Civic Wish List

Nittany Valley Society’s “Civic Wish List” is a growing set of ideas offered to the public for ways to improve the spirit and culture of Penn State and some of Central Pennsylvania’s most wonderful communities.

“Welcome to the Nittany Valley” packets for realtors Develop a packet to be distributed to local realtors to give as gifts when people move into the area. If grant supported, include copy of certain Nittany Valley Press books.
Reminiscences of Fran Fisher Chris Adamski’s 2014 interview with Fran Fisher could be printed/publicized to honor Fran Fischer’s legacy as the voice of the Penn State Nittany Lions and friend of Joe Paterno.
Honoring Evan & Rebecca at Homecoming A formal, annualized plan for honoring Penn State’s first president and his wife during Homecoming weekend.
Restoring and conserving Evan & Rebecca Pugh’s Gravesite Execute the formal conservation of Evan and Rebecca Pugh’s final resting place in Bellefonte’s Union Cemetery.
Small busts of Evan Pugh and George Atherton A scan of the Pugh and Atherton busts from Old Main’s lobby could enable small replicas for display/sale in local/Penn State businesses, and provide alumni a way to honor two historic figures in their daily lives.
State College Area School District history The SCASD has extensive but scattered materials on its history. This history could be compiling into a compelling narrative that helps parents and families appreciate their local schools and understand their part of the community’s larger history.
“Cosmic House” documentary An audio/video documentary effort could tell the story of a de facto “counter culture” interest house that existed on West College Avenue throughout the 1970s.
Undine Fire Company Investigate why the Bellefonte Fire Company is named Undine. Start with the working theory that it is perhaps for Rebecca Valentine, whose tragic love story with Evan Pugh mirrors that of Undine, a popular novel character of the time.
Back to Camelot Complete manuscript and release “Back to Camelot,” telling the remarkable story of the 2005 Penn State Nittany Lion football team.
Evan Pugh statue Commission a life-size statue of Evan Pugh for the Pattee Mall, fulfilling J.B. Lawes’s 1864 vision of a “permanent memorial” to the “founder of a great college” and Erwin Runkle’s 1933 appeal to Pennsylvanians with “the will and consecrated means to give it fitting form and substance.”
Nittany Valley Interest House An idea whose time should eventually come, and a multi-year commitment to firmly establish, a home for Penn Staters who care about the Nittany Valley and want to live amongst others who feel similarly.
“Storytelling” benches Create semi-circular benches modeled after Old City Philadelphia’s “Once Upon a Time” benches, designed for story-sharing and Penn Staters to sit facing one another, rather than outwards.
“Founders Series/Old Willow” coffee/wine/beer Approach local makers about a branded “Old Willow” signature style, to promote Penn State’s first symbol and connection with Evan Pugh, our first president, and the founding generations.
“Little Free Library” at Mount Nittany trailhead Create a “Little Free Library” at Mount Nittany trailhead, stocked with local history, conversation, and folklore for hikes.
“Old Willow” signage at Penn State Arboretum Commission marker/plaque at the site of the Old Willow descendant at the Penn State Arboretum.
SKOAL: Adventures of a Penn Stater Release manuscript for “SKOAL: Adventures of a Penn Stater”, the experiences of a Penn Stater of 1950 and his travels abroad throughout that decade
Nittany Valley Press for visitors Exploring continuing placement of select Nittany Valley Press books at specific downtown/regional hotels, in guest rooms, etc.
University Club “Old Willow” scion marker Commission a permanent marker for the “Old Willow” scion at the University Club.
Nittany Valley Heritage Walk Partnerships Expand the scope of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk through partnerships, accelerating State College Borough plans for sidewalk brick downtown, while raising capital for Nittany Valley Society and partners.
Downtown Pedestrian Mall Unite key local influencers to actualize a Hiester or Allen Street Pedestrian Mall between College and Beaver.
State College/Campus Walking Tours Streaming audio tours with possible geolocation feature; e.g. “this building used to be,” maybe also with pictures; possibility of integrating with local mural projects.
Annual Lion Ambassadors “Placemaking” Gifts At the beginning of each academic year, gift each Lion Ambassador the Nittany Valley Press special collection, as grant funding allows, to cultivate a sense for the wider region within which Penn State exists.
“Totems/Discover Happy Valley” Wiki historical project Start with Inspiration Mural, cataloging the entire mural in its details for each person. Eventually expand to wider region, including plaques and distinctive markers.
“Being the Nittany Lion” Commission a book of photos and interviews featuring former Nittany Lion mascots.
Walking/Running/Biking Trail to Mount Nittany Creation of 3.5 mile marked walking/running/biking trail from Downtown State College to Mount Nittany’s trailhead in Lemont