All posts by Tom Shakely

James Irvin’s 1855 Letter to the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society

Bellefonte, February 22nd, 1855 To the Executive Committee of the Penna. State Agricultural Society Gentlemen, Feeling a deep interest in the early and efficient organization of the “Farmers High School of Pennsylvania,” I have observed with pleasure that the Legislature now in session have repealed the Act of April 13th 1854 and passed an Act ...

#4 – Town life

Tom Shakely, Chris Buchignani, and Kevin Horne return for another College Towns installment. In continuing their conversation on the what makes college towns enchanting, your humble servants turn their gaze toward the nebulous and frightening topic of “town life.” They do it in autumn, when the spirit and life of a place like State College ...

Homecoming 2017 scenes

It’s Homecoming 2017 at Penn State, and we’re sharing a few scenes from a short campus walking tour—including our Facebook Live campus walk. Whether you live near or far, let these images transport you to a place we love.

Snowy Day in Happy Valley

BlueWhiteTV produced this calm and enchanting short film, “A Snowy Day in Happy Valley,” shot during the 2016-17 winter. It captures some of the most beautiful spaces on and around campus. It would be beautiful to watch a similar video with scenes from Mount Nittany, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, the Indian Steps, and other wilder ...

Nit-A-Nee: A Tradition of a Juniata Maiden

This legendary origin story appears in “The Legends of the Nittany Valley,” and is taken from Henry W. Shoemaker’s 1916 “Juniata Memories: Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania.” Narrated by Ben Novak.

‘History of Penn State’ course fills up

By Tom Shakely, August 14, 2017 We wrote in May about Penn State’s “HIST 197- History of Penn State” course that debuts this fall semester. Penn State News featured the course’s creation at that time: “The History of Penn State” grew out of discussions with several Penn State alumni who serve on the board of the ...

#3 – Pubs, beer, and social drinking

Kevin Horne and Tom Shakely return to the show to talk about pubs, beer, and social drinking. This wasn’t initially a priority for the first few shows, but then Kevin went and suggested it in the pilot. And now here we are. Another “private conversation, publicly shared,” this discussion on locale and libations has a flavor ...

#2 – Ritual and rituals

Tom Shakely and Kevin Horne (against their better judgment) return to the show. Purposefully raw and stripped down, this exploratory season of College Towns features a dozen or so episodes on the themes of the show. First up, ritual and rituals. What are rituals? Why do the shared experiences they create matter to people? What’s the ...

Pilot

College Towns kicks off in its pilot episode, hosted by Tom Shakely from his Milwaukee hotel room, joined by Chris Buchignani and Kevin Horne from Park Forest Village in State College, Pennsylvania. In the spirit of “private conversations, publicly shared,” major questions are answered ranging from “Who are these guys?” to “Why is it worth thinking ...

Introducing a Penn State History course

May 15, 2017 A few years ago a number of students and alumni came together through The Nittany Valley Society with a vision for a new course at Penn State—specifically a course on Penn State itself. After years of friendly pushing and relationship-building the course is almost here, and Penn State News has spotlighted the course:   ...