All posts by Tom Shakely

Penn State Heritage Trees and Groves, a short documentary

Spencer McCullough, a Nittany Valley Society Novak Fellow, created this short documentary film in 2017 on Penn State’s Heritage Trees and Groves program: It tells of Penn State’s distinctive initiative to conserve and perpetuate a historic atmosphere on campus through perpetuation of its most remarkable living landmarks.

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of the “Farmers High School of Pennsylvania,” I have observed with pleasure that the Legislature now in session have repealed the Act of April 13th 1854 and passed an Act ...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 ...

‘History of Penn State’ course fills up

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 Nittany Valley Society ...

#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 ...

Undergraduate education and research

The following opinion piece by Ben Novak appeared in the Centre Daily Times on April 14, 1996 under the headline “Undergrads suffer at hands of research”, addressing the relationship between Penn State’s commitments to undergraduate education and research. A January 1996 letter from Ben Novak to President Graham Spanier also addresses this topic. *** While ...