Category: Penn State Spirit

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 ...

The Penn State-Wisconsin Rivalry That Never Was

By Chris Buchignani, October 2016 Recently, I found myself caught in Park Ave traffic behind a car adorned with an obnoxiously large Ohio State Buckeyes magnet. With merely a glimpse of it, my pulse quickened and my palms tightly gripped the steering wheel. As an ardent Nittany Lions fan, I recoiled at the unwelcome reminder ...

Why Honoring Joe Paterno Still Matters

By Kevin Horne, September 2016 Writing anything about Joe Paterno at this point is futile. If you’re reading this, your mind has already been made up. If you are not a Penn Stater, we’re an unapologetic cult. If you are a Penn Stater, you’re probably nonplussed, irrationally angry that the news about Paterno being honored before the ...

Why Learn the Penn State Story?

By Chris Buchignani, August 2016 To wrap up this series of articles on local efforts to bring history to life, I would like to focus on a project that is a source of great excitement and pride – The Nittany Valley Society’s support for an undergraduate course on Penn State history. In early 2013, two ...

The First History of Penn State

By Chris Buchignani, April 2016 Over its 161 years, Penn State has twice sanctioned books chronicling the University’s history, once in the 1940’s and again with an updated version in the 1980’s. While history professor and Penn State historian Wayland Dunaway’s 1946 “History of The Pennsylvania State College” was the first official account of Old ...

Our Founders Were Real

By Tom Shakely Evan Pugh was Penn State’s first president. It’s great if you happen to know of Evan Pugh. In fact, it’s likely that knowing about him already puts you in the minority among students and alumni. But just knowing this bit of raw information isn’t worth much in and of itself. It’s available ...

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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The Week that Restored Penn State Football

By Kevin Horne & Chris Buchignani, October 2015 “They’ll be enjoying the tailgating afterwards, with a 30-point win.” On that note, ABC’s Brad Nessler wrapped up the national broadcast of Penn State’s October 1, 2005 win over 18th-ranked Minnesota, a 44-14 shellacking that featured two standout plays that would endure for years among the program’s ...