Smile for the camera

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On what looks like it must have been a warm, sunny day in 1922, students at the Pennsylvania State College gathered for a photograph in front of the original Old Main, courtesy of the "Penn State Photo Shop" (as indicated in the right foreground of the picture). Note the students sitting in the windows and the ivy growing up the building's limestone walls.

Although this image is cropped, the original photograph is a panoramic view, as seen below. A larger version is also available to be viewed here.

Penn State students in front of Old Main, 1922

Pennsylvania State College students gather for a photograph in front of the original Old Main, in 1922. See this photograph in a larger size here.

Image: United States Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

Enrollment was 3,501 and growing; the Pennsylvania State College was well on its way to becoming the largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees in the state. John Martin Thomas had been president for a year. That same year, the Graduate School was created.

At this time, Old Main still housed residential space for up to 400 students, classrooms, labs, a chapel and the President's office, but it wouldn't be too many more years before the aging structure, completed in 1867, had to be demolished and a new Old Main opened in 1931.

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Last Updated October 11, 2016