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A Great Idea: Recovering a Disposition for Leisure

By Tom Shakely, February 13, 2013 The National Association of Scholars published a small contribution I wrote when visiting board member Zach Zimbler in Princeton a few months ago. The short contribution, titled “Recover a Disposition for Leisure,” is a part of the feature “One Hundred Great Ideas for Higher Education” and appears in the Winter 2012 issue of the ...

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A Letter to Coach O’Brien

By Chris Buchignani, December 21, 2012 After a marvelous inaugural season as Penn State’s first new head football coach in nearly 50 years, Bill O’Brien has been deservedly lauded with numerous awards. Facing the daunting tasks of succeeding the legendary Joe Paterno and holding the team and program together in the wake of scandal and sanctions, O’Brien conducted ...

Is Penn State a Real University?

  After our December 1st Winter Reception, our first public event, The Nittany Valley Society was pleased to be able to connect Dr. Ben Novak to student leaders at Penn State University to speak about his Mar. 2012 book “Is Penn State a Real University: An Investigation of the University as a Living Ideal“. Dr. ...

One Square Inch

By Tom Shakely, December 1, 2012 The Nittany Valley Society hosted its first public event today. Our Winter Reception was a great afternoon of community fellowship and we were thrilled to be able to bring together a true diversity of guests from across our area. I’ll be writing more about the Winter Reception and our first year ...

The Past as a Universe of Adventure

By Tom Shakely, October 23, 2012 We tend to like thinking of new ideas and fresh thinking. It’s tempting to imagine we of the present are, almost by definition, at the vanguard of history. We like moving forward rather than looking backward. Yet, we can do both. It turns out that there is much fresh ...

The Origin of the Pennsylvania Groundhog

The Nittany Valley Society’s book “The Legends of the Nittany Valley” presents for the contemporary reader a selection of folk stories first published by Henry Shoemaker in the Altoona Tribune more than a century ago. Candlemas, an American Indian legend first published by Henry Shoemaker in Juniata Memories: Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania, appeared in print in 1916 and is ...

Coming Alive

By Tom Shakely, August 2012 The Nittany Valley Society is alive and breathing. It’s a startup nonprofit, led by Chris Buchignani and a board of directors of which I’m a member. Let me share a bit of what we’re about, and what we’re aiming to contribute. Our Happy Valley has been hit hard over the ...

What is The Nittany Valley Society?

By Tom Shakely, April 24, 2012 The language of our mission is hopefully evocative of our organizing principle, but it seems prudent to offer an explanation not simply of our approach to our existence, but also our reason for existing. The Nittany Valley Society is an expression of the ethos of a physical place. It is an expression of affection for ...

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Penn State Veterans Day Address

The following speech was delivered by Dr. Ben Novak on the steps of Old Main at The Pennsylvania State University on November 11, 2009 at the invitation of the Penn State Office of Veterans. Colonel Switzer has just spoken to you on the meaning and importance of honoring Veterans Day. It is given to me ...

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