The Nittany Valley Society’s Willow Gathering is a celebration of the Nittany Valley and its people. As cultural stewards of the Nittany Valley, we are always inspired by the ingenuity, entrepreneurialism, and action-oriented nature of the students, professors, townspeople, alumni, and friends who define our community.
In celebrating that spirit, we also want to perpetuate it, so we are inviting everyone to come with your ideas for things you want to make happen in the Nittany Valley and we will help you put together an Action Plan to turn your idea into reality.
The Willow Gathering is an expression our of mission to “foster a spirit of community across time,” and is one of the Nittany Valley’s most distinctive annual occasions. Learn about our past celebrations.
The Willow Gathering
Thursday, October 6, 2016
The Atherton Hotel
125 South Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
Master of Ceremonies
Paul J. Clifford
CEO, Penn State Alumni Association
Cocktails & Introduction
of The Nittany Valley Society
Keynote & Hors d’oeuvres
Admission includes buffet-style hors d’oeuvres and limited open bar, along with a special gift for every guest.
Buffet-style hors d’oeuvres include Bourbon Chick Skewers, Mini Egg Rolls with Honey Ginger Soy Sauce, Crispy Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard, Apple Brie Puffs, and Cheese and Fresh Fruit. Limited open bar features House Cocktails, Mount Nittany Winery Wines, Otto’s Mount Nittany Pale Ale, Troeg’s Perpetual IPA, soft drinks, chilled juice, and bottled spring water.
Sustainers & Students
Sponsorships are an opportunity for individuals and businesses to support The Nittany Valley Society and be recognized at The Willow Gathering. Interested sponsors can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hors d’oeuvres Sponsor
The Nittany Valley Society’s Willow Gathering is a celebration of the Nittany Valley and its people. As an expression our of mission to “foster a spirit of community,” sharing “knowledge of our past, an appreciation for our present, and an affection for our spirit,” The Willow Gathering brings together students, professors, townspeople, alumni, and friends in State College for an afternoon or evening of fellowship and spirit.
The 2015 Willow Gathering event, originally planned for December, has been moved forward to early 2016 at The Nittany Lion Inn.
The 2015 Willow Gathering (Saturday, January 30, 2016):
- 1:00pm – Welcome/Keynote — A fun and enlightening look at how Penn State research is transforming the diets of performance athletes and weekend warriors alike. Keynote presenter Dr. Pete Bordi, Associate Professor of Hospitality Management and Center for Food Innovation Director, will share anecdotes of working with Penn State football players and coaches under Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, and James Franklin while developing protein-rich sports foods, including Dr. Pete’s Recovery Drink. (Nittany Lion Inn – Alumni Lounge)
- 3-5pm – Fellowship Reception — Share in a celebration of local craftsmanship in the spirit of our book “The Birth of the Craft Brew Revolution” with a sampling of craft beers and locally-sourced food, while watching Penn State take on Michigan in a hoops/hockey double-header at Madison Square Garden. (Nittany Lion Inn – Assembly Room & Alumni Lobby)
The 2014 Willow Gathering (Saturday, December 6th)
- 3-5pm – Welcoming Session & Keynote Presentation — Michael Paul, director of the Penn State Lunar Lion project, will share the remarkable story of Penn State’s Mission to the Moon. A short but lively reading from Nittany Valley Press’s The Legends of the Nittany Valley tale of King Wi-Daagh will introduce guests to the legendary story of the American Indian leader whose treaty with William Penn set the stage for drama. Learn more about The Nittany Valley Society’s work throughout the community in 2014, including launch of the Nittany Valley Heritage Walk. Meet and mingle with our board of directors and fellow guests. (Nittany Lion Inn – Alumni Lounge)
- 3-5pm – Fellowship Reception — Share in a celebration of local craftsmanship in the spirit of our book “The Birth of the Craft Brew Revolution” with a sampling of craft beers brewed throughout Pennsylvania and heavy hors d’oeuvres made with local ingredients from Chef Andrew Monk’s kitchen. (Nittany Lion Inn – Assembly Room & Alumni Lobby)
The 2013 Willow Gathering (Saturday, December 7th)
- 1-3pm – Welcoming Presentation — Featured guest Roger Williams, Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association, will present “Evan Pugh and George Atherton–Penn State’s George Washington and Abraham Lincoln,” an introduction to the remarkable stories of the University’s two “Founding Presidents.” Learn more about NVS accomplishments from 2013, including the first-time publication of Dr. Erwin Runkle’s history of Penn State. Meet and mingle with Dr. Williams, the Nittany Valley Society board of directors, and fellow guests.
- 3-5pm – Fellowship Reception — Share in our celebration of local craftsmanship. Enjoy live music from local blues musician John “JT” Thompson and, in the spirit of our book “The Birth of the Craft Brew Revolution,” a sampling of locally-brewed craft beers selected and poured by the staff of The Brewery at The Gamble Mill.
The 2012 Willow Gathering (Saturday, December 1st)
- 1-3pm – Welcoming Reception at Allen Street Grill (Beaver Room) — Special guest former Penn State trustee Dr. Ben Novak discusses the original impulses and experiences of writing his essays “Is Penn State A Real University?” and “On Tap,” his bi-weekly craft brew beer column for the Centre Daily Times, both of which have been updated and published in book form by The Nittany Valley Society. Meet and mingle with Dr. Novak, the Nittany Valley Society board of directors, and fellow guests.
- 3-5pm – A Special Craft Brew Beer Tasting at Zeno’s Pub — Enjoy a sampling of Winter and Christmas craft beers selected and described by Dr. Novak and poured by the staff at Zeno’s, one of America’s signature college bars and our area’s leading and long-time advocate for the virtues of quality, small-batch beers.