Category: Nittany Valley Press

Reflections of a Former Trustee: How the Penn State Board of Trustees Really Functions

View PDF version. Reflections of a Former Trustee How the Penn State Board of Trustees Really Functions By Ben Novak ‘65 I was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees more than two decades ago, and served on it as an alumni Trustee for twelve years—from 1988 to 200. I came on the Board thinking ...

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The Initiation—A Parable of the Mifflin Streak

A Parable of the Mifflin Streak I have often climbed Mount Nittany and spent afternoons and sometimes all night gazing at the valley and the campus. In my mind I would wander, trying to find a deeper meaning in the commonplace things which are often dismissed as unimportant. One day I was sitting on Mount ...

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Statement of Ben Novak to the Senate Committee on State Government

The following testimony was submissed to the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on State Government on Mar. 3, 2013. A PDF of the complete testimony including appendices can be found here. When originally contacted to appear before the State Government Committee of the Pennsylvania Senate, it was specified that I was being invited because of my historical ...

The End of Ideology

In 1962 Daniel Bell published a book called The End of Ideology, whose major premise was that the age of great men, great beliefs, and great worlds was over. Science had solved all the ancient questions and all that was left was the fine tuning of what we already know to make a society of plenty ...

The Origin of the Pennsylvania Groundhog

The Nittany Valley Society’s book “The Legends of the Nittany Valley” presents for the contemporary reader a selection of folk stories first published by Henry Shoemaker in the Altoona Tribune more than a century ago. Candlemas, an American Indian legend first published by Henry Shoemaker in Juniata Memories: Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania, appeared in print in 1916 and is ...

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Penn State Veterans Day Address

The following speech was delivered by Dr. Ben Novak on the steps of Old Main at The Pennsylvania State University on November 11, 2009 at the invitation of the Penn State Office of Veterans. Colonel Switzer has just spoken to you on the meaning and importance of honoring Veterans Day. It is given to me ...