Thou didst mold us, dear Old State: Penn State Students, 1859-2009

"Thou didst mold us, dear Old State: Penn State Students, 1859-2009," an exhibition featuring photo images from the Penn State University Archives, is on display in the Hintz Alumni Center on Penn State's University Park campus, through May 13.

On Feb. 16, 1859, the first class of 69 students entered the hallowed doors of an almost-completely constructed Old Main. They would live, learn and work within these walls, at what most likely was the first purely agricultural educational institution in the United States. Over the subsequent 150 years, millions of students would follow these Penn State pioneers' footsteps travelling from the depth and breadth of the state, the nation and the world to pursue a higher education.

In 2009, Penn State would boast an enrollment of more than 92,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. Still closely following the dictates of the 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act, Penn State promotes a liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.

This exhibition, featuring 31 images from the Penn State University Archives, captures all aspects of student life from 1859-2009 including classes and educational opportunities, social activities and clubs, philanthropy and community service, as well as everyday life at University Park and the campus‚ dorms and dining halls.  These images spotlight life as a Penn State student over the past 150 years — a brief panoply of academic life within Pennsylvania’s Land Grant University.

Additional information about the exhibit and the photographs can be obtained by contacting Jackie Esposito, university archivist, 122 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802 or by calling (814) 863-3791.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009