Nittany Valley Heritage Walk

Honor someone who’s an inspiration in your life in front of the Inspiration Mural on the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk. Your paver stone will be a permanent honor.


8034560_orig-250x167Nittany Valley Heritage Walk exists to:

  • Beautify Downtown State College and the Heister Street area surrounding the Inspiration Mural for future generations
  • Share and perpetuate Penn State culture, character, and history
  • Create a space for Penn States, townspeople, and friends to honor and remember the inspirations in their own lives

Nittany Valley Society will ensure the perpetual care and maintenance of the Heritage Walk so that your brick or stone can share a lasting message.

I’m ready. Let’s place an order

Importance of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk

As a part of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk, you’re making possible so much:

  • Support and promote conservation efforts among students, alumni, professors, and residents
  • Ensure Nittany Valley Press books are available to Penn Staters every year

Supporting The Nittany Valley Society’s core programs

  • Nittany Valley Press: Nittany Valley Press’s special collection of books, audiobooks, and digital editions is available to anyone thanks to the Renaissance Fund’s annual support, which also enables distribution of a limited number of complementary copies to Penn State students each academic year.
  • Nittany Valley Heritage Walk: Ensuring perpetual care and maintenance of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk as an enduring and distinctive part of Downtown State College.
  • Speaking: Sharing the folklore and stories of our larger region are vital ways to ensure the enchantment of “Happy Valley” lingers in the hearts of every generation.

Beautifying the Inspiration Mural


Hiester Street’s Inspiration Mural has grown into one of Happy Valley’s most distinctive landmarks. As the mural has expanded to include more of the individuals who shape the character of our community, hundreds of Penn State students and locals have left their handprints on the wall; many thousands more have considered its array of visages, some familiar, most not, and wondered about these people and the circumstances that brought them all together. It is here, in its capacity for participatory storytelling, that it becomes particularly remarkable.

When mural artist and State College native Michael Pilato gives one of his famous guided tours, he recounts in fascinating detail the thought process behind how and why he, along with partner Yuri Karabash, painted each subject. It becomes clear that the story behind the mural is the story of a people and their place, a unique mechanism for celebrating Penn State and State College. Steve Garguilo, a Nittany Valley Society fellow, worked with Michael Pilato to create this first-person Inspiration Mural tour during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts:

Nittany Valley Heritage Walk serves to further beautify the area surrounding the Inspiration Mural, and provide literal “touchstones” for this remarkable and monumental visual history of so many remarkable Penn Staters and Central Pennsylvanians.

Each brick on the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk is a personal building block reinforcing the foundations of our community’s culture and identity. I hope you will add yours today. We deeply appreciate your time, support, and active participation in the living community that makes the Nittany Valley one of the world’s most special places.

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