The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University (commonly known as Penn State) is a public university in Pennsylvania, with over 80,000 students at 24 campuses throughout the state. Founded in 1855 as an agricultural school, the university became a land grant college in 1863 and now offers over 160 majors. It should not be confused with the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university located in Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania State University
Penn State Celebrating Sesquicentennial
|School type ||Public, Land grant|
|President ||Graham Spanier|
|Location ||University Park, PA
Commonwealth campuses in Abington, PA; Altoona, PA; Berks, PA; Beaver, PA; Delaware County, PA; DuBois, PA; Erie, PA; Fayette, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Hazleton, PA; Lehigh Valley, PA; McKeesport, PA; Mont Alto, PA; New Kensington, PA; Schuylkill, PA; Shenago, PA; Wilkes-Barre, PA; Worthington Scranton, PA; and York, PA. The Hershey Medical Center, where Penn State's medicine program resides, is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
|Enrollment ||41,289 University Park|
32,631 Commonwealth Campuses
6,358 PA College of Tech
638 Dickinson School of Law
748 Hershey Medical Center
81,664 Total Enrollment
|Operating Budget ||US $2,560,309,000|
|Campuses ||18,370 acres (74 km²)|
Penn State was founded in February 22, 1855 by act P.L.46, No.50 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. Centre County became the home of the new school James Irvin of Bellefonte donated 200 acres of langd. In 1862, the school's name was changed to The Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state's sole land grant college. In the following years, enrollment fell as the school tried to balance purely agricultral studies with a more classic eduacation, falling to 64 undergraduates in 1875, a year after the school's name changed once again to The Pennsylvania State College.
George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and began working to broaden the school's cirriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, and as a result, was rewarded with regular appropriations from the state beginning in 1887. In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state's largest source of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around this time, branch campuses were started by President Ralph Hetzel to give an alternative to Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college.
In 1953, President Milton Eisenhower changed the school's name to The Pennsylvania State University, and under his successor, Dr. Eric Walker, the university developed rapidly. Under his leadership, which lasted from 1956-1970, the university added hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and nearly tripled enrollment to 40,000. Additionally, in 1967, the Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established with a $50 million gift from Milton S. Hershey.
In recent years, Penn State's role as a leader in education in Pennsylvania has become well-defined. In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the University, and in 1997, so did the Dickinson School of Law. Currently, the university is the largest in Pennsylvania, and in 2003, it was credited with having the largest impact on the state economy of any organization, generating over $6 billion for the state on a budget of $2.5 billion.
Penn State is among the top research universities in the country, known for its breadth of strong programs in engineering, business and the sciences.
According to U.S. News in 2005 http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php, Penn State nationally ranks:
- 15th among public doctoral universities
- 20th among undergraduate business programs, and 5th in Supply Chain Management/Logistics
- 16th among undergraduate engineering programs, and 4th in industrial/manufacturing engineering
- 45th among graduate business schools, and 9th in Supply Chain Management/Logistics
- 21st among graduate engineering programs, and 4th in industrial/manufacturing engineering, 6th in agricultural engineering, 7th in materials engineer, and 9th in nuclear engineering
- 28th among schools of education, and 2nd in vocational/technical education and 3rd in higher education administration
Penn State is also nationally ranked:
Penn State was the first university in the United States to:
- award baccalaureate and graduate degrees in agriculture (1861 and 1863)
- offer an industrial engineering baccalaureate degree program (1909)
- offer a baccalaureate degree in fuel science (1932)
- operate a nuclear reactor capable of nuclear fission (1955)
- found a graduate program for to help Native Americans develop leadership skills that will allow them to return to their communities as role models (1970)
Penn State, in 2003, devoted $545 million to research, and its researchers received nearly $400 million in outside grants toward their projects. Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the university's graduate school, and over 70,000 degrees have been awarded since the school was founded in 1922.
Penn State Research
Campuses and Colleges
The main campus, University Park, is found in State College, just east of the geographic center of the state. The campus has over 41,000 students, even though most first-year students (over 60%) begin at one of Penn State's other campus locations.
List of campuses and colleges at Penn State
Penn State's mascot is the Nittany Lion. They participate in the NCAA Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference. Penn State has a large football following and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its campus, the area around which is also known as "Happy Valley," for tailgating and games on Autumn Saturdays in Beaver Stadium.
Alumni and Friends
Notable professors and coaches
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