The Nittany Valley Society awards the Novak Fellowship annually to a Penn State student. The Novak Fellowship is an expression of The Nittany Valley Society’s mission to “foster a spirit of community across time.” Novak Fellows research the Nittany Valley’s past with the aim of surfacing and sharing little-known aspects of the community’s shared history with new generations.
Honoring Ben Novak’s Lifetime of Service
As a cultural conservancy, The Nittany Valley Society honors Ben Novak’s legacy through the Novak Fellowship, an annual opportunity for student-fellows to enter into the Nittany Valley’s storied and legendary past through research and learning while forging friendships throughout the community for the future.
Born in Johnstown in 1943, Ben Novak graduated from Penn State in 1965 after serving as student body president and as a brother at Tau Kappa Epsilon. After graduating from Georgetown University Law School in 1968, Novak served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, Infantry in Viet Nam where he won the Bronze Star. Returning to the Nittany Valley in 1970, Novak established his own law firm in State College and Bellefonte and practiced law in Pennsylvania for more than three decades. A visionary and indefatigable force, he has been, variously: author of three books, four-term Penn State trustee, founder of the Mount Nittany Conservancy; president of Lion’s Paw Alumni Association; a PhD recipient in philosophy, history, and political science; and an adjunct professor and assistant dean of students.
Apply to be a Novak Fellow
The Nittany Valley Society’s Novak Fellowship is awarded annually to a Penn State student. Novak Fellows research the Nittany Valley’s past with the aim of surfacing and sharing little-known aspects of the community’s shared history with new generations. Any Penn State student is eligible to become a Novak Fellow, and applicants with a compelling and distinctive idea are encouraged to apply anytime. Novak Fellows are selected annually.
Centre Foundation’s Novak Fellowship Fund makes The Nittany Valley Society’s Novak Fellows program possible. As Centre Foundation’s Novak Fellowship Fund grows, the annual grant The Nittany Valley Society can award to Novak Fellows grows.
Novak Fellowship News
- 2016-17 Novak Fellowship: Penn State Heritage Trees & Groves (October 2016)
- From the Trenches: Farms, Forts, and Penn State’s Commitment to Local History (August 2015)
- Creating the Novak Fellowship fund (December 2013)