Category: Town & Gown Columns

Why We Keep Returning to Happy Valley (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

The following abridged version of the legend of King Wi-Daagh’s spell, originally recounted by Henry W. Shoemaker, appears in full in “The Legends of the Nittany Valley,” a collection of regional folklore published by The Nittany Valley Society. No matter how mystical or supernatural it seems, this legend offers a telling and satisfying explanation for ...

New Life for the Old Willow

Although it has long been commemorated with a campus historical marker, many modern Penn Staters do not know the story of Old Willow, the University’s oldest tradition. Two recent graduates, Brenden Dooley and Jordan Harris, hope that will soon change. The Nittany Valley Society happily presents a guest column from Jordan about Old Willow and ...

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Conserving Mount Nittany (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

The Nittany Valley Society, as a cultural conservancy, seeks to share the unique stories of our home. The following excerpt comes from, “Conserving Mount Nittany: A Dynamic Environmentalism,” which for the first time tells the complete story of our community’s “extraordinary response to an ordinary mountain.” In this abridged passage, author Tom Shakely talks with ...

Discovering Princess Nittany

By Chris Buchignani, May 2014 Who is Princess Nittany? Put simply, she is the Nittany Valley’s answer to Hercules, King Arthur, and Luke Skywalker — she’s a legendary champion who embodies virtues such as strength, heroism, wisdom, and compassion, and whose story helps define and strengthen a people’s sense of themselves. Like the proud Pennsylvania ...

In a Flat World, the Nittany Valley Matters More Than Ever

By Tom Shakely, April 2014 In The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Friedman’s central insight is that globalization and Information Age technology work in tandem to diminish the distinctiveness and importance of location — of physical place. Nearly a decade after his book’s 2005 release, this “world is flat” thinking ...

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Writing for Town & Gown Magazine

By Tom Shakely, April 1, 2014 Starting this month in Town & Gown, The Nittany Valley Society will start contributing a regular column to the magazine. David Pencek, Town & Gown’s Editorial Director, explains in his “Letter from the Editor:” Starting this month, the site will have columns and stories contributed by The Nittany Valley Society. ...