a responsibility to assist it in carrying out its work. However, the notion that higher education should have practical value was a novel one in the mid-nineteenth century, and Penn State experienced several decades of drift and uncertainty before winning the confidence of Pennsylvania's citizens and their political leaders. The story of Penn State in the twentieth century is one of continuous expansion in its three-fold mission: instruction, research, and extension. Engineering, agriculture, mineral industries, and science were early strengths; during the Great Depression, liberal arts matured. Further curricular diversification occurred after the Second World War, and a medical school and teaching hospital were added in the 1960s. Penn State was among the earliest land-grant schools to inaugurate extension programs in agriculture, engineering, and home economics. Indeed, the success of extension education indirectly led to the founding of the first branch campuses in the 1930s, from which evolved the extensive Commonwealth Campus system. The history of Penn State encompasses more than academics. It is the personal story of such able leaders as presidents Evan Pugh, George Atherton, and Milton Eisenhower, who saw not the institution that was but the one that could be. It is the story of the confusing and often frustrating relationship between the University and the state government. As much as anything else, it is the story of students, with ample attention given to the social as well as scholastic side of student life. All of this is placed in the context of the history of land-grant education and Pennsylvania's overall educational development. This is an objective, analytical, and at times critical account of Penn State from the earliest days to the 1980s. With hundreds of illustrations and interesting vignettes, this book is a visually exciting and human-oriented history of a major state university.
What is a Nittany Lion? The most frequently asked question about Penn State University is answered definitively for the first time in this beautifully illustrated book. Penn State librarians Jackie Esposito and Steven Herb have devoted hundreds of hours of research to uncover the fascinating and colorful history behind the beloved Penn State icon. Elements of the tale include the tragic legend of Indian Princess Nita-nee, for whom the majestic mountain in Central Pennsylvania is named; the story of the Original Nittany Lion, the elusive mountain lion that once roamed the hills of Pennsylvania; the 1904 Penn State baseball game at Princeton University, where the idea of a school mascot was born; the creation of the famous limestone Nittany Lion Shrine on Penn State's University Park campus; and the "Men in the Suit," the many Penn State students who have played the role of the Nittany Lion Mascot. This tale is also the story of many important figures in Penn State and Pennsylvania history, including folklorist Henry Shoemaker, baseball player and student leader H. D. "Joe" Mason, sculptor Heinz Warneke, famous mascot Norm Constantine, and football coaching legends "Rip" Engle and Joe Paterno. Sure to be of interest to Penn State's 340,000 living alumni and the countless numbers of Nittany Lion fans all over the world, this book will also appeal to folklorists and Pennsylvania historians.
The collection contains approximately 500,000 images compiled over many years from archival transfers of photographs from the Office of Public Information, the Daily Collegian, the LaVie yearbook, research publications, individual colleges and departments, and staff photographers. This digital collection brings together a modest sample of the images found in the collection.