Category: Enchantment

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 ...

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 ...

The Origins of ‘Happy Valley’

Most of have heard at least one theory on the origins of our “Happy Valley” nickname. Did it arise during the Great Depression, an expression of area’s economic resiliency? Or perhaps it was the tongue-in-cheek lament of would-be 1960s activists, frustrated by a stubbornly docile pace of life. The Nittany Valley Society is pleased to ...

Our Street Names Are Memorials

It’s always great when our work inspires others to share what they know about the Nittany Valley’s story. That happened last year with a column we wrote for Town & Gown about The Nittany Valley Society’s project cataloging the CBICC historical archive: Vince Verbeke, immediate past president of the Mount Nittany Conservancy, left a comment on the article that ...

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From the Trenches: Farms, Forts, and Penn State’s Commitment to Local History

Last year, Casey Snyder worked as a student intern for The Nittany Valley Society, assisting with our archive project for the CBICC. We became interested in his work with Penn State’s archaeology program and invited him to author this guest column on his experiences working to recover lost history close to home. By Casey J. ...

How Penn Staters Can Encounter Their Heritage

By Tom Shakely, April 2015 “To Thy Happy Children / Of The Future Those Of The Past / Send Greetings” This is the inscription that the University of Illinois’s Alma Mater statue bears for the curious passerby. It’s a perfect encapsulation of everything a place of learning exists to achieve—bringing the reality and wisdom of the past alive in the ...

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Why Learn the Penn State Story?

By Chris Buchignani, March 22, 2015 As the keynote speaker for our 2015 Willow Gathering, Penn State Lunar Lion mission director Michael Paul talked about how, for Penn State, being the only university among a field of private competitors striving to reach the Moon is opening up incredible opportunities for the institution and her students. Hands-on learning and connections ...

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Graduate School & the Value of Extended Time in the Nittany Valley

By Kevin Horne, January 2015 “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I hear that same countdown every night, a few seconds before midnight, from my Beaver Avenue apartment, although its consistency makes it no less painful to digest. The commotion, of course, is coming from the line outside the local bar known for catering ...

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Joy of Christmas Spirits (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 ...