University Archives exhibit illustrates Penn State’s impact on Pennsylvania

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A University Archives photographic exhibit now on display at the Hintz Family Alumni Center titled “Realizing the Land-Grant Dream: Penn State across the Commonwealth” depicts the ways the University has fulfilled its mission throughout Pennsylvania.

The exhibit is on display now through Jan. 19, 2016, in Robb Hall of the Hintz Family Alumni Center, on the University Park campus.

As a land-grant institution, part of Penn State’s mission has been to, “without excluding scientific and classical studies, teach agriculture and the mechanical arts … to the industrial classes in all the pursuits and professions of life.”

As a land-grant institution, part of Penn State’s mission has been to, “without excluding scientific and classical studies, teach agriculture and the mechanical arts … to the industrial classes in all the pursuits and professions of life.” As early as 1912, a number of cities across Pennsylvania were benefiting from so-called “technical classes” taught by Penn State instructors. After the Great Depression, many residents were longing for educational opportunities but simply could not afford to leave their homes for extended periods of time. The need for local educational centers beckoned.

Today Penn State can boast that it reaches one out of every two households in Pennsylvania.

In the early 1930s, Penn State’s reputation as one of the nation’s best agricultural, as well as engineering, schools had community leaders knocking on the University's door, asking to bring more educational opportunities to their local areas. Under the direction of Penn State President Ralph D. Hetzel, a number of “branch campuses,” now known as Commonwealth Campuses, were established around the state. Over the decade, more campuses were founded, and today Penn State can boast that it reaches one out of every two households in Pennsylvania.

There is not a single county across the Commonwealth that is without at least one Penn State “Outreach Door.” Whether it is a Penn State Commonwealth Campus, an Extension unit, a Research Institute unit or other Penn State Outreach initiatives, the University continues to fulfill its mission of teaching, research and public service. Add to these offerings the extensive reach of Penn State’s World Campus, and it is difficult to imagine additional methods for the University to teach, reach and help its constituents.

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Last Updated September 29, 2015