All posts by Tom Shakely

‘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 ...

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:   ...

Chris Buchignani at Penn State’s ‘State of State’ Conference

Chris Buchignani of The Nittany Valley Society spoke to Penn Staters at the 2017 State of State conference. Chris spoke about the “spirit of place” that pervades the Nittany Valley, and what Penn Staters (any anyone) can do to conserve that spirit and pass it along to fresh generations.

Visiting the State College of another time

Eric Porterfield recently picked up these historical State College photos from someplace, and The Nittany Valley Society grabbed pictures of them to share. They tell such a visceral story of the development of State College from something less than a speck on the map into the place we know it as today. They’re a witness ...

Vision for Penn State Greeks

By Tom Shakely, March 31, 2017 I remember touring Beta Theta Pi a few years ago. It was over Arts Fest in 2013, and I had been invited along with some other members of The Nittany Valley Society to see inside the new crown jewel of Penn State’s fraternity system. An alum had contributed a ...

Innovative Penn State students elevate local non-profit community

By Marcus Sabrowski, March 2017 Recently, The Nittany Valley Society has had the pleasure of working with students from the Penn State chapter of SCNO. Their consulting teams are helping us rethink and elevate marketing of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk. The experience has been extremely positive, and we invited them to share their story with ...

In Search of Evan Pugh

By Chris Buchignani, February 2017 Three Penn State presidents have been laid to rest here in Centre County. President Atherton is famously interred right along Pollock Road adjacent to Schwab Auditorium, while Milton Eisenhower finds his final repose in Centre County Memorial Park along the Benner Pike. Evan Pugh, Penn State’s founding president and one ...

Penn State Football Remixes Its Past

By Chris Buchignani, January 2017 Suffering through a prolonged period of frustration and despair, the Penn State football team faces a do-or-die moment in an early Big Ten contest: Trailing in the fourth quarter and needing an unlikely game-extending play to keep hope alive, the Lions thread the needle, capping off a precarious come-from-behind win ...

Yule ales add to Advent Spirit (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

Today, it is not unusual to enter a bar and find a laundry list of exotic beers on tap or to hear news of a local brew pub or microbrewery opening up. Such was not the case in 1984 (only five years after the legalization of homebrewing) when the editor of the Centre Daily Times ...

Salute to veterans

By Chris Buchignani, November 2016 The great stories of any age are often best understood by tracing the tiny threads of personal experience. In following these winding strands, seeing where and how they intersect, we come to understand how the collective weight of countless individual acts underpins the forces that shape our world. On the ...