Penn State

The Pennsylvania State University (commonly known as Penn State) is a state-related land-grant university with a flagship campus located in University Park, Pennsylvania and 23 additional campuses located throughout Pennsylvania, including a virtual World Campus. The enrollment at Penn State is over 84,000 students, placing it among the ten largest public universities in the United States. Penn State offers over 160 majors and boasts a $1.2 billion (USD) endowment. The University was ranked 11th in a 2003 Gallup poll of best colleges or universities.

The University's fight song is "Fight On State" and other notable songs performed at public celebrations include the Alma Mater and "Nittany Lion". The marketing slogan is "Penn State, making life better" and the student chant is "We are...Penn State!"

Penn State was founded as a degree--granting institution on February 22, 1855 by act P.L. 46, No. 50 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. Centre County became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte donated 200 acres (809,000 m²) of land—the first of 10,101 acres the University would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school's name was changed to The Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state's sole land grant college. In the following years, enrollment fell as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education, falling to 64 undergraduates in 1875, a year after the school's name changed once again to The Pennsylvania State College.

George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and began working to broaden the school's curriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became one of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, and as a result, was rewarded with regular appropriations from the state beginning in 1887. For this, Atherton is widely credited with saving Penn State from bankruptcy, and is still honored today by the name of a major road in State College. The namesake of Atherton Hall, a well furnished dormitory, is not named after George Atherton but his wife, Frances Atherton. George Atherton's grave rests in front of Schwab Auditorium near Old Main and is marked by an engraved marble block resting in front of his statue.

In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state's largest source of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around this time, Commonwealth Campuses were started by President Ralph Hetzel to give an alternative to Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college.

In 1953, President Milton Eisenhower changed the school's name to The Pennsylvania State University, and under his successor Eric Walker the University developed rapidly. Under Walker's leadership, which lasted from 1956-1970, the University added hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and nearly tripled enrollment to 40,000. Additionally, in 1967, the Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established with a $50 million gift from the Hershey Trust Company.

In the 1970s, The Pennsylvania State University became a state-related institution. As such, it belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education and is not part of the fully public Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

In recent years, Penn State's role as a leader in education in Pennsylvania has become well-defined. In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the University, and in 1997, so did the Dickinson School of Law. Currently, the University is the largest in Pennsylvania, and in 2003, it was credited with having the largest impact on the state economy of any organization, generating over $6 billion for the state on a budget of $2.5 billion. Limited growth in state appropriations to the University have turned the school into the least-funded state school in the Big Ten on a per student basis. To offset the lack of funding, the University has turned to seeking philanthropy, with 2003 marking the end of the Grand Destiny campaign–a seven-year effort which raised over $1.3 billion for the University.

In 2004, Penn State started celebrating its 150th anniversary, since 2005 marked the University's sesquicentennial.

On November 20, 2004, the Swift spacecraft was launched into orbit. The Swift spacecraft is the first spacecraft to be operated by Penn State (under contract from NASA), and the Swift Mission Operations Center is located in State College, Pennsylvania.

The main campus of Penn State's 24 campuses, University Park, is adjacent to State College, a site chosen to be the near--geographic center of the state. With an acceptance rate of 58%, it is the most selective campus in the Penn State system. The University reports Fall 2005 enrollment of 34,637 undergraduate students, 6,072 graduate students study at University Park, a female population of 45.5%, and 25.1% non--Pennsylvania residents.

Racially, the university is less diverse than comparable institutions with a three year average of 12.5% minority students. They include 1,617 African-American Students, 2,172 Asian-American Students, 1,244 Hispanic-American Students, and 56 Native-American Students.

Penn State operates 19 Commonwealth Campuses throughout the state, where over 60% of Penn State first-year students begin their education. Some of the larger campuses offer a number of degree programs, but others only offer introductory courses, requiring that students change campuses to complete any of 160 degree programs offered system wide.

Penn State is a research university with highly regarded programs in engineering, architecture, economics, business, and the sciences. The Smeal College of Business is one of only four Pennsylvania schools to be AACSB accredited in business and accounting. In 2003 the university devoted $545 million to research, ranking it 12th in the nation, and its researchers received nearly $400 million in outside grants toward their projects. Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the university's graduate school, and over 70,000 degrees have been awarded since the school was founded in 1922.

The student-to-faculty ratio at Penn State campuses is 16:1. When the medical school, college of technology, and law school are included, the ratio is 15:1. 80% of first-year classes have 50 or fewer students, and classes are even smaller for upperclassmen and for all students at other campuses.

The Penn State University Libraries are ranked twelfth among research libraries in North America.[citation needed] The university library system began with a 1,500-book library in Old Main, which has grown to its current 4.8 million volumes, in addition to nearly 500,000 maps, over 5 million microforms, and nearly 160,000 films and videos.

Over seven hundred student organizations exist, as well as one of the largest Greek systems in the country, with approximately 12% of the University Park population affiliated with a Greek organization. Most of the student organizations are headquartered at the Hetzel Union Building (HUB), which underwent significant renovations and enlargement beginning in 1997. It is also the home to LateNight Penn State, an endeavor designed to provide weekend entertainment in an alcohol-free environment.

Every February, thousands of students participate in the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Participants stand for 48 hours nonstop and line dance once every hour to stay alert. THON raises millions of dollars annually for pediatric cancer care and research, generally through the Four Diamonds Fund.

The student run newspaper is The Daily Collegian. In addition to the traditional paper publication, The Collegian went online as The Digital Collegian, starting in summer of 1996. The student-run organization for yearbooks is named La Vie. The student-run radio station is WKPS FM 90.7 (The Lion). WPSU broadcasts radio and television from the Penn State campus. The student-run parody magazine is Phroth.

Penn State has more students registered on the Facebook social networking website than any other university.

In 2005, the Penn State Blue Band was honored with the Sudler Trophy. The Trophy, which has been presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation since 1982, is regarded as the nation's highest accolade for collegiate bands.

Penn State is also home to the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), which has earned national media attention over the past few years. The A&E Network recently announced that it is developing a national reality series with the group and University.

Penn State's mascot is the Nittany Lion. The school's official colors were originally black and pink. The baseball team's uniforms faded to dark blue and white, so the school permanently changed the colors to the now-familiar navy blue and white.[9] Penn State participates in the NCAA Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference for most sports. A few sports participate in different conferences: men's volleyball in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA); men's lacrosse in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC); and women's lacrosse in American Lacrosse conference. The fencing teams operate as independents.

Penn State has a large football following and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its campus; the surrounding area is known as "Happy Valley" for tailgating and games on autumn Saturdays in Beaver Stadium. The stadium is the second-largest in the country with a seating capacity of over 107,282. The largest crowd ever at Beaver Stadium was on September 14, 2002, as 110,753 watched the Nittany Lions defeat the University of Nebraska by a score of 40-7. The school has earned a reputation as "Linebacker U" for the number of high-quality linebackers trained. Joe Paterno has been the head coach for the Nittany Lion football team since 1966 and is regarded as one of the most successful and venerable national coaches. Penn State plays in two football "trophy games" with other members of the Big Ten. They are for the Governor's Victory Bell with the University of Minnesota and the season-ending Land Grant Trophy game versus Michigan State University. Penn State has won the prestigious Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy, awarded for Eastern football supremacy, a record 26 times as of 2005.

Penn State has many notable achievements in other sports. The school has a strong history in both men's and women's volleyball. In 1994, Penn State became the first team outside of the state of California to win a NCAA Division I National Championship in men's volleyball. Penn State's women's volleyball team has won eight Big Ten Conference championships in fourteen years, including the 2003, 2004 and 2005 titles, and was the NCAA division I national champion in 1999. Penn State is a fencing powerhouse, winning 9 national championships in the sport since 1990.

The school also is home to the Horace Ashenfelter Indoor Facility. The men's and women's basketball teams play in the Bryce Jordan Center. Most of the other indoor teams play at Rec Hall, which was previously the long term home for the basketball teams as well.

Additionally, the university operates the Penn State Golf Courses, two courses for the golf teams, students, faculty, and the general public. The Intercollegiate Athletics Department operates the Stone Valley Recreation Area, approximately twenty miles southeast of State College.

Construction has been completed for a new baseball stadium named Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The stadium is host to both the University baseball team as well as the State College Spikes, a minor league baseball team. The ballpark is aligned to the east, predominately displaying Mount Nittany.

The university is home to a number of intercollegiate club sports as well. The popular men's hockey team, the Icers, plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (AHCA). The women's hockey team plays in the East Coast Women's Hockey League (ECWHL). The men's and women's rugby team participate in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union (MARFU) territory at large and the Potomac Rugby Union for local divisional play. Both teams field perennial competitive sides; the women won the collegiate championship in 2004.

The University also opened a new Penn State All-Sports Museum in February 2002. This two-level 10,000-square-foot museum is located adjacent to Beaver Stadium.

The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities, a book published by Greene's Guides, included Penn State among the Public Ivies, public universities that purportedly offer an academic experience of Ivy League or close caliber combined with affordably priced tuition.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2006 gives Penn State - University Park an academic rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities 2005 ranks Penn State - University Park as the #30 university in the U.S. and the #39 university in the world.

According to U.S. News Best Colleges 2006, Penn State nationally ranks:

* 48th among national universities doctoral
* 14th among public national universities
* 18th among undergraduate engineering programs
o 4th in industrial/manufacturing, 7th in Petroleum and Natural Gas, 11th in mechanical, 7th in materials, 24th in electrical, 15th in civil, 17th in chemical, 10th in agricultural, and 12th in aerospace
* 18th among undergraduate business programs
o 4th in supply chain management/logistics, 14th in finance, 9th in management, 16th in marketing, and 12th in production/operations management

According to U.S. News Best Graduate Schools 2007, Penn State ranks

* 38th among graduate business schools (average starting salary & bonus is $85,501)
o 7th in supply chain management/logistics
* 19th among graduate engineering programs
o 4th in industrial/manufacturing, 7th in petroleum, 7th in nuclear, 9th in materials, 13th in aerospace, 23rd in environmental, 19th in electrical, 21st in chemical, 18th in civil, 19th in computer, and 23rd in biomedical/bioengineering
* 29th among schools of education
o 2nd in higher education administration, 1st in vocational/technical education, and 9th in counseling/personnel services
* 87th among law schools (93.4% of students employed within 9 months of graduation)
* 28th in economics
* 29th in mathematics
* 3rd in geology
* 24th in physics
* 22nd in chemistry
* 40th in biological sciences
* 33rd in computer science
* 35th in political science
* 36th in psychology
* 7th in criminology
* 17th in sociology
* 28th in English
* 51st in history
* 57th in public affairs
* 58th in nursing
* 61st in fine arts
* 1st in Meteorology

The National Research Council (NRC) rated Penn State's Department of Geography #1 in the United States in 1995.


Further information: Presidents of the Pennsylvania State University

* Evan Pugh (1859-1864)
* William Henry Allen (1864-1866)
* John Fraser (1866-1868)
* Thomas Henry Burrowes (1868-1871)
* James Calder (1871-1880)
* Joseph Shortlidge (1880-1881)
* James Y. McKee (Interregnum, 1881-1882)
* George W. Atherton (1882-1906)
* James A. Beaver (Interregnum, 1906-1908)
* Edwin Erle Sparks (1908-1920)
* John Martin Thomas (1921-1925)
* Ralph Dorn Hetzel (1927-1947)
* James Milholland (Interregnum, 1947-1950)
* Milton Stover Eisenhower (1950-1956)
* Eric A. Walker (1956-1970)
* John W. Oswald (1970-1983)
* Bryce Jordan (1983-1990)
* Joab Thomas (1990-1995)
* Graham Spanier (1995-present)Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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